The Donegal Book of GAA Facts - the unique collection of records of Gaelic Games in Donegal - has been updated for the eighth time.
On Thursday last in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny members of the press gathered along with the author Fr Seán Ó Gallchoir, for the launch of the latest edition, which runs to 364 pages.
This unique production is the GAA bible for everyone involved in Gaelic games in Donegal and we are indebted to its editor and historian, who has given so much time and patience to meticulously piece together reports, appearances, scorers, etc., of every game played.
At the launch Fr Seán, welcomed everyone, members of his own family, friends from Cloughaneely and St Eunans and members of the press.
He recalled his first steps into recording GAA material back in 1979 with a 12 page county finals booklet and then progressing to the present format of Book of Facts in 1985. There were many anecdotes of his work which Fr Seán delivered in his own inimitable way.
We all remember his diaries which were carried in the Donegal GAA Yearbooks of the 1980s and the full itinerary he carried out as a teacher, referee, coach, manater, actor, delegate, commentator - a man of boundless energy. And he remains driven, always on the go.
He recalled the journeys for the research with many visits to the Democrat offices in Ballyshannon and the Donegal News archives in Omagh, as well as trips also to the Derry Journal.
The latest update was undertaken during the Covid lockdown and he paid tribute to his brother Pól, who undertook the work of typing his transcribed work on to a digital platform.
He also thanked his secretary Caroline McGee for all "her obliging, helpful, efficient work" and Peter Campbell and the Donegal Democrat for providing the photographs for the latest publication.
The last Book of Facts was in 2014 so the latest production has updated all the records. It also has added a new feature, a record of Donegal Ladies teams and scorers. Indeed, something new being added is a feature of each edition of the book, which is unique in Ireland.
Also included is a personal poem in tribute to Donegal captain, Michael Murphy The poem reflects on the celebration of Murphy when Glenswilly won the senior championship in 2016.
Fr Seán thanked Browne Printers for the wonderful production and he also paid tribute to all the media in Donegal who, he said, provide a wonderful coverage of Gaelic games in print, radio and now on social media.
In reply for the media, Charlie Collins, thanked Fr Seán for the great work he has continued to do to keep the GAA records in the county.
The book will be available in outlets throughout the county. At present it is available in Letterkenny in Michael Murphy Sports and in Four Masters Bookshop in Donegal Town. It is also available in some clubs in the county and anyone interested can make direct contact with Fr Seán.
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