Donegal 0-5 Meath 1-7 – Second half helps Meath seal the win.

By Patrick Sharkey,

A wide in the first minute made it hard for Meath. Donegal opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Susan White. Niamh O Sullivan then responded three minutes later with the opening point for the Royal ladies.

It went 10 minutes without any scores before Katie Long got a Donegal point. Aoife McColgan then made a big save for Donegal against a Byrne shot through on goal. Galloghy however then got herself a Meath point in the 23rd minute. Susan White then got her second point of the game. Stacey Grimes then got a point at the stroke of halftime for the royal to level it. The halftime score read Donegal 0-3 Meath 0-3. It was a low-scoring first half but if Susan White gets enough of the ball there is no doubt Donegal can trouble Meath a lot.

Meath began the second half on the front foot with Stacey Grimes and Niamh O Sullivan getting a point each.

It took until the midway point of the second half for Donegal to get going with a point from Ciara McGarvey.

Meath, however, was having none of it and Mary Kate Lynch got a 45th-minute goal to help the Royal pull.

Susan White however got back in gear in the 49th minute as she managed to get a point to help Donegal.

Meabh Byrne however showed her magic in the Meath shirt as she then managed to get a point to widen the gap between the Royal and the hills to four points. Meath made good use of their substitutes with Alva Leahy getting a point. The full-time score read Donegal 0-5 Meath 1-7. Meath proved all the doubters wrong today.

Donegal: Aoife McColgan, Katie Dowds (0-1), Evelyn McGinley, Emer Gallagher, Amy Boyle Carr, Jodie McFadden, Tara Hegarty, Shelly Twohig, Roisin Rodgers, Saskia Boyle, Kate Long (0-1), Louise Ryan, Susan White (0-3), Shannon McGroddy, Ciara McGarvey (0-1)Subs: Nicole McLaughlin for Jodie McFadden (43) Subs: Nicole McLaughlin, Ava Walsh, Niamh Carr, Connie Walsh, Shauna Higgins, Cait Gillespie.

Meath: M McGuirk, A Sheridan, MK Lynch, K Newe, N Gallogly (0-1), S Ennis, A Clearly, M O Shaughnessy, A Minogue, M Thynne, M Byrne(0-1), C Smyth, O Callan, S Grimes (0-2), N O Sullivan (0-2)Subs: Shelly Melia, Rachel Casserly, Alva Leahy


“We managed to connect with local people” – Are livestreams here to stay?

A busy man!

As part of safety protocols to resume our Gaelic games in a safe manner there has been limited or no spectators depending on which area of the island you were on for games. Streaming has been implemented for many club games throughout the country from Under 12 regional finals right through to senior county championship finals, which would have most likely not been broadcasted in normal times.

Image may contain: text that says "C-LIVE SPORT"
The company!

Malin GAA clubman Callum Doherty Harley volunteered to help his GAA club steam their games onto their Facebook page. The GAA fanatic shines a good light on the live steams saying: “Very successful that we managed to connect with local people who are living in the likes of America, Australia, and South Africa and so on. The fundamental principle set out by me and Pat (Inishowen GAA board member) was to satisfy the loyal supporters who were not allowed to attend after a decision made by the government that angered the majority of Malin GAA fans.”

Image may contain: text that says "LIVE NOW"
Did you watch much livestreams?

The live stream commentator added: “However, the fact that we used Facebook live, we had no expenditure. We had a sponsor that donated a sum of money every game. I found that on average we had 400 people online during the game but within the week I noticed that 10,000 people had viewed the stream. The feedback was exceptional. Through tough times we thought it brought 60 minutes of joy on a Sunday morning or afternoon. We tried to add in stories, jokes and an odd bit of slagging to add a bit of excitement. We had a statistic analysist (Liam Mooney) who came in every water break and a few interviews at half time, as you witnessed for yourself. Very little hassle for a big reward. It also helped that we won the games we streamed.” Malin are the most Northern club on the island.

However in ever roaring success there is a blip and this was no different for the live stream coverage up in Malin.

The live stream organiser puts a negative light on the location where Malin happen to be in. Doherty Harley explained: “As for network, it wouldn’t be the best in the North West as this affected the visual. Also I, pat and John Farren noticed that 60 minutes of blabbering meant the whistle was crying out for at least 6 cups of tea afterwards”. Many locations of games had to change in order to provide better coverage with a strong signal in the area such as the Donegal senior hurling championship between Buncrana v Saint Eunans which had to be moved from Hibernian park in Burt to MacCumhail Park in Ballyboffey due to poor broadband in south Inishowen. A lot of areas will suffer as a result of the broadband speed which could pose for a major challenge for the next club season.

Most GAA clubs struggle to pay their bills ever year so live streams aren’t exactly top of the Agenda.

Whilst club volunteers went above and beyond to provide live streams for game, private companies took interest too and many of them were set up as means to profit from the demand of passionate fans. Some clubs got sponsors on board to ease the financial burden of getting high quality live streams for their games and other county boards introduced GAA pay per view system to watch club games. The big question is would these live stream companies be back in business whenever grounds can hold a full capacity once again and ant mention of Covid 19 can only be found In history books instead of news bulletins?

Sean Quirke from C-Live sport feels their first year is business was quite successful due to the pandemic. Sean Quirke talked about their live streams they have done saying: “I suppose in general for the ones we have done, we have been pretty lucky that we haven’t had any major roadblocks or anything or anything major like that”.

Quirke added: “The key to it I suppose will be testing, testing and when you’re finished with that doing more testing. It’s usually a general rule of thumb that you go to the location a few times, test the internet, test your equipment but still thing you could get you cached off guard.”

“Other guys that were streaming as well down the country and around here (Donegal), like they would have tested as well but something managed to catch them off but in a general sense I think streaming it’s about to go up a level in sports like the GAA.”

“I think sports streaming, especially the GAA relatively still in its infancy. There have been issues with it but I think our own live streams were very successful if you look at that. I think the speed of it and how rapid people had to adapt to it, it was pretty successful.” YouTube has provided the platform for live streaming since 2011.

Mr. Quirke Claims the pandemic was not the only reason for setting up C-Live sport in 2020. The Buncrana native made it clear: “Yes so I suppose live streaming was always an idea or a concept there”.

The C-Live sports graphics operator added: “If it wasn’t anywhere near the lever or the demand, it might not have been there initially but it was growing I felt. I remember seeing a statistic and I don’t want to quote anybody but there is a statistic out there the majority of people now when they watch different types of media or anything like that they’ve got it online basically so it can be obviously not sport but things like Netflix, streaming movies, and things like that. A lot of people use those things so that’s the same for sport as well with the whole idea or the concept that people will move online to get local sport as well. Online doesn’t restrict. You know somebody on the other side of the world can be watching you know Buncrana GAA club when it is just a normal league game for example but I suppose that whole concept was there but what we have done is really excelled it, kind of ignited it. I think that idea or conception was always there with the demand through Covid when it was given that spur on to go and the demand was there.”

Whilst the live streams have built their following for local sporting events with crowd restrictions, it also important to notice it has built on from momentum from international statistics firm Zentith which shows more people consuming media from the internet rather than TV in 2019.

Costs and equipment available will have to come into play for local GAA clubs to stream games whenever the demand won’t be as high.

GAA clubs will only be able to get a certain high degree of quality and may be unable to compete with the likes of RTÉ and TG4.

Different low budget recording equipment which was used in the summer could help once again come back into action and any economist would tell you the more demand for a product, the lower the price will be. Malin GAA games commentator Callum Doherty Harley said:” We used an Ipad complete with a mic set.”

Doherty Harley added: “You could go as far as using a drone connected to a Kodak, but again that all cost big bucks”.  Come next summer you might see a drone flying around Connolly Park in Malin.

The million dollar question is will the demand exist for live streaming club games again whenever fans can fill out grounds again. Callum believes: “Yes, we have a massive fan base across the Atlantic. We have to cater for them also”. The Irish diaspora in North America could keep live streams going for many rural clubs.

It is without doubt live streams could help promote the club game in the long term and glamorize it.

With players playing with their clubs first in the resumption of our Gaelic games we have seen perhaps club action at its best. The former NUIG student believes the live streams are the only way forward for the club game saying: “Times are changing fast and you have to change with them”.

Challenges still will also exist for companies too. Sean Quirke made it clear: “Thankfully we have been lucky in some of the locations we have used. For example we have used everything from hard wired internet connection from someone’s house. We have used you phone signal such as 4G basically through a phone and hot spotting it.”

Sean added: “People kind of expect things to go perfectly as well. I suppose it’s not just people’s expectations, it’s the expectations you put yourself under. You obviously want to provide something people can watch, that it’s flawless I suppose that thy watch it and they don’t have any problems or concerns, with skipping, freezing or anything like that”.

“No one could have ever predicted”-Gaelic Games and the coronavirus, two weeks on

Any State ban pertaining to the access to public parks could see the GAA do similar with its own property. (stock photo)Further games to be postponed. Photo
Credit;stock photo

tomorrow it will be two weeks since  GAA, LGFA, and camogie association decided to suspend all games and training until March 29th, however it has been extended and we talk to representatives from all three organizations to see if it has worked two weeks on.

GAA to reveal League fate amid expected cancellation
The gates are shut. photo credit; Irish examiner

GAA Zone Spoke to the Inishowen GAA chairman Gerrard Callaghan about their response to Covid 19 two weeks on. The Burt native said: “As you see on Facebook of each club, trying to keep people busy with old photos, skill challenges and advising everyone to be cautious about spreading the virus.”

Multiple GAA Clubs have been posting different coronavirus related information on their social media.

Diffrent training has been sorted. Photo Credit;
Sky Sports

The Covid 19 Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic has been unexpected by many. Callaghan said: “No one could ever have predicted such times.”. The Coronavirus now has over 1,000 cases in the Republic of Ireland. There are now big questions about when games will resume.  The Inishowen GAA representative claimed,: “No one can say, but it could be quite a long time, with a restricted program for what will be left of 2020”.The GAA has not announced the national league has been postponed. However, if a player wants to train individually using their club’s pitches, insurance will not cover them. Mr.Callaghan outlined that “All clubs were informed by Croke Park, nothing to do with us locally.”

Croke Park had it's say. Photo Credit; Tom Grealy

Many people involved with the GAA in the Inishowen are wondering about local club competitions.

Gerrard Callaghan had proposed that: We will probably have to (shorten), at least some of them may have to be played as a knockout”.

also applies to the LGFA. Photo Credit; RTE

Straight knockout has also been proposed for senior hurling and football inter-county championships. GAA Zone also caught up with the Donegal LGFA secretary Michelle McKenna.

Cork and Galway contested the 2019 final - and it was looking like the same would happen this year.LGFA is the governing body for
Ladies Gaelic Football. Photo Credit;Bryan Keane

McKenna says: “thank god all our measures are working well so far”.Training and matches have been canceled until further notice. The Ladies Gaelic Football Association has made all the national leagues Null and Void. Michelle McKenna talked from the Donegal camp saying ” the girls were really looking forward to their next few games, they had really done good against Cork and we were working hard and it was starting to come together for us, the group was growing in confidence, I was at the last few games and to see the girls improving at each game was down to their hard work at training and commitment to the group under manager Maxi Curran, they were really going to give the next few games a good run.

Gary Fahy of Galway lifts the Sam Maguire in 2001, the year when the GAA had to cope with the disruption caused by  the foot-and-mouth crisis. Photograph: Andrew Paton/InphoThe
2001 season was halted on a tempory basis due to the foot and mouth 
disease. Photo credit; Andrew Paton

But as things stand now we just have to accept the guidelines under Croke Park and hopefully, we all stick together as a county and country in fighting this virus and hopefully, we will be back to play championship football”. The LGFA has said it would make a decision on the championship in due course. Michelle McKenna took the role of Donegal LGFA secretary in early 2020. The Buncrana GAA Club woman said: “never expect anything like this, it’s a shock to everyone, we are lost without our football, meetings, planning, and all the traveling to games, etc it’s just such a big loss, but we have to remain positive that we will come back stronger than ever and we all survive this time of been apart and to maybe spend the time planning on what next and we will video conference in the next week or so and make plans on different scenarios in the county, depending on how long we are out, we are no different to other counties, we will have to pull together help our clubs all 37 of them in Donegal and we are there to support them and assist them at this very trying times that we are going through, our county and ulster coaches along with club coaches are sending out drills and challenges for girls to do at home, all they need is a ball and a wall.”

The GAA hasn't yet given up hope of completing the National Leagues. Photo by Sam Barnes/SportsfileCroke Park will give the go ahead when it
is ok. Photo credit;Sam Barnes

Video conference calls have become more popular during the covid-19 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Questions have been asked of different ladies’ football club championships in Donegal. The Donegal LGFA secretary has outlined: “We will decide what we do next when we have our conference video call, we will plan different ideas, few ideas coming in from clubs, at the minute we let things sit and we will chat as an executive at the county level and follow guidelines from Croke Park and ulster and come up then with a plan, hopefully by that time we are well over this ordeal, but for now our members, their families, and neighbors are the most important, getting them all through this virus now is our priority, sometimes our members might ring, only for a chat someone wants reassurance, some of our young members are frightened and parents contact us to ask for a distraction, Ciaran Murtagh from Ulster coaching been sending out stuff and Croke Park been sending out colorings, etc and different drills, etc.

The GAA are set to scrap the league

So if the championship happens it does and if it doesn’t we will all survive and come back next year but am been very positive we will be playing championship this year.

GAA: Could we see a return to the  format when Kildare last won Leinster
Kildare V Carlow in the 2019 championship. Photo Credit; Leinster 

please God, and Donegal ladies will win the All Ireland”. The Donegal senior ladies will be aiming for four Ulster championships in a row.

Other Sports have the same treatment. Photo Credit; Seb Daly

Questions have been asked if the GAA and its insurance policy will also apply to ladies.

Joe Canning believes county teams will need three weeks to get up to speed
Training on club grounds will not be covered by insurance. Photo Credit;

The former Fine Gael local election candidate made it clear that: ” insurance will not cover anyone on clubs grounds as all activity is canceled that why all clubs had to close their gates”.

There have been calls from former Donegal footballer Darrach O’Conner to have pitches open.

GAA Zone was speaking to the chairperson of the Derry camogie board Dympna Dougan.about Covid-19.

Dougan said: “Well there is nothing happening so there is nothing to say.” On the 29th of March, the government in the Republic of Ireland banned all mass gatherings but the GAA, LGFA and camogie association decided to ban all games and training on an all Island basis. However, while football and hurling games and training were postponed last week, the schools were still open and classes were running as normal in Northern Ireland. The Derry camogie chairperson said, “It’s hard to get your head around that there were no matches or training going ahead but the schools were still going on”.

That was changed as the British government announced that all schools closed last Friday until further notice. Many camogie players would need to be made aware of the insurance policies if they use the pitches for individual practice. The Maghera woman claimed: “I don’t know what the insurance situation is, to be honest, but I know all the pitches and the gym in our own club are shut down.” GAA Zone would advise that camogie players do not use their local club’s pitches or gym facilities as insurance may not cover you. A lof Gaels are wondering when the games and training sessions will be back up and running?


Dympra Dougan expressed it saying: “Some people are saying a month but others are saying the schools won’t be back until September or October. If it goes on this long there might not be any championships this year at all”.

The Camogie Association are expected to make their decision if the championship is going ahead in due course. A lot of people involved with camogie in Derry are curious about how club competitions would be laid out.

Dympra Dougan gave a perspective that: “In a lot of counties seasons would be shortened but we (Derry camogie board) could find it difficult depending on the time we have to work with but we don’t know how many more weeks it is going to be”. It is all up in the air but many club competitions were set to begin on the first weekend of April, however, it is expected to get started later. Feel free to leave your comments in the comments section below.


Patrick Sharkey

GAA Zone Founder
If a GAA team was a Disney character...The GAA might 
only have one option for the National league.

Donegal do the clean sweep in Ulster- football championship round-up

Well, guys, it was a good weekend for the Donegal teams with three wins coming in all three Ulster championship games which Donegal teams were taking part in. The big one was the Donegal senior football champions Naomh Conaill of Glenties coming up against the Cavan champs.

Senior Ulster football championship: Naomh Conaill win

When speaking to Charlie Collins from the Donegal sports hub, Naomh Conaill manager Martin Regan was full of praise saying “Definitely, it was a good performance anyway. I thought in the first 45 or 50 minutes there was a lot of brave stuff. Taking everything else into context it was a remarkable performance. We were out on our feet after Wednesday”.

Intermediate Ulster football championship: Naomh Nallie win

Peter Campbell from Highland radio spoke to Naomh Nallie manager Barry Meehan after the game when he said: “Aye, I’m very happy”.

Junior Ulster football championship: Buncrana win

Darrach O Connor spoke to GAA Zone after the game when he said ” “Very unbelievable feeling when we were three down you kind of think it’s gone but we kept trying and got over the line. Nothing won yet so it’s important to come down to earth quickly”.  The Jigger claims he has little knowledge of Balck Hill saying “Nothing at the minute but they beat a damn good team in the semi-final so We will be up against it”. O’Connor was delighted with a fortnights rest saying “Yeah it certainly helped me but because of the weeks rest. U21s had a game and we lost Ben Bradley to injury but it definitely helped.”

Click here to read the full interview and match report.

U21C  Donegal football final: Burt win

Burt U21 football manager Ciaran Dowds spoke to Chris Mc Nulty from the Donegal sports hub when he said “Yeah it probably was a fair result and that but after 15 or 20 minutes hi Newton really did put it up to us hi. We kind of had a bit of a head scratch on the sideline”.

Patrick Sharkey

GAA Zone editor





September 21st – September 22nd, 2019- Donegal masters and championship roundup

In what was a very busy weekend in the Donegal Championship and the with the masters winning it was time for us at GAA Zone to round up the action happening.

Senior championship Round-up

1st place teams: Naomh Conaill, Gwedore, Kilcar, Milford

2nd place teams: Killybegs, Saint Eunans, Bundoran, Glenfin

3rd place teams: Sean MacCumhail, Saint Micheal’s, Termon, Glenswilly

4th place teams: Dungloe, Ardara, Malin, Four Masters

“We were concentrating on the two home games this year” – Cunningham

With Hugh Mc Fadden and co down in Killybegs, Charlie Collins from the Donegal sports hub was talking to their manager John Cunningham about progressing to the quarter-finals. Cunningham said with delight “It’s excellent surely after having two away games last year as we stayed up in the home game just about. That’s why we were concentrating on the two home games this year”.

Intermediate championship

1st place teams: Cloughaneely, Naomh Columba, Aodh Ruadh

2nd place teams: Naomh Bríd, Naomh Colmcille, Saint Nauls

3rd place teams: Red Hughes, Fanad Gaels, Naomh Mhuire (lower Rosses)

4th place teams: Naomh Ultan, Burt, Downings

“I’m disappointed” – Gallagher

Burt player Darren Gallagher described his frustration at his sides 4th place finish saying ” I’m disappointed after the start to the season we had. But we have a relegation playoff to win next week”.

When asked about the toughest opponent this season so far, Gallagher responded saying “It was probably Downings”. Darren Gallegher talked about the downfall of Burt saying “We lost too many key players to injury”. The Burt man has full belief Burt can stay up saying “Yes need to get the heads right and go at whoever it is”. When asked about the best player so far Darren said it would be “Sean Mc Hugh or Stephen O’Donnell”.


Junior championship

1st place teams:  Letterkenny Gaels, Buncrana, Urris

2nd place teams: Moville, Na Rossa, Convoy

3rd place teams: Naomh Padraig Muff, Robert Emmets, Carn

4th place teams:  Naomh Padraig Lifford

“I’m delighted” – Oisin O’Flaherty

Buncrana captain Oisin O’Flaherty expressed his delight of the Scarvey men getting all six points saying “Yes, I’m delighted with six points”. When asked about the toughest opponents in the group O’Flaherty said: “Both Na Rossa and Carn were equally as tough”.

Talking about Darrach O’Connor being back he said: “having the Jigger back has been very important”. Oisin believes “Once you get into the knock-out rounds things start heating up”.

When asked about the best player the Buncrana captain said: “ah look it’s really hard to pick out an individual over the last few games collectively we have been decent”.

All-Ireland Masters final: Donegal 0-9 Dublin 0-7

Donegal’s master’s team are All-Ireland champions after a superb two-point win over defending champions Dublin in yesterdays final. Fair play to everybody involved in this.

Donegal edged the Dubs by two points at Ballyleague in Roscommon to claim the Master’s crown. The Donegal team featured a good mix of former inter-county players and non-inter-county players.

Donegal led 0-4 to 0-2 at the break with Ballyshannon’s Michael Ward grabbing three of the first-half scores and Barry Monaghan landing the other. Donegal kept their lead at two points until the end. Donegal was also solid in defense having not conceded any goals to this Dublin side.  After this game yesterday it is the end of inter-county football for 2019.

Dublin played with the aid of the stiff wind in the second half, but they were unable to topple a determined Donegal. Donegal looked well-drilled and every man knew their role on the pitch. Donegal just took full advantage of the wind on their side in the first half.

A wonderful point by  Monaghan added to the Tir Chonaill tally, with John Haran, McCarty and Monaghan leading the way, the Donegal men, managed by Val Murray, took the win.
Charlie Doherty and Packie McGrath, the Donegal joint captains, took receipt of the silverware. This here was a sweet victory for a side that lost in the semi-finals last year.
Donegal: Gerard McGill; Charlie Doherty, Donal Martin, Packie McGrath; Kerry Ryan, Sean McDaid, Barry Monaghan (0-
2); John Haran, Charlie Bonner; Peter McHugh, Brian McLaughlin (0-1), Johnny McCarty (0-1); Seamus Friel, Peter
Devlin, Michael Ward (0-5).
Subs: Mark Cannon, John McFadden, John Anthony McMullan, Michael Canning, Liam McGroarty, Paul Gallagher,
Benny Cassidy, Adrian Doherty, Seamus Ferry, Gary McGinty, Vincent Kennedy, Barry Dowds, Michael McLaughlin,
Maurice McBride, Dermot McColgan, Charlie Gallagher, Sean Boyce, Gary Gillen, David Murray, PJ Gallagher.

“I’m relieved it’s all over” – Ward

Aodh Ruadh club man and Donegal Masters player Micheal Ward talked about the game yesterday to ocean FM saying “I’m relieved it’s all over and what a second half from the lads”.

Intermediate ladies football final: Buncrana 2-11 Saint Eunans 1-06

Buncrana has officially booked their place in senior ladies football next season by winning against a fancied Saint Eunans side. The Scarvey girls should be happy winning.


Patrick Sharkey

GAA Zone editor