Clonmany is a small village in rural Donegal. On the edge of the village is a long, narrow single-story building with a tin roof. This plain building is home to World Champions. This is the home of Clonmany Tug of War club, who train here in the autumn and winter nights, pulling together for another tilt at European and World glory. They build them big, and they dream big, in Clonmany.
One clubman is fulfilling a lifetime ambition after his bid to host the 2020 World Indoor Tug of War championships was successful. Big Danny McGonigle has dedicated his life to the sport he loves and the Clonmany club that he helped start over 40 years ago. Big Danny is one of the most respected figures in the Irish and international tug of war scene. He’s also one of the most successful competitors in the sport.
The club is also an integral part of the local community and plays an important role in fundraising for the local community centre, which provides a range of services and activities for the area. This close-knit community has overcome recession, emigration, and floods to remain strong and united.
Pulling Together: Big Danny, Clonmany…and the World will air on Sunday July 30th at 7am, repeated Saturday August 6th at 9pm, Episode two will air Sunday July 2nd at 7am, repeated Saturday July 5th at 9pm. The program will also be available as a podcast on GoLoud and all major platforms.
The World indoor championships are held every two years and will take place at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny in February 2020. The championships will attract up to 1,000 competitors and spectators from around the World to Letterkenny. But in the weeks leading up to the championships there is growing unease about a strange virus from the east, Covid. Would Big Danny’s dream be scuppered?
‘Pulling Together’ was produced and edited by Jim Doherty with the aid of funding from the BAI’s Sound and Vision scheme.