Brexit means “Business as usual” for Donegal Tourism

Earlier in the week, I ventured out West to Gweedore in County Donegal with a few journalists/bloggers to visit the town and see some of the local sights. Yet one issue that was on my mind was Brexit. We have heard many business leaders North and South give their views over the past year about the UK leaving the European Union & the possible economic consequences for many industries locally, particularly tourism. Gweedore is less than 50 miles from the … Read more

Somme: May Trench Raid – death of a great great uncle

Tonight is the one hundreth anniversary of the death of my great great uncle during a German bombardment of the trenches after a succesful trench raid by the Ulstermen – a talk was recently held in the Masonic Hall (the old Tamlaght  / St Lukes Church of Ireland Church Hall), Coagh on Private Robert Sands and other men from Coagh who died in the Great War. In this centenary year of the Battle of the Somme the tragic and brutal slaughter of the Great … Read more

TG4’s #GE16 Donegal poll strikes a sour note for Sinn Fein’s primed public expectations…

Not quite sure what Sinn Fein’s thoughts were on how it pitched their third candidate as a realistic contender for a seat. But a poll released this evening (with +/- 5% error margin) by TG4 suggests what our constituency profilers spotted: ie, that it was never a realistic bid in this election. Donegal Constituency Individual Candidate Support   (Number 1 Preference Vote) Pearse Doherty  (SF) 19% Charlie McConalogue  (FF) 17% Joe McHugh  (FG) 13% Pat the Cope Gallagher  (FF) 13% Pádraig … Read more

#GE16 #Donegal: Big push from ‘the Cope’ should ensure Fianna Fáil takes one back…

Donegal Current TDs Donegal South West Pearse Doherty TD (Sinn Féin), Dinny McGinley TD (Fine Gael), Thomas Pringle TD (Independent) Donegal North East Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD (Sinn Féin), Charlie Mc Conalogue TD, (Fianna Fáil), Joe Mc Hugh TD (Fine Gael) Total seats in 2016 General Election: 5 Donegal is a new 5 seat constituency which has been created by the amalgamation of two former three seat constituencies. Additionally, almost 9,000 people from south of the county have been unceremoniously dumped … Read more

15 years on…how has boom and bust changed Lawrence Donegan’s Donegal?

Conor Johnston writes about how County Donegal has coped with the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger Lawrence Donegan’s excellent ‘No News at Throat Lake’ (Penguin, 2000) about his year in Creeslough, North Donegal, not only explains why the successful journalist and musician took to living in rural Ulster and covers his time playing GAA for the local club despite no knowledge of the sport at all, but also includes his time working as a writer for the local Tirconaill Tribune … Read more

Photo of the day – Milky Way Ablaze over An Port, Donegal

Photo by Brendan Alexander, Taken on November 15, 2014 Brendan says: The final shot from my trip to the enchanting famine village of An port in southwest Donegal, Ireland (15th November 2014). In the image the Milky way shines over the the lobster pots, boats and a solitary cross commemorating the passing of a Scottish man in the late 1800’s. Brendan has some fabulous photos on his site, well worth a look. Brian O'NeillI help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by … Read more

“Are you going to pay your water charges, Gerry?”

To pay or not to pay water charges was the question of the week for the southern wing of Sinn Féin.  In the north, things are completely different…  Under pressure from former MEP Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the party’s candidate in today’s by-election in Dublin South West, Cllr Cathal King, had majored heavily on his opposition to the charges during the campaign – telling potential voters that he won’t pay, and would fight his bill in the courts. His party … Read more

Patrick McGinley’s ‘That Unearthly Valley: A Donegal Childhood’: Book Review

In Bogmail and Foggage, Patrick McGinley sent up the Irish (could he or it be otherwise?) murder mystery genre. He scooped dollops of encyclopaedic wit and mordant satire into these entertainments. A later saga proved more somber and meditative, the Black and Tan War ending as The Lost Soldier’s Song, while The Trick of the Ga Bolga updated a mythic showdown around his native village of Glencolmcille, on the blustery coast of Donegal. This novelist left the Glen for boarding … Read more

Celtic and/or Donegal: Jim McGuinness’s unenviable dilemma?

“Don’t do it Jim” is all I can hear in the back of my ancestral Donegal head. But it would be hard blame Jim McGuinness for taking a pretty cool package from Neil Lennon’s Celtic Football Club. It’s not as though he’s unqualified: McGuinness, who has a masters in sports psychology, has struck up a good relationship with Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a former Armagh minor footballer, while the club’s administration are known to have been impressed by his achievements … Read more

#BigFatFootball Hangout: All Ireland Final Day

So, how’s this going to go? Answer: I’ve no idea… I’ve done quite a few hangouts now, with #DigitalLunch and #MainStreetMatters, but never for a live sports event… I’m going start up the hangout at about 2.30pm and send an invite to all who’ve said they coming or maybe coming… If you’re busy don’t feel obliged to respond… You can come and go for as long or short as you like… It’s going to be broadcast to YouTube (I’ll post … Read more

50% of all new residential planning permissions in Donegal were in unzoned land…

What do Irish people north and south seem to have a similar problem with. Planning, it seems, although it is hard to find anywhere in Northern Ireland that compares with the scale and sheer anarchy of the Donegal system. It a statement An Taisce pointed out that Donegal had over 5,500 acres zoned for housing in 2010 which was enough for 180,000 people. Despite this 50% of all new residential planning permissions c ten years was for land that was unzoned. … Read more

Victim claims Ferry was working at Scoil Colmchille until the day he was arrested

It’s worth listening to this studio interview with the young man, Derek Mulligan, who has spoken out about the sustained abuse he suffered as a young man in Derrybeg, Gaoth Dobhair. It’s distressing, not least the details of what happened and where it left him, and the suidical state it pushed him into. But the detail worth noting here is that Mulligan is adamant that his abuser, Michael Ferry, was working at the Ard Scoil Mhuire right up to the … Read more

So did Scoil Colmchille employ Ferry knowing he was an offender?

Interesting snippet from the sex abuse case in Donegal on the BBC site A director of Scoil Colmchoille, the Irish College that operates at Ard Scoil Mhuire, in Derrybeg, said on Tuesday that a formal statement from the school in relation to Michael Ferry would be issued before the weekend. Donal O’Lionsigh told RTE that Ferry had “no employment contract as such”. He also said there were “no little children attended the courses” run over the summer. That reads like someone was trying to … Read more

Derry Essays 2: A city on the border…

Derry is in the UK, true enough, but not only in the UK. The potential ‘UK City of Culture’ now stretches well beyond the boundaries of the state. Housing estates full of Derry commuters have sprung up in recent years on all the roads that stretch north, south and west of the city centre and across the nearby international boundary. Some people jokingly refer to Golan Hill on the outskirts of Buncrana in Co Donegal as ‘Golan Heights’ because there … Read more