Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher speaking to reporters at last year's count in Letterkenny
This week the Donegal Democrat celebrated 100 years in business, here Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher offers a personal perspective on the impact and importance of the paper:
I want to take this opportunity to wish the Donegal Democrat the very best on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the newspaper. In many ways the Donegal Democrat has shadowed the very journey of this state, founded as it was at the very birth of our nation at a time of the struggle for independence and nationhood of our country.
In the 100 years since the first edition of the Democrat, the changes which our nation has undergone could never have been anticipated or foretold but in the intervening 100 years the Democrat has reported the news of the day, the changes in our time and it has been the one constant in our lifetimes and those of our forebears.
Nowadays we tweet, we text, or we Facebook, but in 1919 less than 10% of Irish households had electricity, little or no phones to be had , the only modern communication available in 1919 was the telegram and that was reserved for conveying bad news more often than not.
It was in that context that the Donegal Democrat found its niche, it made the distribution of news and communicating of information more readily available to the general public.
I myself as a young fella in Dungloe made my pocket money selling the Donegal Democrat, and it was always easy to sell, because it was the main source of weekly news and updated the issues that mattered. I also recall when meeting the diaspora right across the world how important the Democrat was to them, with issues being posted to them or more laterally issues being made available to them online. The Democrat was always the link with home.
In conclusion, again I wish to congratulate all in the Democrat for the work they do in bringing the news to the homes of Donegal and our people right throughout the world. We also remember those journalists and staff who have worked with the newspaper from its foundation to present.
Even with the challenges of social media, and the instant news popups on our iPads or iPhones, the Donegal Democrat has still an extremely important role to play in delivering quality journalism and the news that counts. Print still has a future despite what some pundits predict . Fads and trends come and go but with 100 years of history the Democrat is the bedrock of news delivery, journalism and the reporting on the life and times of County Donegal.
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher T.D.
Leas Cheann Comhairle of Dáil Ēireann,