Euro 88 - celebrating on the street at Letterkenny's Downtown Bar. PHOTO: Brian McDaid
Snapshots is an exciting photo competition for readers of DonegalLive.com and our associated newspapers the Donegal Post, Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press and the Inish Times.
We would love you to send us your best old photographs and be in with a chance of winning some great prizes.
An old photograph can stir up a lot of memories and not just for the people in the photo and their loves ones. A photograph can transport those viewing it back to the time in which it was taken. Sometimes that can be bittersweet, but this particular photograph brings us to a time of great jubilation.
Read on to find out more about Donegal in 1988 and for details on how to enter our Snapshots competition.
You'll never beat the Irish - Euro 88 celebrations in Donegal
Euro 88 was a coming of age for Ireland, not only in soccer but in terms of holding our own on a bigger stage.
Under the guidance of Jack Charlton, the Republic of Ireland soccer team reached the finals of a major championship for the first time.
The country was still in the grip of a dark period of unemployment and mass youth emigration.
Nowhere was this felt more strongly than in Donegal, where every single day, London-bound CIE international buses were packed to capacity with young men and women taking the journey across the Irish Sea.
There was little hope on the horizon. But all that was about to change.
Gary Mackay’s late goal saw Scotland beat Bulgaria in Sofia in November in 1987. The Scotsman’s goal was momentous for us. It meant that Ireland topped Group 7. We were going to the Euros.
Euro 88 was hosted by what was then West Germany. It is hard to imagine now that there were only eight teams in the final, making Ireland’s success in qualification all the more significant.
The eight teams were divided into two groups of four, with the winner of each group to play the runners-up of the other group in the semi-finals.
Ireland were in a group with the Netherlands, the former Soviet Union and England.
Fans had travelled to Germany in their droves. This was an occasion not to be missed. Those who stayed home were glued to television screens in homes and bars across the country.
It certainly felt like fate that the old enemy England were Ireland’s first opponents. The match played in Stuttgart on June 12, 1988 went down in history. Ray Houghton’s goal was the only score of the match. It was a huge statement. Ireland were not there to make up the numbers. They had punched well above their weight throughout the game to snatch victory from the mighty England.
Next stop was Hanover with the former Soviet Union as opponents. Ronnie Whelan’s goal helped secure a 1-1 draw.
Then it was on to Gelsenkirchen to face Holland. Ireland needed at least a draw to get through to the semi-finals. It wasn’t to be. A late Dutch goal meant that Ireland were out of the tournament.
But an irrevocable change had taken place.
Chants of ‘You’ll never beat the Irish’ still echo from that era. We were underdogs no more.
Enter our Snapshots competition
We have all become used to scrolling through the galleries of photos on our smartphones but what about those much-loved print photographs stashed away in the attic, in a box under the bed or in that “miscellaneous” drawer in the kitchen?
Are they destined to be forgotten forever in the digital age?
Well, it’s time to dig them out and show them some love.
We want readers to take a photo of those much-loved print photos and send them to us.
Whether it was taken a few years ago on an instant camera or a few decades ago, we want the photo that stands out for you.
It can be from a social event, a landscape shot, a funny pic or even a holiday snap - we want them all. Yes, even those dodgy “look at the state of my hair” debs photos!
Send us your photos
We want you to dust off the golden oldies, take a picture of your old picture and email it to us.
We will feature your pictures in both our print and online editions. In addition to running your images on DonegalLive.ie and our social media pages we will also carry two pages of your images every week in the Donegal Post, Donegal Democrat and Inish Times.
We will run a poll every week on DonegalLive.ie and our weekly online readers can vote for their favourite image of the week. Two winners will go forward every week, leaving six of our readers' images going forward to the grand finale with a chance to win our amazing prize package.
The overall winner as voted by the public will win the fantastic prize.
To enter, all you have to do is send your photos to email@example.com and we will do the rest! Don’t delay!
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email firstname.lastname@example.org To contact Donegal Post, email email@example.com To contact Inish Times, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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