The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards return for 2022, the anchor event as part of the Donegal Connect Festival Series. The awards take place at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana on 23rd September 2022. Among the awardees for 2022 is Moya Doherty, known to many as the co-founder of Riverdance, who hails from Pettigo in County Donegal.
Moya grew up in Pettigo before making the move to Dublin as a 7 year old with both her parents being primary school teachers. Moya’s parents, Daniel and Patricia, were both from Dungloe and there is still a sizeable contingency of family residing in Dungloe today.
Moya was the commissioning producer and originator of Riverdance which has just celebrated its 25th global anniversary. She is the founding director of Tyrone Productions which has worked with leading directors to create widely acclaimed productions. She is a writer and broadcaster and her work in radio, television and live performance (including producing the televised Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympic Games in 2003) has seen her recognised with honorary doctorates from Ulster University, NUI Maynooth and University College Dublin. She is presently Chair of the RTÉ Board.
Awarded Donegal Person of the Year in 2015 Moya said then “It is a huge honour for me at a certain stage of my life. I think when you come to my age you have a greater sense of appreciation and understanding of your roots and heritage, and relationships and community and sense of place and space”.
Speaking now ahead of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards Moya said “To return to Donegal is always a joy but to return to be honoured as part of The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards is a double joy. I hold fast to the memory of my grandparents, grand aunts and uncles who flowed with the river of the Donegal Diaspora in decades past to those familiar unfamiliar foreign lands."
"Many returned, many did not but there was a richness in all those who journeyed as the heartbeat of Donegal was always within”
A short video entitled ‘The Rhythm of Life’ showcases the life to date of Moya Doherty