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Tip O Neill Award Recipients to share their story at special events in Ulster University


This year’s recipients of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award will be taking time out to share their story prior to this year’s gala awards ceremony on Friday 20 October.


Packie Bonner, Barbara Koster, Fraser Doherty and Marty Meehan will each host a special event focusing on their own areas of expertise in the Magee Campus at Ulster University on Friday 20 October.


“We are delighted that this year’s recipients are taking the time to share their own insights and experiences in their own areas of expertise” says Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise at the Donegal Local Enterprise Office.


“Each talk promises to be insightful and inspirational.  These are outstanding individuals with wonderful stories to tell and we are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to anyone who has an interest in hearing their story first hand” adds Michael Tunney.


Well known sportsman and inspirational speaker Packie Bonner will be sharing his story in a conversation with Professor Paul Moore.   Packie who is originally from Kincasslagh in Co. Donegal had a long career as goalkeeper with Celtic Football Club and with the Irish team and has had many memorable performances for both teams.  In this conversation with Prof Moore, Packie will share the story of his life in what promises to be a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity for anyone with an interest in the life and times of this fine sportsman.


Barbara Koster is the chair of Pramerica Systems Ireland Ltd and is one of the founding members of Pramerica along with noted Irish Americans Bill Friel and Bob Golden.  Barbara’s commitment to Pramerica in Donegal has been steadfast for over 17 years since it was first launched in 1999.  Pramerica now employs over 1,400 staff in it’s campus in Letterkenny.  In this audience, Barbara Kostner will share her insights on what makes for successful inward investment and she will undoubtedly draw on her own experiences with Pramerica. 



The remarkable story of entrepreneur Fraser Doherty MBE is not only inspirational but compelling and is one that must be heard by any budding business person.  Frazer Doherty MBE is the founder of the 100% fruit jam company – Super Jam.  He started his business at the age of 14 using his Donegal grandmother’s recipe and has gone on to sell millions of jars through thousands of stores around the world.  Fraser loves business and loves to inspire those who are starting out.  In this one-off event in the Students Hub in Magee Campus in Derry, Frazer will be sharing his thoughts on how to energise your start-up.


Marty Meehan was appointed President of the University of Massachusetts in 2015 and is no stranger to the north-west region.  He served in the United States Congress from 1993 until 2007 and was deeply involved with the Northern Ireland peace process.  During his time at UMass Lowell, he established the Centre for Irish Partnerships fostering collaborations and partnerships with educational institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Letterkenny Institute of Technology is a partner of the Centre for Irish Partnerships.  In his audience Marty Meehan will consider the role of politics and education in economic development.


Admission to these talks is free, however, places are limited and booking is essential.  To book your place call 074 91 60735 or online


These events are being held as part of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award celebrations which will take place on 20th and 21st October. 


The Gala Tip O’Neill Award Ceremony will take place in An Grianan Hotel in Burt on Friday 20th October at 7pm.  Tickets cost €25 and can be purchased by calling 074 91 60735 or online

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