The Donegal Democrat launches ‘Yesteryears’ - a photographic trip down memory lane

Donegal Democrat Reporter


Donegal Democrat Reporter


The Donegal Democrat launched a new book  - 'Yesteryears'  in the Central Hotel in Donegal town on Thursday night last. A photographic trip down memory lane, Yesteryears focuses on the late late 1960s, 70s, 80s and early 90s and provides a snapshot of life in Donegal.

“If a photograph captures a moment in time, then Yesteryears, captures hundreds of ‘moments in time’ and presents them in an easy to view, very attractive format, this is truly a beautiful book and a wonderful concept,” Donegal Person of the Year, Stephen McCahill said when he launched the Donegal Democrat’s latest publication.

Mr McCahill spoke of the important role the Donegal Democrat plays in representing his communities across Donegal.

“At a time when rural communities - my own in particular in Ardara - feel more than a little under siege, what with the closures of garda stations, post offices, and as you will be more than familiar with this week, the closure of two local Ulster Bank branches, one in Raphoe and the other, much closer to home for me, their branch in Ardara, the role of local newspapers like the Donegal Democrat, comes into sharp focus,” he said.

Mr McCahill said the Donegal Democrat sits at the heart of rural communities in the county: “Over almost one hundred years - the Democrat will mark its 100th anniversary in 1919 - what we regard as our local newspaper, has highlighted the issues of the day, and has acted as a flag waver, as a mirror and as our champion on issues that sit at the heart of rural communities.”

The Chairman of Donegal County Council, Cllr Terence Slowey said the importance of photography in terms of telling the story of the day, is huge.  “As the book’s foreword says, the impact of photographs and photography generally is huge and this eclectic collection of photographs reminds us of people and places from the past - and as alluded to by the publishers - not the distant past - but times that are often no more than 20 to 30 years ago which still surprise us.  

“Time moves on so quickly and that’s why publications like Yesteryears  by the Donegal Democrat are so important.

“They play an important role in reminding us of our past, recent or otherwise and this beautiful collection of images gathers together several hundred distinct moments in time and will, for the rest of time hold them together between the covers of this book.”

Sports Editor at the Democrat, Peter Campbell spoke about the history of photography in the Democrat during his thirty plus years with the paper and remarked on the huge changes in technology and presentation formats now used by the newspaper and online.

Michael Daly, Editor of the Donegal Democrat said Yesteryears offered a mix of photographs that reflects the spirit and the sense of community of the people of Donegal: “We have included photographs from as many areas and as many interests as possible, farming, sport, politics, but in the main people are the key ingredients here.”

He thanked the speakers on the night, all who attended the launch, those who had supported the book by way of advertisements and he thanked the advertising and editorial staff of the Donegal Democrat for their assistance and support and the Central Hotel for their help. He paid a particular tribute to the many photographers whose images are reproduced in the book.

Yesteryears, which runs to 164 pages and is in A4 format, is priced at €10. It is available at the Donegal Democrat’s offices in  Donegal Town and will be available in outlets throughout Donegal in the coming days. For information on securing a copy of Yesteryears, call 074-9740160 or email

To view a mix of photographs from the launch and the book just click on the arrow on the top right hand side of the first image in this gallery.