Articles in Category: Local News

Funeral of former World Masters champion Hugh Gallagher

By Harry Walsh

THE funeral takes place tomorrow morning of former Donegal Person of the Year, Hugh Gallagher.
Mt Gallagher (92) from Creevy, Carrigart, passed away at Letterkenny University Hospital following an illness.

A talented masters athlete, Hugh continued to break national records into his ninety-second year. The Milford AC competitor won the shot putt and the long jump in the over 90 category at the Irish Masters Indoor Athletic Championships held in Athlone last year. He also broke the Irish record in the long jump.
Those wins came little more than six months after he won three gold medals and one silver at the World Masters Athletic Championships in Lyon.
The father of twelve, his eldest son Michael died when he was seventeen, Hugh’s interest in athletics was re-ignited when his children started to compete.
Over the years, sport gave Hugh the opportunity to visit many countries across the globe. He has competed for Ireland in places as far apart as Australia, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and the Scandinavian countries.
During his career, Hugh won a grand total of 172 All-Ireland Gold medals to go with 29 World gold medals, 5 world silver and 2 world bronze medals.
He also holds world records in the 35lb and 56lb shot putts at different age groups, the 5kg Greek discus, Goulding hammer and javelin triathlon at different age groups.
The grand-father also holds Irish records in running, walking, jumping and every weight throwing from 400grams javelin to 112lb weight throw.
He also won 23 European gold and 5 silver medals. 25 British gold medals including scotch and Welsh medals.
In November 2015, the Ulster Athletics Sports Star Awards committee unanimously selected Hugh for the prestigious Ulster hall of fame award while Athletics Ireland officials made a presentation to Hugh in Tullamore as the first Irish person to win track and field medals at over 90 years of age.
Predeceased by his Rosemary in December 2015, Hugh is survived by his children, grand children, other relatives and friends.
Funeral Mass takes place in Church of St John the Baptist Carrigart at 11am on Monday with burial afterwards.

Mulroy College, Milford are All-Ireland champions


Mulroy College, Milford are All-Ireland champions after they clinched the FAI Schools Senior ‘B’ Girls National Cup title with victory over St Peter’s CS, Passage West in Dublin on Wednesday afternoon.

Mulroy College, Milford . . 2

St. Peter’s CS, Passage West . . . 1

(after extra time)

Caoimhe Walsh scored both goals - the winner coming in extra time - to give Mulroy a famous win.

It’s their first time to win the All Ireland title since 2014.

And it makes up for the disappointment of losing the last two All Ireland finals against the same opposition.

The final was played at Home Farm’s Whitehall grounds in Dublin. Mulroy enjoyed a lively start with Kellyann Buchanan getting into a good position only to shoot narrowly wide.

Buchanan was also involved in a move a short time later which ended with her cross being headed against the woodwork by Leah Duggan.

The Cork girls had their chances too in an entertaining first half with Winnie Parata going closest with a shot that went just over Clare Friel’s crossbar.

St. Peter’s grabbed the lead shortly after half-time when Danielle Burke’s inviting ball into the area ended up in the back of the net.

The Donegal school rallied and following the introduction of Claudia Ward and then Aisling McBride, their pressure paid off when they drew level.

Caoimhe Walsh, who had another fine game for Mulroy, found the net on 72 minutes, much to the delight of the big visiting support up from Donegal.

Her winner came seven minutes into the first period of extra time. Buchanan went on a brilliant run down the wing and her cross was turned home by Walsh.

Milford AC News

By James Gibbons

Milford AC News

Glenmore 10 Mile

This weekend the first longest race of the new road season takes place in Stranorlar on Sunday morning with the inaugural staging of the Glenmore 10 Miles promoted by Finn Valley AC.

  The race replaces the traditional 3 race 5km series and has already drawn a keen interest.  The route is relatively flat, - starting at the Finn Valley Centre going through Drumboe Woods and going out the right hand side of the river Finn to Glenmore Bridge and returning the left hand side.  (The main Ballybofey Glenfin Road).

  Entry fee is €20.00 with long sleeve tee shirts and an individual medal for each finisher.

 Milford AC have a number of athletes taking part in preparation for various upcoming half marathons.

Strabane 5km

There was another big turnout for the 2nd race of the Lifford/Strabane 5km series on Sunday morning last with over 300 gathering at the Strabane starting line.

  Fast early season times were recorded by Conor Bradley 15:19, Danny Mooney 15:22, Eoin McGinley 15:29 and Pauric Breslin concluding the sub 16 minute quartet in 15:39.  Milford had a sole representative as Philip McGovern made it inside the top 50 finishers in 20:56.  The last race of the Lifford/Strabane series takes place in Lifford on Sunday 12th February with 10:30am start time.


The club had nine juvenile athletes take part in the Donegal Sportshall trials at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny last Sunday afternoon.  In the U13 boys the club had Cormac Sheehy, Fintan Sheehy, Cormac Atkinson and Conor McGinley taking part.  In the u13 girls were Daisy wheeler, Jenny McGettigan, Lauren Scott, and Meabh Houston.  Denis McGinley was the sole representative in the u15 boys.  Qualifiers from Sunday’s trials will go forward to further qualifying trials later in the month.  Venue and date to be confirmed.

PJ Hagan & Stephanie O’Hara

The club extend best wishes to former club athletes, PJ Hagan and Stephanie O’Hara who depart next week to set up a new life in Australia.


The club extend congratulations to the two local secondary schools – Loreto Community School and Mulroy College on their high ranking in last Sunday’s “Sunday Independent” top 700 secondary schools in Ireland.

Credit to the principals, staff and pupils on their dedication and commitment to education.


The club extends sympathy to club chairman, James Gibbons on the recent death of his uncle, Frank Crerand in England.  His remains will be interned in Milford.  Funeral arrangements to be confirmed later.  May he rest in peace.

Mysterious Englishman wandering Donegal sent for mental assessment

A homeless man who was arrested for being in breach of the peace has been sent to the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin for assessment.

Andrew Phillips, aged 60, has spent the past number of weeks in Donegal living rough around Milford, Trentagh and Churchill.


He was arrested last week after a woman in Letterkenny said she had been frightened by the Englishman on January 23rd on High Road.

However when he appeared at Letterkenny District Court last week, Phillips refused to engage or speak with Gardai or Judge Paul Kelly.

He was remanded in custody to appear in court again yesterday.

Gardai said they could not find any record of the accused man interacting with homeless charities.

He initially refused to speak to Judge Kelly again but then said he was pleading guilty.

Judge Kelly asked him if he had somewhere to stay but Phillips did not reply.

Judge Kelly said he would adjourn the matter to consider if Phillips was fit to plead.

When he returned to the court, Judge Kelly said he was remanding Phillips to the Central Mental Hospital for assessment.

He then told the accused “I am not satsified that your mental condition is such that you are able to enter a plea so I am directing that an inquiry be held to see if you are fit to plea. I’m sending you to be examined to see if you are in a fit state to enter a plea,” he said.

The case was adjourned until February.

Speed limit to be reduced between Polestar and Dry Arch in Letterkenny

The speed limit between the Dry Arch and Polestar Roundabouts in Letterkenny is to be reduced from 100 to 80 Kilometers per hour.

The speed limit between the Dry Arch and Polestar Roundabouts in Letterkenny is to be reduced from 100 to 80 Kilometers per hour.

The change of speed on the notorious accident blackspot was just one of a number of speed limit changes adopted at this weeks meeting of Donegal County Council.

However councillors rejected a number of proposals from Transport Infrastructure Ireland that would have seen limits on some stretches of primnary roads in the county reduced from 100 to 80 kilometers per hour.


Milford GAA Notes

By Barry McNulty

*Last man Standing*

The Minor Board are holding another Last Man Standing competition for the 2017 Allianz League this year. There is €200 to be won with €10 entry. Forms will be available from any member of the Minor Board in the coming days and also online via the clubs Facebook page. You can also enter online using paypal, simply use your paypal account to send your entry fee and selections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This weeks lotto numbers were 5-15-16-17. No jackpot winner, 1 match 3 winner, wins €70 each. Alan Sweeney, Moyle Hill. Next weeks Jackpot is €1,900

*GAA National Draw*

Tickets for the GAA National Draw are now available from any Committee member or Senior player. Tickets cost €10 with first prize a new Opel car.

Milford Community Festival Meeting


We are having a meeting to discuss this year’s Festival next Tuesday 31st January at 8pm in the I.R.D. office, The Diamond, Milford.

We would appreciate members and representatives from local Businesses & Groups as we are eager to receive input from across the community.

Thanking you in advance.

Milford Festival Committee


Hugo Duggan inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

By Harry Walsh

HUGO Duggan became the first Donegal athlete to win a National title when he claimed long jump gold more than fifty years ago. The Milford man went on to become one of Ireland’s best ever sprinters and long jumpers.
In 1967 Hugo recorded the second longest jump by an Irish man and still holds the Ulster and Donegal record for long jump at 24 foot, two and a half centimetres.
Hugo, who won a total of seven national senior long jump titles and a world masters in Melbourne in 1987, was inducted into the Donegal Athletics Hall Of Fame at the annual County Board dinner at the Finn Valley Centre on Saturday evening last.

Born in October 1946, he joined Cranford AC in 1964 and as a member of the FCA he won a series of Defence Forces Championships, four-in-a-row long jump titles from 1966-69 and a 100m crown in ’66 – a double which also saw him secure the General Richard Mulcahy trophy for best overall athlete that year.
Duggan won the National Senior Long Jump titles seven times, in ’67 with Cranford; in 1970, ’71, ’72, ’74 with Clonliffe; in 1980 with Lifford and in 1984 for Finn Valley AC.
He was a senior silver medallist in 1969, 1973, 1976 and 1988 in the long jump and in 1969 he was the bronze medallist in the triple jump. He also finished second in the long jump at the inaugural Indoor Championships in 1988.
A regular international competitor, Hugo won 16 full Irish vests and his list of achievements also include World, Australian, British and European medals.
Speakng to the Donegal News this week, Hugo recalled his three years in Dublin – in a bid to maximise his athletics talent – training with Finn Valley before starting a night’s work and, more recently representing Ulster in fly-fishing events. A talented sportsman, Hugo also played soccer.
“I didn’t do too bad I suppose,” he laughed.
Married to Brid, the couple have eight children Stephen (Germany), Alan (Australia), Maria Duffy (Letterkenny), James (Waterford), Hugo jnr (Downings), Joanne Gallagher (MIlford), Karol (New Mills) and Breege Mulhern (Gortahork) and 19 grandchildren.
Hugo spent most of his working life as a driver with the Milford Bakery. For a long time he used to drive from Milford to Ballyshannon and back before his route took him to Dublin, Belfast and back.
“It was in the middle of The Troubles and there were no mobile phones and my family didn’t hear from me until I got back home again in the morning,” he said.
A life-long friend of Paddy Marley, Irish athletics manager at the Barcelona Olympics, the pair were active within their own school sports as well as participating in the Cranford Sports.
“When Cranford AC was formed in 1961 Paddy and myself got involved. We were the only club in Donegal at that time but we were lucky in that Oakleaf Club in Derry were very good to us and were only too happy to explain how things worked,” he said.
Hugo won his first Irish vest in 1967 but only after Cyril O’Regan from Waterford pulled out.
“I won the Long Jump trial but it was Cyril – who later became a good friend – was selected and I was named as first sub as we didn’t have anyone fighting our corner at national level in those days,” he said.
It was a Europa Cup match and would be the first of 16 full international bests won by Hugo.
“The long jump is a very technical event but I was lucky that the Guard in Milford at that time was John Kilmartin who was Connacht high and long jump champion. On his day off he used to take me to Rathmullan beach and dif a pit for me to jump into. I learned more about the sport from him than probably anyone else,” he said.
Together with Paddy Marley and the McDaid brothers, Danny and Frankie, Hugo went to Dublin at the end of 1967 and joined Clonliffe Harriers.
“The first day I arrived at the track there were three or four sprinters and jumpers but we had no-one to train us. I was living in Raheny and was friendly with a lad who was a member of the local Shamrocks club so I did my training with them,” he said.
It was around that time that Hugo set the Donegal and Ulster record – jumping 24ft 2.5 centimetres (7.39metres) at the 1967 Emyvale Open Sports.
“Down through the years I tried to concentrate on the 100m, 200m and long jump. On occasion I also did the triple jump and high jump but I was not as good at them,” he said.
The sport of athletics bought Hugo to all corners of the globe down through the years, while it has also led to many friendships.
“When I joined Finn Valley I was driving during the night so I would stop off en route and train with them two nights a week before having a cup of tea in Patsy’s house (Patsy McGonagle) and heading on my way,” he said.
At that stage, Hugo was a ‘veteran’ but he continued to more than hold his own at senior level, winning vital National League points along the way for Finn Valley.
“It kept me going and I was in good form. After winning the World Masters title in Australia (1987) I took part in the first ever National Indoor Championships the following Spring where I finished second.
“I won the first ever outdoor title in 1967 and twenty one years later, I was winning silver at the first ever National Indoor Championships which, even if I say so myself, wasn’t bad going,” he smiled.
At that same time, Hugo formed Milford AC as a juvenlie only club in 1987.
“I trained kids there for twenty years or so before stepping back in 2007,” he explained.
During that time Hugo also played his part in setting up the Park Development in Milford – a unique paertship between the local soccer, GAA and athletic clubs.
“A lot of people said it couldn’t be done but here we are all those years later and they’re all getting on great,” he said.
Today, he’s kept busy working for the local Angling Club who have bought a premises and are currently in the process of trying to get it paid for.
“At the end of the day the club will always be there for the community. We’re just custodians who are passing through,” he said.

Foroige’s Big Brother Big Sister Programme (BBBS) - Milford

by Peter Lawne

Foroige’s Big Brother Big Sister Programme (BBBS) is Ireland’s first youth mentoring programme proven to have positive outcomes for young people participating. The young person and adult volunteer mentor are matched based on common interests and personality. 

This exciting youth mentoring programme matches a young person (10-18) with an adult volunteer mentor. The basic idea is that a friendship will form between the young person and adult volunteer mentor that will promote the positive development of the young person.

We are looking specifically for adult male volunteers in the Milford area.  Please call Peter on 086 048 4459.


Milford GAA Notes

By Barry McNulty

*Last man Standing*

The Minor Board are holding another Last Man Standing competition for the 2017 Allianz League this year. There is €200 to be won with €10 entry. Forms will be available from any member of the Minor Board in the coming days and also online via the clubs Facebook page. You can also enter online using paypal, simply use your paypal account to send your entry fee and selections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*Provincial Games*

Well done to Darragh Black who made his Donegal debut at the weekend in the 1-6 to 2-14 defeat to Cavan in the McKenna Cup. Darragh becomes the first clubman to play for Donegal since Caolan McGettigan featured against Derry in the 2009 McKenna Cup. Cathal McGettigan was also in action as his Sligo IT side were beat 1-21 to 1-15 by Mayo in the FBD League, with Cathal scoring 0-1 from corner forward.


This weeks lotto numbers were 3-4-14-22. No jackpot winner, 2 match 3 winners, win €35 each. Seamus Durkan and Charlie Barrett. Next weeks Jackpot is €1,860

*GAA National Draw*

Tickets for the GAA National Draw are now available from any Committee member or Senior player. Tickets cost €10 with first prize a new Opel car.

Gardaí in Milford issue van details as burglaries feared

GARDAÍ in Milford have issued an urgent crime alert on men acting suspiciously in the Ramelton and Ballyare areas.

It’s the third warning in five days in the same general area amid fears that travelling criminal gangs are casing houses to carry out burglaries.

The latest alert – issued at 1pm – is for a white Mercedes Benz van with the partial northern registration YJI.

It has been acting suspiciously near homes in Ramelton and Ballyare earlier today.

Anyone seeing a vehicle matching the description should call Milford Garda Station on 07491 53060.

It follows an alert in Ballyare and Leitir areas on Saturday involving an English-registered VW Golf.

And last Thursday suspected thieves were operating in the Killycrean area near Ramelton in a silver Renault van.


Stay up to date on Gritting Routes and Road Conditions

WITH forecasts for severe wintry weather over the coming days, Donegal County Council have urged road users to take extra care and to stay up to date on routes to be gritted and road conditions.

Met Eireann has issued a Status Yellow weather warning and is forecasting very cold wintry weather from tonight (Wednesday) onwards.  Showers will turn wintry in many places with falls of sleet and snow expected especially on higher ground. 
Donegal County Council would like to remind all road users to take extra care on the roads and to allow more time for their journeys during these wintry conditions.
Motorists and road users in Donegal can stay up to date on routes to be gritted by checking the Donegal Winter Gritting map which is an interactive map available on This map is linked to the Council's social media platforms and provides information on routes and length of routes to be gritted on any given night as well as an hourly forecast feed for most areas of the county so that users can check their local weather forecast for the next 12 to 24 hours.  It also shows locations where sand and grit stock is available for use by the public. 
Road users can also view live road conditions at a number of locations around the county and across the northwest via the Council's website. Locations include N56 at Gaoth Dobhair, N15 at Bundoran, N 15 at Lough Mourne, N15 at Killygordon, N13 at An Grianan Aileach, A515 Foyle Bridge and A6 at Glenshane Pass.
These resources have been developed over the last number of years with a view to providing road users and motorists with the necessary information to make safe driving decisions during the winter months. 
Stay up to date on road conditions and gritting plans this winter by following us on Twitter @roadsdcc @donegalcouncil or by following us on Facebook.

Milford AC News

By James Gibbons

As the New Year gets underway the vibrant local road race scene has already kicked off, with the hosting of the ‘Michael Murphy Sports 3km/5km’ in Letterkenny last Sunday.  This race usually took the form of one 5 mile route, but this year the organisers revamped the event to give competitors the choice of the shorter 3km of 5km options.  This seemed to drum up extra interest as up to 200 took part in both events.

  Milford’s Paul Russell made a return to competition in his first outing since the Dublin Marathon.  The Churchill man finishing 7th in the 5km event in 18:32.

  On Sunday also, a fundraising 5km event was held in Clady, Co. Tyrone where over 300 took part.  Philip McGovern was the club’s sole representative and in home territory, he continued his remarkable continuous improvement, running a pb of 20:12.

Up-Coming Races

This Sunday the Lifford 5km series starts in Carrigans with a 10:15am start.

On 29th January the 2nd race takes place in Strabane and on 12th February the concluding race takes place in Lifford.

Finn Valley AC are not running their 5km series this year, instead – promoting one ten mile race “The Glenmore 10 Mile” on 5th February.

Milford Series

The 1st of the Milford AC 5km race will take place on Saturday 25th February followed by the 2nd race on Friday 24th March.

The Community Games 5km will take place on Friday 14th April.

Couch to 5km

The club couch to 5km programme 2017 will commence on Monday 23rd January 2017, running for 9 weeks, culminating with the 2nd Milford 5km series race on 24th March.  The weekly programme will be as before, i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday commencing at 7:30pm sharp at the track around the football pitches at Moyle.  Cost is €50.00 for the nine weeks.  The fee will also act as club membership for the remainder of 2017.

  Over the past number of years the Couch to 5km programme has been a catalyst for setting people on the road to improved fitness and achieving running feats previously thought unattainable, i.e. completing 10km, a half marathon and in some cases – a marathon.


Juvenile training has now taken a break and will resume on Tuesday 17th January 2017.

Senior group training has resumed as normal from Tuesday 3rd January at 7:30pm and will continue on Thursdays at 7:30pm and Sunday mornings at 10:00am.  New members welcome.

Club Membership Fees

The club membership fees have been set similar to last year, i.e. one juvenile athlete €25.  2 juveniles from one family €40.  3 = €60.  Family membership €100.  Senior and master men and ladies €50.

  Club juvenile registration night will take place on Tuesday 17th January at 6:30pm.  All parents and coaches are asked to attend.  Club children’s officer Darina Ferry will be in attendance to give a talk on child protection protocol etc.  All senior and masters athletes are asked to have membership fees paid by the end of January 2017.

Milford GAA Notes

By Barry McNulty

*Dinner Dance*

After a historic season a successful Annual Dinner Dance was held on the 28th December in Mulroy Woods. It was a great night with a large crowd in attendance. Our successful U21 team from 1996 was commemorated on the night along with a number of individual awards, congratulations to all.

Senior Player of the Year: Cathal McGettigan

Young Player of the Year: Darragh Black

Reserve Player of the Year: Caolan Bolton

U21 Player of the Year: Gavin Grier

Ladies Player of the Year: Niamh Gallagher

G4M&O Player of the Year: Pauline Cullen

Scor Appreciation Award: Brendan Ward

Referee Appreciation Award: James McGinley
Club Persons of the Year: Aodh & Roisin McCormack

*Exiles Match*

Back on St Stephens Day we had our annual exiles match which was great Craic once again. It was great to see former players back from overseas and across the country dusting off their boots for the game which, funnily enough, ended in a draw once again, 6-9 to 3-18, meaning the Exiles retain their trophy! Thanks to James McGinley for refereeing and everyone who came out on the day and joined in on the fun. See you all at same time, same place next year!


*Provincial Games*

A number of our players were involved in games with and against county opposition at the weekend. Darragh Black was on the bench for Donegal in their 4-13 to 2-20 defeat to UUJ in the McKenna Cup on Sunday, while in Leinster Jonny Logue wore number 6 for Carlow IT in their 5-18 to 0-4 defeat to Offaly in the O’Byrne Cup. In Connachts FBD League Cathal McGettigan scored 0-2 for Sligo IT who lost 6-21 to 0-15 to Roscommon.

*Last man Standing*

The Minor Board are holding another Last Man Standing competition for the 2017 Allianz League this year. There is €200 to be won with €10 entry. Forms will be available from any member of the Minor Board in the coming days and also online via the clubs Facebook page.


This weeks lotto numbers were 1-14-16-20. No jackpot winner, 5 match 3 winners, win €15 each. Tara Friel, Ann Marie Hannigan, Patrick Gallagher, John Og Friel, Peter & Patricia Orsi. Next weeks Jackpot is €1,820

*GAA National Draw*

Tickets for the GAA National Draw are now available from any Committee member or Senior player. Tickets cost €10 with first prize a new Opel car.

Storm Barbara to bring 120k/ph winds to Donegal

SEVERE weather is en route to Donegal and is set to disrupt the lead-up to Christmas, with Storm Barbara bashing the north west for a 24 hour period from Friday.

Met Eireann have warned the weather system will bring gale force winds of up to 120k/ph and heavy rain. Forecasters expect the turbulent conditions to last for around 24 hours from about 9am on Friday, and have issued a yellow weather warning.
Donegal and the north coast is likely to be worst affected by the strong winds, and the gusts are predicted to affect local parts all through the Christmas weekend.
As a result of Storm Barbara, Met Eireann has advised travellers to be aware of the potential for disruption this weekend, as the yellow weather warning is in place through to Christmas Day.
However, Ireland is not expected to suffer the worst of the winter storm, as Scotland is facing wind speeds of up to 90 miles per hour during the festive weekend.
Barbara is the third storm to be named this year affecting Ireland and the UK, following Storm Henry in February and Storm Angus in November.
The decision to name severe weather systems was made jointly by the Met Office and Met Éireann following a series of powerful winter storms during 2013-14 that wreaked havoc in parts of Europe.