BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE ‘full house’ signs will go up at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones tomorrow as Donegal take on Down in the Ulster senior football championship final.
Some 15,000 Donegal fans are expected to flock to the Co.Monaghan venue to make it a 33,500 sell-out crowd.
The Donegal County Board says they have shipped over 9,000 tickets. With sales online and in local Centra and SuperValu stores, the Donegal support will swell to around the 15,000 mark.
“There has been a flood of sales online and the local outlets have been putting on a lot of pressure to get more tickets released, but there are very few on the go now,” said Donegal GAA Secretary, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh.
Jim McGuinness’s Donegal team is looking to rewrite the history books tomorrow. Donegal has never won the Anglo-Celt Cup back-to-back while they are bidding to become the first time to win the provincial crown two years running from the preliminary round.
“There’s an opportunity to do something really special,” manager McGuinness told the Donegal News this week.
“We’ve an opportunity to go back to back, something no Donegal team has ever done, and no Ulster team has ever won it from the preliminary round two years in a row.
“I know it’s going to be a massive occasion. It’s going to be as big an occasion in Ulster for maybe the last 15 or 20 years because it is going to be sold out. Donegal people are really getting behind their county.”
A green and gold cavalcade will snake its way from very early tomorrow morning ahead of the 2pm throw-in, which sees Donegal going in search of a seventh Ulster title in what is the county’s 17th year to contest the final. This is Donegal’s first time to contest two finals in a row since those heady days of the late ‘80s and early 90s when they appeared in five in a row between 1989 and 1993.
Attendances at Ulster Championship games are up around 10per cent this year, with crowds at Ulster games in general up by more than 20 per cent.
“For the final, the reaction of the general public has been very positive,” said Ulster Council President Aogán Ó Fearghail. “There is a serious amount of Donegal people coming home for this game – we can see this through our sales of online tickets to people abroad.”
Last year it cost approximately €1.5 million to run Donegal GAA, an increase of some fifty per-cent on the...
Ronan Whyte will travel to China in early July ahead of the competition which gets underway on July 7