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Donegal county board hit back in row over All-Ireland homecoming

The Ulster county have described talk of a homecoming after the September 23rd final as ‘premature’ and ‘unhelpful’.

Donegal supporters celebrating during their All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork.
Donegal supporters celebrating during their All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

DONEGAL GAA CHIEFS have moved to quell the controversy surrounding the team’s homecoming after the All-Ireland final by insisting that the county executive, along with Jim McGuinness’s management team and the Donegal players, will decide on the issue.

In an official statement released this evening on the Donegal GAA website, the county board have hit back at claims by the Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce that it was time for a homecoming to take place in their town rather than the traditional location of The Diamond in Donegal town, where the post-match reception took place after the Ulster final victory over Down in July.

The Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce had contended that it was only fair if there was a new venue for the homecoming to facilitate supporters in the north of the county and as a goodwill gesture to recognise the support of business people in the town.

But the Donegal county board have branded such talk as ‘premature’ and accused ‘certain media outlets in conjunction with persuasive groups and some elected representatives’ as being responsible for generating the story.

The statement in full reads:

“The County Executive in conjunction with senior team management and players, will decide on the issue of a homecoming. Talks of a homecoming at this point are entirely premature and the focus should be on match preparation rather than events after the final. Media reports today claiming that a huge row has broken out among Donegal GAA fans are false. This story has been generated by certain media outlets in conjunction with persuasive groups and some elected representatives. This is most unhelpful as we prepare for our second ever All Ireland final.”

The debate will be viewed by manager Jim McGuinness as an unwelcome distraction as he attempts to gear his charges up for their meeting with Mayo on September 23rd when Donegal attempt to win their second ever All-Ireland title, twenty years after their maiden triumph against Dublin.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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