Philly McMahon held the best forward of his generation, Kerry’s Colm Cooper, scoreless in the All-Ireland football final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Philly McMahon is right: the conversation this week should have been about his success in keeping the most celebrated forward of his generation sco(...)

Donegal’s captain Aoife McDonnell after defeating Waterford in the 2010 All-Ireland Intermediate final at Croke Park. McDonnell has returned to the squad after management changes. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

It’s almost three years to the day when the headline on understated it just a touch: “Cork Prove Too Strong for Donegal”. How stron(...)

Donegal’s Patrick McBrearthy closes in on Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea during the All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

“Who else do you want to be playing?” said Keith Higgins, throwing the question right back at us. So Mayo-Dublin comes to pass, certainly answering so(...)

Donegal’s Frank McGlynn tackles Galway’s Paul Conroy at Croke Park. “This year, with the two weeks’ recovery after the Ulster final, that has made a big difference.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Two years on and Donegal and Mayo meet again in an All-Ireland quarter-final – only that’s where the similarity largely ends says Donegal defender (...)

Ryan McHugh celebrates his goal in Donegal’s Championship win over Galway. Photograph: Inpho

Football has followed the pattern of hurling in this year’s championship by underlining the accuracy of league rankings. It was noticeable in this yea(...)

Donegal captain Michael Murphy caused Galway’s defence plenty of problems during the  All-Ireland round 4B qualifier at Croke Park. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

For the Donegal footballer coming to Croke Park is an explainable joy. They have climbed from the northern trenches where Tyrone, Armagh, Derry and Mo(...)

Colm McFadden looks on as Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty scores his side’s opening goal at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Donegal 3-12 Galway 0-11 Twenty eight scoreless minutes notwithstanding, the growing theory that Donegal are a team past their peak can be mome(...)

Ryan McHugh of Donegal in action against Monaghan’s Darren Hughes during the Ulster SFC Final in Clones. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ryan McHugh calls. Or rather, he calls back. “Sorry, hi. Just on another call there.” Which he was, to The Irish Times in fact. He’s replying to a (...)

Donegal’s Michael Murphy was much less influential against Monaghan than he had been in previous games in Ulster. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Possession in Gaelic football has never been more significant – the battle to keep it, now as much as winning it. In consecutive weekends domin(...)

The Ulster SFC final between Monaghan and Donegal this year made for unpleasant viewing. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

We are remorselessly reassured of Gaelic football’s evolution. There’s a presumption of advancement in that. So whatever else modern-day Gaelic foo(...)