The Donegal Democrat marked 100 years of publication this week and many people sent us good wishes and told us about their personal links with the paper. Here Marion Fitzgerald from Bundoran, a well-known entertainer, a former Bunratty singer and a broadcaster on Ocean FM, tells us of fond memories of the Democrat:
They say everyone’s DNA tells a story and the Democrat over the years has told millions of stories to us the readers.
It was always part of the Fitzgerald Household and indeed if we missed getting to the shop in time we could always depend on my grandparents to have a copy handy & when they had gone through it from front page to the back we would get it then. My mother who passed away in January of this year going through her positions has so many cuttings of us from the Democrat.
It was an important part of the week to read the Democrat, I remember my Grandfather looking at the planning permission. For me I loved the pictures, as a child the Democrat would attend the Feis in Rossnowlagh and all our pictures were there in Celebration of the medals & cups won. Taking part in the Pantomimes down through the years on Bundoran and indeed coming home from Bunratty to do the musicals in Ballyshannon and all the pictures in our costumes there in all our splendour promoting the events.
As I got older and started going out it was the paper to go to and check out the dances in the Holyrood and get so excited when you would see the Horselips were coming to Astoria Ballroom and the countdown would begin to the great night out.
In those days too the annual dinner dances in Bundoran / Ballyshannon were a big event in the social calendar and afterwards the people of the towns in all their finery would appear on the pages of the paper.
Of course, a very important tradition and still to this day is the opportunity to remember our loved ones who have passed on and amazingly enough as is the Death Notices on radio a very integral and sympatric way of honouring and keeping their memory alive with family and friends.
Living in London after I got married we loved getting the paper through the post each week it was the strong link to home and our roots and keeping us up to date with what was going on. If we missed out for some reason we would drive to the Irish shop in Willesden, I’m not sure if the Irish shop is still there but thank God the Democrat is.
All the best, Marion Fitzgerald