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Donegal and Celtic – A Link Unbroken

11 October 2022

As I begin to write up this month’s article for More than 90 Minutes Celtic Fanzine it is with a heavy heart as the news from Donegal filters through. A horrific accidental gas explosion ripped through a garage/shop and apartments in the small village of Creeslough in north Donegal with 10 people losing their lives.

A Mother & son, a farmer, a 24 year old fashion designer, a lady working in the store, a father & daughter personifying the migrant community, a guy originally from Sydney, a 14 year old girl rugby player, and poignantly a Scottish guy with Donegal roots domiciled in Creeslough and a Celtic man, Martin McGill.

The news stunned Donegal and the whole nation and to Irish around the world, probably the worst accident ever to happen in the county which holds Celtic in its heart.

Martin McGill was preparing to go to the Leipzig game in Glasgow. He would have travelled on one of the Donegal Celtic Association coaches which would leave Gaoth Dobhair and Letterkenny for the Champions League  game.


His photo which was released after his passing showed him in his ‘Hoops’ jersey. It somehow was so fitting that in his death his love for our wonderful football club was his epitaph.

A man who showed his love for his elderly Mother by moving to Donegal and his love for Celtic by his choice of heart.

Fittingly Celtic football club issued a heartfelt statement sending condolences and contributing £10,000 to the support fund set up after the disaster, also a minute silence will be held before the Leipzig game and the players will wear black armbands.

The link with Donegal was paramount in our suffering as the club the Donegal diaspora helped set up responded in a fitting manner.

Ar dheis De go raibh ar h-anam dilis

Paddy was born in Belfast with Donegal and Tyrone parents. He spent the 70’s in Long Kesh. He has been going to Paradise since the Benfica game in Nov. 1969. He lived in Donegal for 30 years but now lives in Galway. He returned to University at 50 and became a secondary school teacher of history and English.