As a nation we are obsessed with the weather with practically every conversation starting with the familiar words “Not a bad day to day” or something similar - when the sun is splitting the stones we quietly wish for a few showers and in the depth of Winter we long for those lengthy Summer evenings.
This is not just confined to Ireland - throughout the world we have witnessed the development of all inclusive portals for weather related information which have tapped into the huge interest among Irish people.
Like all things we have witnessed immense change and in the last few months Donegal’s first dedicated weather channel has attracted interest from across the world.
Appropriately named The Donegal Weather Channel, its founder Kenneth McDonagh kept his identity secret from his 5,000 Facebook followers up until last week when he revealed his background to the Donegal Democrat.
The Ballyshannon man who is only 19 years old and also a student of nursing in Magh Ene College in Bundoran explained, “When I set up my Facebook page I never realised that it would prove such a hit but it soon became apparent that people have an insatiable thirst for weather information and they want to know local conditions.
“I decided to keep my identity secret as to be honest I didn’t want to be walking down the street and everybody asking me “What do you think it will be like today” or “I wonder what it will be like for the match on Sunday?” - I would never have been able to focus on my studies or getting a bit of work done.
“As the numbers grew both on Facebook and Twitter I knew that I was going to have to devote more time to the site and indeed consider ways of further developing it.
“I suppose after today’s article many people are going to be much more familiar with Donegal’s weatherman!”
Kenneth recalled how he always had an interest in the weather even as a young child and how he would listen to both weather and sea forecasts but always felt that Donegal was being ignored except when they were predicting bad weather.
“I can vaguely remember Sean McEniff out in Bundoran threatening to sue the weatherman on television who he claimed was always predicting “a wet front is moving in over Donegal Bay” even when the sun was hopping off the stones along the beaches on Rossnowlagh and Bundoran.
“He may not have changed the actual weather but he did manage to change a lot of perceptions about the weather in Donegal.
“Of course we get our fair share of rain but at least we are able to handle it unlike other parts which seem to end up flooded!
“At present the page is getting approximately 1,000 views per day and the amazing thing is that these are coming from every corner of the globe - New Zealand, Australia, Europe and America. It seems that wherever there is a Donegal person no matter where in the world there is a hunger for information from back home.
Ken’s channel can be found at Donegal Weather Channel on Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org where he welcomes all feedback and contributions.