What became of those faces in the window?

A photograph taken 25 years ago has thrown up a fascinating story of two sisters, a cousin and Daniel O’Donnell.

It was 1997 and Donegal News photographer Declan Doherty was in Kincasslagh capturing fans as they arrived for one of Daniel’s famous open days.

Despite pouring rain and scowling wind, thousands of people queued for hours to meet the country music star.


In between snapping those in the queue, Declan managed to catch these three girls watching proceedings from the warmth of a nearby living room.
A quarter of a century after the photograph was taken, it was recently unearthed from the newspaper archives and posted on Facebook.

It took a while but eventually Pat Broomfield from Mullaghduff came forward to say he recognised the three faces at the window. Not only did he recognise them, he married one of the girls, became a brother-in-law to a second and a ‘cousin-in-law’ to the third.

From left are Hannah Forker who was nine years old at the time. Beside her in the middle is Sara Kalantari (now Parfitt) who was 16 when the photo was taken and to their right, Lisa Kalantari who was 12.

Pat, who now works as an air traffic services assistant in Edinburgh, said: “The girls lived in Scotland when they were younger. They used to come back and stay in Carrickfinn and on this occasion they were visiting their great aunt, Bridget McGonagle, who lived next door to Daniel and his mother Julia. Lisa, my wife, doesn’t remember the photograph being taken but her sister Sara does.”

Bridget McGonagle and the girls’ grandmother, Bettie Forker (nee McGonagle), had distant cousins on Owey island and would have been related in some capacity to Daniel’s mother.

Pat knew the sisters and cousin through informal encounters growing up in the Kincasslagh area. But their grandfathers were close friends and moved to Scotland at the same time when they found work.

“The girls’ grandfather Patrick ‘Pa’ Forker from Carrickfinn and my grandfather, Jimmy Micky Duffy from Carrickfinn, both moved to Edinburgh and worked together,” said Pat.


“They lived next door to each other and remained neighbours.

“Our mothers had been brought up as close family friends and Lisa, Sara and Hannah used to come back to Donegal a few times a year on holiday.”

Like many young men at the time Pat Broomfield was a regular in popular venues like the Seaview in Bunbeg and the Limelight in Glenties.

But it was during a chance encounter in Edinburgh that he encountered his future wife.

“I ended up going to Scotland to get a woman who was more or less from home. We’ve been together 16 or 17 years and we got married six years ago in The Viking in Kincasslagh.”

The couple now live in Lauder in the Scottish Borders where Pat works in Edinburgh Airport and Lisa is a senior staff nurse in the neo-natal unit in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

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