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Three Reasons Why Donegal Will Win The All-Ireland

Three Reasons Why Donegal Will Win The All-Ireland
By Conor Neville
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Splendid Isolation

'Arise Knocknagoshel, and take your place among the nations of the earth!'

Like the small village of Knocknagoshel in Kerry, Donegal has always boasted a highly independent streak. Because of its remote location, Donegal has always operated at a slight angle to the rest of the country.

With the six counties of Northern Ireland nestled in beside them and the arguably more terrifying prospect of the rest of the Republic of Ireland below, Donegal folk  have dealt with it all by pulling up the drawbridge (psychologically speaking) and building an (at least metaphorical) wall around ould Donegal.

They are the great refuseniks of this nation.

If it were up to Donegal, Ireland would have left the EU, divorce would still be illegal and Dana would have gotten mighty close to the Presidency.

There's every chance (at least according to one Fianna Fail politician 'up there') that the county will say 'No' again next Friday.


This is the kind of defiant spirit that produces great football teams. They have a siege mentality in every other aspect of life, it's time to make that pay when it comes to football.

The Kerry of the North

Donegal is really just the Kerry of Ulster. The same wild coastline, the same romantic reputation, the same appeal to tourists looking for their roots.

Despite their success in the modern era, the role of honour still points out that Kerry have 37 All-Ireland titles and Donegal have two. This is a bloody outrage. There is an assumption that charming Donegal, with their lack of 'tradition', will be content to rest for a few years, safe in the knowledge that they have won enough All-Irelands for this generation.


This is nonsense. One glance at the roll of honour should leave them ravenously hungry for more.

Assistants often do their predecessors when they get the hot seat

When their spiritual leader/messiah moved on at the end of last year, Donegal kept their next appointment in-house.

One can only presume that the Donegal county board chairman is a follower of Liverpool FC and an ardent admirer of 'the boot-room'.


We know now that Liverpool rose to even greater heights after the ebullient and charismatic Bill Shankly, who much like Jim McGuinness had taken his team from the depths of irrelevance to the pinnacle of the sport, stepped down and the quiet and undemonstrative Bob Paisley assumed the mantle of leadership.

The best is yet to come for Donegal.

Read more: The Balls.ie Photo Tribute To Donegal GAA Fans

Read more: Three Reasons Why Offaly Will Win The Football All-Ireland

Read more: Kerry - The Lost Years.... 1987-1996

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