Skibb's Finola at Abu Dhabi ceremony to mark first Dáil

February 12th, 2019 10:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Finola Hegarty and husband Thomas Spinner at the ambassador's residence.

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A WEST Cork woman, who works for the British foreign service, was invited by the Irish ambassador to a reception in Abu Dhabi to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Dáil. 

Skibbereen native Finola Hegarty and husband, Cologne native Thomas Spinner, were invited to the reception, which was held in the residence of the Irish Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Corkman Aidan Cronin. 

Finola is a daughter of Kathleen and Charles Hegarty, and a niece of Margaret Ryan, North Street, Skibbereen. 

‘I know the Ambassador through my own job with the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi,’ explained Finola.

‘My father knew he had a relation who was in the first Dáil and thought it would be good to go and investigate, which he did. He sent me an article that he found in The Southern Star 1916 Centenary Magazine.’

The article, written by historian Eugene Daly, was about Diarmuid Ó hÉigeartaigh, Chief Clerk of the first Dáil and later secretary to the cabinet.

‘When accepting the invitation, I forwarded it to Aidan who was very impressed and asked if he could use it in his speech to the guests, which were made up of over 100 Irish residents and various other ambassadors.’ 

Finola got a special mention – to the delight of her father, Charles Hegarty, who lives in Skibbereen. 

‘A wonderful evening was had and I am always proud to be a part of this wonderful Irish community we have in Abu Dhabi. Aidan is a fantastic representative for the Irish here, always available and willing to help where he can. 

‘The next big event being the Special Olympics, with Team Ireland, when thousands of Irish volunteers will be looking after our team, hoping for big wins,’ said Finola.

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