Author: Gerard Cunningham

  • Doctor Who?

    Donegal Democrat The spire on O’Connell St, finally set in place this week, so naturally the pub quiz trivia question wasn’t far behind. Apart from the spire, what other monuments line Ireland’s premier street? Well, the first two are easy. There’s ‘the uncrowned king of Ireland’, Charles Stewart Parnell and ‘the Liberator’, Daniel O’Connell, bookending […]

  • The brother can’t look at an egg

    Donegal Democrat So there’s myself, an Englishman, and a Scotsman, and we’re discussing the good old days. The Scotsman is relating how when he was a “bairn”, the teachers would give him a whack for speaking Scots Gaelic. Worse, having got the whack for speaking Gaelic, he then switched to the other language he knew. […]

  • Fit and fitter

    Donegal Democrat There’s a different level of fitness among GAA players these days, but then again, there’s a different attitude too. I was talking to a footballer a while back, he rambled about an player from a generation gone by, who told him how the team would bicycle thirty or forty miles, play a game, […]

  • A licence to print money

    Donegal Democrat When I originally wrote this piece, it was simply a way to fill a few hundred words in a weekly column. I wrote it, emailed it off, and thought no more of it. Last year, I found out it had come true. Someone out there really is making money off this idea. I’m […]

  • In Praise Of The Norsemen

    Donegal Democrat A thousand years ago, a group of warriors set out by sea and land on a series of voyages that would change the world forever. During the Viking era, the Scandinavians were by far among the more advanced and worldly of European societies. Vikings were often multilingual; many had travelled the world from […]

  • Last of the Tallymen

    Donegal Democrat Back last May, as the general election campaign was drawing to a close, I had an idea for a story. It was to be called Last Of The Tallymen, a soft focus look back at the unsung foot soldiers of Irish democracy, the men with the pencils and the clipboards. I’d hoped to […]

  • The Donegal Top Ten

    Donegal Democrat The BBC has been making a lot in the last week of its list of ‘100 Top Britons’, with various fans exhorting viewers to vote for their own idols from the Top Ten. Some of the Irish national newspapers even got in on the act last Sunday, building their own lists of 100 […]

  • The Rock & Roll Years

    Donegal Democrat Yer man approached me over a quiet pint in the pub last weekend. He had a look of quiet seriousness on his face that bespoke the gravity of his mission. “I liked your piece last week,” he said, parking himself in the seat beside me. “Oh grand, thanks. I was just so fed […]

  • Generation Gap

    Donegal Democrat So there I was, down the country for a country wedding, and after the belt-bursting meal and the speeches they finally wheeled out the band, and for the first few rocknrolly songs the young ones bopped away. Then the band slowed it down a notch, and the creaky arthritic fellas got up to […]

  • Another Year Over…

    Donegal Democrat That’s that then. The GAA is over for another year, or at least, the All-Ireland is. There’s the National League starting up after the Australia games of course, and at county level some championships and leagues and shields are still being played out, but the main event is over for another year. Despite […]