Donegal holds a special place in All Black hearts. It was the birthplace of one Dave Gallaher - known as the first captain of the original All Blacks. That's just one reason why another All Black - Jerry Collins has a connection with Letterkenny.
Collins and his wife were tragically killed in a car crash on Friday morning.
Back in November 2005, Collins along with the rest of the All Blacks paid a visit to Letterkenny in memory of Gallaher. It was clear from those in attendance that it wasn't just a clever PR campaign designed to help with Irish opinion of them after the infamous spear tackle on Brian O'Driscoll on that year's Lions tour.
That trip meant a lot to players like Umaga and Collins. Umaga's passionate words about Gallaher and what his reputation means to young All Blacks sought to ensure that.
The All Blacks were kind enough to open the new pitch at Letterkenny RFC. Collins was the one who ended up breaking the champagne bottle against the rock. He managed to make a mess of it, and soaked himself. It was a measure of the man how easily he was able to laugh it off.
The peroxide bleached Collins was the main attraction of the event for the kids in attendance. The charming and laughing giant spent hours with all those he met.
Since then, there's been quite a connection between Collins and Donegal, and one that was at the forefront of minds in Letterkenny after yesterday's tragic news.
At least this morning brings better news - their two-month-old daughter is showing signs of recovery from the accident.
See Also: A Wonderful Story That Sums Up Why Jerry Collins Was Such A Fan Favourite
See Also: Toulon's Chris Masoe Had A Classy Tribute To Jerry Collins Last Night
Picture Credit Brendan Moran /Sportsfile