The Donegal Association in Dublin was founded as a result of a tragedy – the Aranmore disaster, which occurred on the night of the 9th November 1935, when 19 islanders lost their lives on the short sea journey home from Burtonport.
As soon as the news broke a few Donegal people living in Dublin came together to offer whatever aid they could to the dependents of those who perished. A concert was arranged in the Gaiety Theatre on the 24th of November at which many entertainers gave their time freely for this worthwhile cause.
From this sprang the Donegal Association, a vibrant association with a strong membership. The Association organizes the annual Donegal Person of the Year award and in recent years has added Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh and Dr Joe Mulholland to its list of illustrious Persons of the Year. The distinction was first awarded to Fr.James McDyer in 1978.