A report in the Donegal Democrat/People’s Press on Monday last caused a boom, albeit a very temporary one, for several hotels in Dublin, after our sports department printed a headline story indicating a change of venue for the much anticipated Donegal clash against Tyrone.
Initially there had been genuine concern that Donegal were about to lose home advantage against the Red Hands, with suggestions that the clash be moved to Clones to cope with the expected large crowds from both counties.
However, Roscommon native, but by now an adopted Dungloe man, Tom Comack, sports journalist with the Democrat, brought the whole scenario a step further on Monday last, stating that the match had been moved to GAA headquarters in Croke Park.
Our story, in its own way proves the power of our newspapers as it caused a flurry of phone calls to several Dublin hotels to book accommodation.
Bundoran councillor and hotelier, Sean McEniff said, “It was nearly like a run on the banks. From early on Monday morning the phones in both the Camden Court and the Grand Canal were hopping with people from both Donegal and Tyrone looking to book accommodation for the weekend.
“I believe my brother Brian’s Skylon Hotel was also experiencing a similar demand.
“Obviously the management and receptionists were delighted with the sudden surge in demand and I will have to admit that as most of them would not be from Donegal, they were totally taken in by what I would regard as one of the best April Fool’s jokes in a good while.
“I’m sure the people in Ballybofey got a bit of a shock when they read it early on a Bank Holiday Monday, given what preceded the whole episode but all I can say is full marks to the Democrat - it certainly worked and gave us all a great laugh!”