20 years ago when I covered the All Ireland final build up for this newspaper, things were done a little differently. We were using spools of black and white film and getting pictures from Croke Park or anywhere else was a big deal and took a lot of time. There were no lap tops and twitter was something a bird did.
In I992 we had three days to bring all the reports and pictures together from that memorable final.
Last Sunday the pace at which communication has changed for us and everyone else in the media game was brought home to me when I pressed the send button at one minute to ten in the Skylon Hotel and sat back and marvelled at the fact that less than five hours after the final whistle had sounded, we had sent an 88 page paper to print and before the week is out we will have produced a second 44 page broadsheet with the big match taking priority as the county continues its love affair with the senior football team.
One of the great changes of course is the use of social media and since Sunday and before, we have been getting lots of photographs and stories sent to us via Facebook (Facebook: Donegal Democrat) and Twitter (@dgldemocrat) and the world has become a very small place.
Our Facebook timeline has been busy and it’s brilliant to see how Donegal people are celebrating this fantastic Donegal victory across the world.
One photo really caught our attention, sent from celebrations at Paddy Rooney’s pub in Havertown, Pennslyvania so we decided to try and find out a little bit more and hit the jackpot when a Raymond McGroary, from Letterbarrow, responded to explain how the photo (included right) came about:
“Just thought I’d drop you a wee line with some of the details on how the picture came about. My name is Raymond Mc Groary and I’m originally from Letterbarrow outside Donegal Town. Paddy Rooneys is a small bar in Havertown, Pennslyvania where a lot of the Philadelphia/Irish crowd gather to watch the GAA sporting events. “On Sunday the 26th we all gathered for the 10:30 (USA time) throw in, The place was packed with about 80 Donegal fans and 10 Cork fans. The atmosphere was magic through the first half as the two teams went point for point.
“At half time we all agreed that the first half was “mighty”. Then with our feed of Irish bacon, Irish sausages and black & white pudding in us, we were ready for the second half. As Donegal began to pull ahead the Cork fans began to grow more and more quiet. For ten of them, they were fairly loud in the first half. THEN!! The Cork goal....The Cork fans got very loud again chanting & singing away. But the Donegal people didn’t seem frazzled. We knew the end was near and when the final whistle sounded the place erupted into cheers and (as we are in America) high fives all around the bar.
“The Cork fans were very gracious & I overheard one of them saying to a Donegal man “good luck in the final, your team played mighty stuff”. Then four Cork fans offered to take pictures of all the Donegal fans outside the bar. One of those is the picture you have posted on your facebook page. Out here we are all from different counties, but when the games are all over we are all Irish...... Having said that, we are looking forward to another lively day at Paddy Rooney’s Pub with either the Mayo people or the Dubs! All the best from Philadelphia.” Raymond Mc Groary. If any readers have stories and photos, keep sending them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on Twitter @dgldemocrat or find us on Facebook: Donegal Democrat