The prestigious Donegal Person of the Year award for 2018 will be awarded to global endurance athlete Jason Black.

The announcement was made by the chairperson of the Donegal Association Dublin, Kevin McFadden, at an event in the Black Door, Harcourt Street this evening.

Mr Black becomes the 41st recipient of the Donegal Person of the Year which was first awarded back in 1978 and he succeeds the 2017 recipient former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given.

Jason was the first Donegal person to summit Mt Everest (2013) and the first person from the Republic of Ireland to successfully ascend and descend K2, a feat he completed in 2018.

The official award of the Donegal Person of the year will be made at the Donegal Association Dublin’s Annual Gala Ball on 2nd March 2019 at the Balsbridge Hotel in Dublin.

President of the Donegal Association Dublin, Mr Hugh Harkin, said: "The Donegal Association Dublin is delighted to recognise Jason with the Donegal Person of the Year Award for 2018. His achievements in the arena of global endurance sports, charity ambassador, together with his work as mental health advocate, and representative of Donegal, make him a very worthy recipient of the Donegal Person of the Year 2018.

Chairperson of the Donegal Association Dublin, Mr Kevin McFadden said: “On behalf of the association I would like to thank all those who took the time to nominate people for the Donegal Person of the Year award. The committee has spent the past months reviewing all the nominations and as with any year, it was a difficult process to select one individual above others. However, we have no doubt that Jason is a deserving recipient and will be a fantastic Donegal Person of the Year and bring great energy to the role.”

Jason Black said he was absolutely delighted to receive the award.

“I receive this incredible award as a very ordinary man, raised in a very ordinary home, surrounded by an extra ordinary community of people," he said.

"My adventure life has taken me globally to some of the most remote yet beautiful and iconic locations in the world and to stand there as a very proud Donegal ambassador is truly an honour.

“Witnessing first-hand the fierce challenges and struggles people I meet on a daily basis has empowered me to inspire the youth of our community to never be afraid of life, to embrace all its challenges and believe in yourself. Most of all be proud of who you are, what you are, where you're from, and what you stand for. The greatest gift we have as human-beings is to make a difference in other people’s lives. I'm very humbled to accept this award as it inspires me to continue my work with schools & communities in my county, where together we're stronger"

The announcement event was attended by members of the Donegal Association Dublin, members of the wider Donegal diaspora in Dublin together with representatives from Donegal County Council.

The Donegal Association Dublin’s Annual Gala Ball is on 2nd March 2019 at the Balsbridge Hotel in Dublin.

Tickets are available from the Donegal Association Committee Members and by emailing [email protected]

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