Taste of home

Siobhan McNamara


Siobhan McNamara

Donegal students living in Derry can now enjoy a wee taste of home.

Donegal students living in Derry can now enjoy a wee taste of home.

Red pack Tayto and the unique soft drink McDaid’s Football Special are both on sale at Breslin’s Newsagents on Strand Road.

Proprietor Seamus Breslin told the Donegal Democrat: “I had so many people asking for Football Special and what they call ‘Donegal crisps’ that I just had to start selling them.

“A lot of students come in here while they are waiting for buses. Then there are the Donegal students that live in Derry. They say the red pack Tayto are far nicer than the yellow pack ones we have in the North, and they are delighted that we supply them.”

There is also a demand for the two products from Derry people who discovered them while holidaying in Donegal.

Mr Breslin said: “I have had people asking about Football Special for years. They are really surprised to discover that it is not generally available outside Donegal.

“I don’t know what it is about it, but once people try it, they seem to love it. And there is no other soft drink that is even close to it in taste.”

Seamus Breslin’s connections with Donegal go back to the 1970’s, when he used to work for newspaper delivery company WNS. He was a familiar face in the old Democrat offices in Ballyshannon and at many newsagents around the county.

When newspaper printing moved across the border, he used to collect the Donegal Democrat and People’s Press from Omagh and bring them to Donegal.

“You always had to be nice to the boys at the checkpoint between Strabane and Lifford so you could get through quickly,” Mr Breslin said. “If you got held up too long at the border, you wouldn’t get to Letterkenny before the women came out of bingo. If you didn’t get the papers delivered by then, you may as well not have bothered. It was worth about a thousand copies to get them into the shops in time.”

Breslin’s ‘Donegal Special’ deal costs £1.50 and consists of a bottle of Football Special and a bag of Tayto Cheese and Onion crisps.