Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty: has been in exceptional form. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Ulster SFC preliminary round Donegal v Tyrone, Ballybofey, Sunday, 4.0 (Live RTÉ2) Since the 2013 encounter between the counties fortunes h(...)

St Mary’s captain Trevor Brennan with his son Daniel after defeating Lansdowne in the club final in 2000. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

This weekend 15 years ago I played in arguably the last great all-Ireland club final. There were four British and Irish Lions, internationals, and out(...)

Donegal’s Mark McHugh in action against Mayo in the 2013 All-Ireland final. He is the only one in the squad with a winner’s medal who did not experience last year’s final defeat. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Who could blame Mark McHugh for having mixed feelings on the morning of the All-Ireland final last year? After his masterly turn as playmaker and swee(...)

 Eoghan O’Gara of Dublin surrounded by Donegal men at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer / Inpho

Dublin 2-10 Donegal 0-11 A terrific Jack McCaffrey goal seven minutes from time clinched a first win of the 2015 Allianz Football League for Du(...)

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(...)