Mark McHugh’s brother Ryan has come in to the Donegal side to great effect following Mark’s departure to the US. Photograph: Inpho.

With every rehabilitated step that Donegal have taken this summer, thoughts have turned to Mark McHugh. The Kilcar player, who won an All Star when(...)

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness celebrates the final whistle with Neil McGee and Eamonn McGee after beating Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The starting point is worth repeating. In the autumn of 2010, Jim McGuinness took charge of a Donegal team who had been beaten to the point of perpetu(...)

Dublin’s Dermot Connolly is grabbed by Donegal’s Neil McGee following an incident that resulted in a straight red card for Connolly. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

In the furore that surrounded the Dublin-Donegal championship match of three years ago perspective counted for a lot. For some there was fascination i(...)

 Brian McEniff celebrates with manager Jim McGuinness after Donegal’s 2012 All-Ireland football final victory at Croke Park.

They hadn’t won an Ulster championship match in four years, were renowned for their lack of discipline rather than adherence to it, and yet Brian McE(...)

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness: “We’ll need to be on our toes from the first minute against Dublin. We’ll need to implement our own game plan from the very first minute.”

Maybe 2011 still matters. Jim McGuinness seems to be employing the same philosophy; the attempted shaping of a sport that leaves itself open to manip(...)

Donegal’s Kevin Cassidy and Dublin’s Bryan Cullen during the 2011 All-Ireland football semi-final. “Yeah, it’s definitely an All-Ireland that we let slip.” says Cassidy.

It’s well established that Jim McGuinness and Kevin Cassidy have an uneasy history. Cassidy, Donegal’s two-time All Star wing back, contributed(...)

Donegal’s Martin McElhinney, Christy Toye, Colm McFadden and David Walsh celebrate winning the Anglo-Celt Cup. Photograph: Russell Pritchard/Inpho/Presseye

Old Ulster is dead. In other decades, Donegal came and went like mayflies in the northern theatre but yesterday they won the Anglo-Celt Cup for the th(...)

Cormac Costello celebrates a goal against Wexford in the Leinster semi-final. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

There’s something about Dublin that feels familiar to me from my own football career and that’s the unbreakable confidence that teams acquire from con(...)

Monaghan’s Cormac McManus will pose a huge threat to Donegal in the Ulster final. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

They might be giants. In what seems like the blink of an eye, Malachy O’Rourke has transformed a Monaghan team with a great future behind it into a s(...)

Mark McHugh opted out of the Donegal panel before the start of the championship, claiming a loss of appetite for intercounty football. Photograph: Inpho

Any sign of Mark McHugh? It’s the question that won’t go away as long as Donegal stay involved in the football championship, and team captain Michael (...)