The side from west Donegal hosted and won the first national event back in 1969 and have lifted the championship seven times since, making them the most successful side in the competition’s history.
With Donegal county panellists Neil and Eamon McGee on board, not to mention the outlawed Kevin Cassidy, the side managed by Seán ‘Nancy’ Gallagher might be favourites to add their first since 2007 at home in Magheragallon.
A year ago it was Gweedore’s neighbours and rivals Cloughaneely who kept the trophy in the north-west. A torrential downpour meant TG4 had to hastily move the cameras from Páirc Naomh Fionnán to the nearby secondary school, PCC Falcarragh, for the final but the hosts maintained their composure as they defeated Galway’s Moycullen 0-11 to 1-9.
Gweedore and Cloughaneely will be joined by Fanad Gaels from Donegal and previous winners An Cheathrú Rua from Galway, Cork’s Naomh Abán, Kiltane of Mayo along with An Rinn from Waterford and Kerry’s Dingle in the senior competition.
Cloughaneely’s win last year completed a Donegal men’s double as the junior championship also stayed in the county, thanks to Naomh Mhuire from the Rosses toppling Laochra Loch Laoi from Belfast, 0-14 to 0-13.
Naomh Mhuire and Laochra Loch Laoi join Donegal county champions Termon, Galway’s An Cheathrú Rua, Clann na nGael from Meath and Na Gaeil Óga of Dublin this year.
Donegal have also had a stranglehold on the ladies’ championship in recent years and on Bank Holiday Monday Termon will go for an All-Ireland three-in-a-row as they face Kilcommin from Mayo in the final. In the junior ladies on Sunday, Gweedore will play the winners of today’s semi-final between Laochra Loch Laoi and Na nGael Óga.
Comórtas Peile Náisiúnta na Gaeltachta 2012: Innu: Sinsear: Cill tSéadhna, Maigh Eo v Naomh Abán, Corcaigh Páirc an Chlubthi, 10.30pm; Laochra Loch Lao, Béal Feirste v Naomh Naille, An Pháirc Úr, 11.30pm.
Sóisear na mBan: Laochra Loch Laoi, Béal Feirste v Na nGael Óga, Baile Átha Cliath, Pobail Scoil, 1pm.
Sóisear: Clann na nGael, Mí v Naomh Mhuire, Tír Chonaill, Páirc an Chlubthí, 1pm; Cill tSéadhna Maigh Eo v Ceathrú Rua, Gaillimh, An Pháirc Úr, 2pm.
Sinsear: C/Cheann Fhaola, T/ Chonaill v An Rinn Ó gCuannach, P/Láirge, Páirc an Chlubthi, 3.30pm; Daingean Úí Chúise, Ciarraí v An Cheathrú Rua, Gaillimh, An Pháirc Úr, 4.30pm.
Sóisear: Gaoth Dobhair/Tearmann v Na Gaeil Óga Baile Átha Cliath, Páirc an Chlubthí, 6pm.
Sinsear: Cill tSéadhna, Maigh Eo/ Naomh Abán, Corcaigh v Gaeil Fhánada, An Pháirc Úr, 7.30pm.
Amarach: Sóisear na mBan: Laochra Loch Laoi / Gaeil Óga (BAC) v Gaoth Dobhair, Tír Chonaill, An Pháirc Úr, noon.
Sóisear Fir: Cill tSéadhna/ v Laochra Loch Lao /Sean Phobal, An Pháirc Úr, 1.30pm; G/Dobhair / Tearmann / Na Gaeil Óga v Clann na nGael / Naomh Mhuire, Páirc an Chlubthí, 3.30pm.
Sinsear Fir: Gaoth Dobhair v Daingean Uí Chúise / An Cheathrú Rua, Páirc an Chlubthí, 5.45pm; Cloich Cheann Fhaola /Rinn Óg Cuanach v Cill tSéadhna /Gaeil Fhánada, Páirc an Chlubthí, 7.30pm.
Dé Luain: Cluiche Ceannais Sinsir na mBan: Tearmann v Cill Chomáin, Páirc an Chlubthí, noon.
Cluiche Ceannais Sóisear Fir: Páirc an Chlubthí, 2pm
Cluiche Ceannais Sinsir Fir: Páirc an Chlubthí, 4pm.