Monday, December 27, 2010

Frank Bustard.

Frank Bustard of Main Street passed away yesterday, Sunday December 26th 2010. His funeral will be in the Methodist Church, tomorrow Tuesday December 27th. His remains will be interred at the graveyard beside the Quay.


You can view the death notice at rip.ie.

Cheers Frank, the town will miss you.



Picture courtesy of the Donegal Times.

Pavesi & Other NW bands at the Alley in Strabane

On December 29th The Alley, in Strabane, will have a concert in aid of HURT a sucide awareness charity based in the North-West.

The bands include
Admission is 5 quid.

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Winter pics!

Some more class pics of this weekend's Winter snowfall from Fancis Cassidy.

Bank Walk seen from the Quay

Snow at the Old Abbey
Lough Eske near the entrance to the Castle.
Solis Lough Eske

I asked Francis if he has a 4x4 to get around to take these pics and he said he has a horse outside. ;)


See more of his pics in his photo album on Facebook.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jobs for Letterkenny

75 new jobs over 3 years for Letterkenny:
Up to 75 new manufacturing jobs are to be created in Co Donegal over the next three years as part of a €10 million investment by US firm Zeus.

The South Carolina-headquartered company is to invest in a 3,700sq m expansion of its Letterkenny facility.

The investment is supported by the Government through IDA Ireland.
Read more at:

Now it doesn't say what type of jobs, be they unskilled or professional.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunrise Winter Pics

Some lovely pics around the town and out by Laghey by Matt Britton.

River Eske and Donegal Castle

Snow & Trees at Sunrise near Laghey
If you on Facebook, you can see more here.

Original Posting at Donegal Friends.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sean Needham: A Child Could Save Us All

An inspirational song from Sean Needham:



Sean says this about the song:
I wrote 'A Child Could Save Us All' while on a trip to my hometown of Donegal (Ireland) for Christmas. My wife was expecting our first child and I was trying to figure out what life was all about. I'm still working on that one §8-) The animation was created by my good friend and percussionist Rikke
You can download a copy of the song here courtesy of Sean.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Snowy Donegal Bay

A wintery Donegal Bay taken during the recent snow, by Matt Britton. To my eye this looks like a picturesque postcard from somewhere exotic!

Snowy Donegal Bay

Donegal Bay

A lovely pic of Donegal Bay, taken by Fergal McAllister.

Donegal Bay
If your on Facebook you can see the original and others in his Facebook album.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

AVS Leaving Cert Class of '85 Reunion

If your in Donegal Town on December 28th at 7:30pm the 1985 Leaving Certificate class will be having a reunion in the Abbey Hotel. If you a Facebook user you can express your interest in attending at the following Facebook page:
Girls 5A

Abbey Voc Sch Leaving Cert Class of '85 Reunion

Here's the notice on the page:
This event will be held in the Abbey Hotel (upstairs) at 7.30 pm on the 28th December 2010. We are hoping that all those who would have done their leaving cert that year or began school in 1980 would come along. Please feel free to bring along your partner. We are hoping to have some fun activities on the night along with photo display on power point. So get your photo's together as soon as you can to enable us to organise this. Any thing you have that might add to the fun on the night please let us know and we can sort that, no problem. Will post admission price at a later date.
So if you started the Tech in 1980 or were in the Leaving Cert class of 1985 (or were in the year at any point) please do come along! If you have any photos to share contact the organiser! One of whom is Pat McGirr the others are Martina & Seamus. I'm not sure which Martian or Seamus can someone post contact info?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter in Donegal

Don't forget to feed the robins!
Thanks to Matt Britton for the pic! If your on Facebook user see his photo album for more class pics.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Serial Twin: Album Release Party

Serial Twin are launching their debut album 'Wirin's Tale' on Saturday 4th Dec in The Coach House, Donegal Town at 10pm.

Snow!

Or as Christina Irwin describes it SNOMG!

Here's 2 photpgraphs that Christina took of the Diamond, with the Monument and the Tree (the tree lightening ceremomy is tonight, Nov 28th) and her daughter, and snow!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Pavesi Radio Interview

Ronan Hanna and Duck Gallagher of Pavesi talk songwriting with Tracey McAllister at 5pm this Saturday, November 26th, on State of the Art on westernwavesfm.org. You can listen to a of podcast of it afterwards too!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Elections Interviews.

Donegal Town CourthouseIf your voting in the Donegal SW by-election, here's some interviews with various candidates that might be worth listening to.

Western Waves interview with Barry O’Neill, Fine Gael, Thomas Pringle - Independent, and Ann Sweeney - Independent.

TV3 Interview with Pearse Doherty - Sinn Féin, Frank McBrearty Jnr - Labour Party, Brian Ó Domhnaill - Fianna Fáil, Barry O'Neill - Fine Gael.

And be prepared for sleet and snow on election day on Thursday.

If you know of any other interviews, let me know in the comment section below and I'll add them tot he list.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sausages!

Enough about this political shindig that's been going, let's get down to some real important business such as Sausages! A great article in the Donegal Democrat and the Belfast Telegraph about two of our local butcher shop; McGettian's & Walsh's.
Donegal Town unofficially became the sausage capital of Ireland recently when Ernan and Diarmuid McGettigan and Edmund and Liam Walsh both received the supreme accolades at the Associated Craft Butchers' Sausage Competition of Ireland which was recently held in the RDS in Dublin ...

The McGettigan brothers won their first All Ireland Supreme title in 2001 for their hickory and maple sausage and are the only butchers ever to win the prestigious title more than once ...

Ernan, whose first supreme title was awarded for his hickory and maple sausage in 2001, is the only Irish butcher to win the title more than once ...

This year he won the double when he was awarded the national champion prize for his traditional butcher's sausage -- a popular choice for celebs Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick when they stop by on their way to their holiday home in the county.

He also scooped the coveted supreme award for his garlic and leek pork sausage.

Ernan, who also does a low-fat variety, pointed out that the sausage is the ideal recession food -- "tasty, nutritious and cheap".

One hundred metres away, Edmund and Liam Walsh who, like the McGettigans, have a lifetime of butchering experience between them, have been notching up successes with their flavoured sausages at regional level since 2002, and won their first National Championship in 2008.

Earlier this month, their venison and redcurrant sausage won gold at the national championships.

"We were delighted because the standard is unbelievably high. Between ourselves and the McGettigans, there is an enthusiasm and also a tradition which is very important," explained Liam.
And I've also heard that Dave Ainsworth's sausages in Killybegs are worth trying too! And funnily enough Dave is quoted in an Irish Times article about election canvassing in Killybegs. I have tried McGettian's sausages and do think they're good and the Mammy likes the Chicken's from Walsh. I didn't know Walsh's did their own sausages and I'll have to try them next time I'm home.

Also, the image above is in a Reuters News article about Ireland and the economy (and no mention of Donegal), it shows Enda Kenny of Fina Gail purchasing (probably) sausages in McGettian's butchers from John Kerrigan. BTW, this is no way endorsing FG or any of the other parties, or implying that McGettian's does. I just though the image was interesting and it was great to see a view of Donegal on an international news site.

When you go vote, do remember this, this is one of the few times that the national media or politicians will care about Donegal. So choose wisely, and also think about the country.

Originally posting at Donegal Friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pavesi Playing in O'Donnell's

Pavesi, the Band, are playing in O'Donnell's Bar on Sunday Nov 21st. Show is all ages, starts at 6pm, goes to 10:30pm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Open Jam Club For Sligo Musicians Nov 17th!

A message from Greg of the Bluestack Jammers that he asked me to pass along to you all.

The Bluestacks Jam Club is coming to Sligo to its fourth venue in The Garavouge Bar Wednesday November 17th at 9.30pm and every Wednesday night after that. The club is all about Jamming with other musicians and started in Donegal last year, So far it operates in 4 venues where over 400 musicians have performed and 10,000 people have came to the gigs.plus 4,000 fans on Facebook. We want to show the world our talented musicians and artistes and we do that by taking videos and posting them on Youtube.

The Club is open to all Musician and live music lovers of all ages who want to network with other Musicians and Jam with them. or maybe you want to start a band and get to know people in the Music business like Recording Studios, Music Venues, Artistes and Managers. So far we've seen some band formations and gigs coming out of this and it doesn't stop there. We've established The Bluestacks Backers, a Multi Member band who perform The 4th Fri of each month @9pm in The National Bar Donegal town, The 2nd Fri monthly in The Bee Hive Ardara at 9pm and every sun in Voodoo Club Letterkenny at 8pm where some 400 plus Musicians have Jammed so far.
This is fast becoming a network of session musicians that can backup any Singer or Songwriter in a professional way. We want to expand this so that at any given time we can have a band on call for any occasion. You maybe in a well established band and want to try something different. We don't expect you to run away and join the our circus forever!! as there will always be someone there to play your position just like a football team.You may only be able to turn up every know and again so that way it suits everybody.If you wanna become a member just send an email titled with the instrument you play or if your a singer do the same to BluestacksJamClub@ymail.com and that way it makes the whole thing much easier for us all to manage. We will put you in contact with all the other members and who knows what that could led to.

The Bluestacks Jam Club was launched back in June 2009 with special guest Johnny Gallagher from The Boxty band who toured all over Europe and has been on several TV shows over there. Also The Mirenda Rosenberg Band have performed. Mirenda has shared the stage with Blues Legends Buddy Guy and Chuck Berry. Donegal singer song writer Sean Needham who supported Bo Didley and Tracy Chapman and was interviewed by Dave Fanning about his new album Time Is A Friend ,plus Mark Black, whose live appearances included Glastonbury 2009, guested and performed with Moya Brennan and Liam O Maonlai at the Spirit Voices Show, and a string of festivals and packed out gigs across Ireland. Also Matt McGranaghan from Kintra a 12 piece Band who have entertained President of Ireland Mary McAleese in Áras an Uachtaráin.Kintra have played the biggest Irish festival in the world in Milwaukee USA back in August this year.

The latest Guest to the club was Elvis Presley's Bass guitarist Jerry Scheff who we put a band together for to play the Frosses Festival Co.Donegal
Jerry played bass on The Doors album L A woman ,John Denver,Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan and many many more.

These Artists became successful as a result of Networking with other Musicians and like minded people and fully support our mission and some times drop by for a Jam , a chat, and a bit a craic and we look forward to you doing the same next Wednesday November 17th at 9.30 pm in the Garavogue Bar and every Wednesday nite after that plus its free entry at the door.
For more Info the see Bluestacks Jam Club on Facebook.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Donegal SW Election 2010!

I'm sure you've all heard about the upcoming election in Donegal South West.

TV3 had candidates from the major parties on Vincent Browne's news show called "Tonight". You can watch it here. None of the independent candidates were on the show which might have been a good thing for them!

You can find some background about the by-election on Wikipedia. Here's someone's overview or review of the show or debate, but just remember, that's someone else's opinion, and make your own. But, to be honest, it did come off as a bit of a farce with Mr. Browne not really controlling the debate.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bartering 2.0

Jenni Timony (a relation of mine) has started a new company that will help businesses save money in these rough times. Jenni's started Exponentially, a website and business that helps organisations barter their skills, services, knowledge, and strengths in exchange for other people's or organisations skills & services. In these times this could be a good way to save money and use what you have.

Jenni was recently on the Marion Finucane show, on the radio, talking about her past experiences in business and about her plans for Exponentially. The Democrat has a write-up about it:
http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Donegal-town-woman-launches-new.6564089.jp

You'll need to visit the website to find out more:
And also Jenni's blog is pretty interesting too, her blog posting about batering is a must read, if your interesting in leveraging bartering:

Anyhow, here's the spiel from Jenni's press release:
Exponentially.ie enables members to conserve cash, utilise spare capacity and expand their customer bases through bartering their services.

"Businesses can really see the value of trying new initiatives such as bartering their services to achieve growth in recessionary times. The idea of paying for services such as perhaps web design or marketing or an energy audit with their spare capacity instead of their cash really resonates with our members" says Jenni Timony, Founder of Exponentially.ie.

Exponentially.ie also provides members with a discussion forum to ask and answer questions, and make trusted new contacts ... "Exponentially.ie was established to help regenerate recession bruised businesses. Membership of our site is a low cost, low risk way to do this by using your spare capacity, and leveraging the power of community"

And one thing she wanted me to add is that they've "added 2 new categories - hotels and alternative therapies so you can barter your businesss skills for nice, relaxing stuff. Also doing a rate for people who have been made redundant to barter their skills and talents."

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Diamond: 1970's

Thanks to MajorCalloway over on Flickr for this auld pic of the Diamond. This is looking down the Diamond towards the Abbey Hotel from Main Street.

The Diamond Donegal 1970s

Friday, November 05, 2010

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat ...

The Christmas lights will be turned on, on November the 28th! See the Facebook page for more info and to show your interest in attending.
The light is lovely, sun is just setting and its bitterly cold,but magical !!
Christmas lights will be switched on by County Donegal Ladies senior team members, who will be assisted by Santa and his little helpers.
Watch out for the two naughty little elves.

Thanks to me sis Jeannie for the pic!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Donegal Bay

I like how designer 406 has used the B&W affect to make her picture of the inner bay and Quay Street appear older than it is:

donegal reflections 2

Monday, October 18, 2010

Anyone remember how the great fireplace in the Castle looked, or how the grounds used to look before the renovations?? "East Med Wanderer" over on Flickr took this pic while traveling around Ireland in 1970. Click on the pics below to see all the pics.



Donegal Castle, Ireland, 1970
The Master Fireplace


Donegal Castle, Ireland, 1970
The Castle Grounds.


The lad in the picture above is looking at the map of the castle that was fasten to a stone plinth.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Donegal Town: 1970's

Striderv over on Flickr scanned this old postcard of Donegal Town and put it on Flickr, I'd guess it was the early 1970's? Anyone recognise the two women the pic of the Diamond beside the old weigh station hut? See the full-size version here.


Donegal Town Multiview, Ireland

News!

DSC01313
Cannonball Run in Donegal Town!
Donegal Town (& Gweedore) are to get new Libraries:
“Minister of State Michael Finneran has worked with Donegal County Council to ensure that both towns will benefit from wonderful new state-of-the-art libraries. I’m particularly pleased that these projects have now been approved for funding and can advance, Tanaiste Mary Coughlan said ...
Let's hope state of the art also includes access to the Internet.

19 business have gone bust in Donegal this year, however this statitic doesn't tell us much as it doesn't make any comparisons to previous years, nor talk about how many new businesses there have been so far this. However they do state what the national figure is, so I'd imagine Donegal is worse than the rest of the country due to the high unemployment rate:
According to Insolvencyjournal.ie, 19 businesses in Donegal, 4 in county Leitrim and 6 in County Sligo were unable to honour their debts in the first six months of 2010.
Nationally, the number of insolvencies is up 27 per cent on the same period last year.

But, some good news on the local economic front, Moll Industires plastic molding plant in Donegal Town is now under local owership. Moll makes medical devices and is an American company based in Texas that recently filed for bankruptcy. Let's hope they'll do well.
... specialises in molding and assembly for the medical and pharmaceutical sectors was established in 1982, and employs 25 people.

Helen Masterson has been Managing Director of the Donegal company since 2002, and is now leading Moll Industries Ireland Ltd.

She says this move has secured the future of the plant and marks a major new chapter in its business. She says local ownership means management and staff are in full control of the company’s growth, and will focus on quality of delivery and technology.

She says the key priorities will be to strengthen existing operations, and identify new markets for export.’

In a statement confirming the takeover this morning, Ms Masterson says she believes local ownership of such a flourishing business can bring significant inward investment to the locality of South Donegal.

And one last bit of "economic" news, Doug Richards from BBC's Dragons' Den will be delivering a seminar on October 16th in Letterkenny. I don't know how useful these things are, but if you've the money it might be a good place to network with other entrepreneurs:
The “Start here!” seminar will focus on how to start and grow a successful business and draws on Doug’s huge experience both as a businessman and as a successful investor in other businesses in Europe and the US. The one day workshop will help potential entrepreneurs answer key questions before starting or growing a business: how to develop your business model; how to identify your product and market; how to run a low cost marketing campaign; how to treat the recession as an opportunity; and how to make money and secure investment.

 See here for additional details.

And one of our own entrepreneurs from Donegal Town was recently on the telly! I'll post about that soon and her new business that can help individuals and businesses save money.

Oh, and about that pic, when I was home at the start of September, a tonne of flash high performance cars went whipping through the town with a Gardai escort. They were part of the Cannonball Ireland Rally!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Killybegs Tattoo Convention

Next March, the 2nd Killybegs Tattoo Convention will be taking place.

Date:
  • Friday, 25 March 2011 at 18:00 - Sunday, 27 March 2011 at 18:00
Location:
  • The Bayview Hotel, Killybegs , Co. Donegal. Ireland
See their Facebook page for more details, if your a biker looks like someone might be organising a bike run too.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Google Street View In Donegal!

Google Map's Street View now covers Donegal Town! Here's a link to a view of the Diamond when they're setting up a stage for a festival:
 It looks like the imagery is all taken in the winter, and not all on the same day or days. Anyone know when about this way? I'm guessing last winter or the winter before.

Anyone found anyone they recognise on Google Street view? The closest I've come (so far) is seeing a friend's rubbish out for the bin man!

What's your favourite view? :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Carol Anne McGowan

The Ghost
Have any of ye heard of Carol Anne McGowan of Killybegs? I just heard of her today, when Cyndi posted a video of Carol's on her Facebook page, and I was very impressed! This girl has a great voice and (pardon the comparison it's probably unjust) and reminds me a bit of Leonard Cohen and Cowboy Junkies but with her own unique style.

Anyways take a listen for yourselves and let me know what you think. This amazing video of her's was filmed in the cellar of a friend of her's and edited on a Mac; low budget but not low quality.

If ye hear of any gigs she's doing, let me know and I'll publicise them on the blog!





Keep an eye on her, I think she'll be going places.
      You can listen to her and see her videos on MySpace and on YouTube. She's also on Facebook where you can find out where's she's playing next. And besides being a musician she's also an artist:

        Friday, September 17, 2010

        Car Accident near Dunkineely

        Car accident on the Killybegs road near Dunkineely on Friday afternoon. Gardai and the Fire Birgade were on the scene, initial reports claimed 3 cars involved, but later reports said there were 2:

        http://oceanfm.ie/news/2010/09/17/gardai-investigate-road-traffic-accident-in-donegal/
        Gardai and members of the fire service in Donegal are at the scene of a road traffic accident in Donegal.
        The incident occurred within the last hour at the Killybegs side of Dunkineely.
        It's understood three vehicles are involved in the accident. The passengers of the vehicles are being taken to hospital for treatment however, the extent of their injuries is not yet known ..

        The road is (or was) due to reopen later in the day:

        http://oceanfm.ie/news/2010/09/17/road-to-re-open-this-afternoon-following-traffic-accident/
        Gardai say the Dunkineely road will re-open later this afternoon following a road traffic accident. ...
        It's understood two vehicles were involved in the accident. The passengers of the vehicles have being taken to hospital for treatment for minor injuries.
        Diversions are in place ... The Dunkineely road is expected to re-open within the next hour while Gardai investigate the incident.

        Sean Needham in Concert September 24th 2010

        Sean Needham will playing a gig in the National Hotel, Donegal Town, on Friday September the 24th 2010. This is part of Sean's tour to promote his new album "Time is a Friend" and is in association with the Bluestack Jamclub.

        See the video of the title track on YouTube:

        Also on stage and all the way from Denmark, will be Jacob Speake, Niall Rainey, Eamonn Rainey and all the way from Donegal will be Greg Gorman, Morgan Ferriter and possibly Enda Ferriter and Ronan Hanna.

        See Sean's Facebook page for more info:
        And his website:

        Tuesday, August 31, 2010

        News!

        Your not going to be hearing from me for a while as I'll be home for a few weeks and with minimal web-access.

        Zack, his son Finn, and Mary Coughlan
        Thanks to Matt Britton for the Photograph.
        In the meantime here's some news for you:

        30,000 show up for the Donegal Food Festival:
        http://www.highlandradio.com/2010/08/30/30000-attend-taste-of-donegal-food-fetival/
        In excess of 30 thousand people attended the Taste of Donegal food festival at the weekend with organisers claiming that such events are an ideal way of promoting the county.
        And a nice article about Fin McCool's surfing school at Rossnowlagh:
        http://www.independent.ie/health/diet-fitness/fit-to-be-tried-surfing-2316903.html
        The local man behind the school, Neil Britton, says the sport is catching on in Ireland and he's happy to be in Donegal, despite spending time following the waves from Australia to Portugal.
        "The surf in Ireland is as good as anywhere in the world and I always thought it would be a great idea to set up a surf school in my home town," he says ...

        Contact: For individual lessons and kids camp, the Fin McCool surf shop and school, Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Tel: 071-9859020, 086 804 9909, email finmccools@gmail.com
        If your Facebook, Matt Britton has some pics of the festival:

        Saturday, August 28, 2010

        Dog & Dolphin At Tory Island

        Anyone seen the dog and dolphin swimming together in Tory Island Harbour?

        Friday, August 27, 2010

        Eat up!

        The Donegal Town Food Festival is this weekend! Go have some nosh and tell me how was it!

        http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Tasting-the-very-best-of.6494789.jp
        ... the Chairman of the Festival Committee, Ernan McGettigan said, “Primarily I would like to offer a large and sincere Céad Mile Failte to all attending the second Taste of Donegal Food Festival which will once again take place on the picturesque pier area over looking Donegal Bay from tomorrow (Friday) straight through until next Sunday.

        “This quality event is a three day celebration of great food, drink and lifestyle products which has attracted over 50 exhibitors from all over the country. These include a wide range of Artisan Food Producers, Wine & Specialist Drink companies, Hotels, Restaurants and much more.

        “During the festival we will have tutored wine tasting, along with food demonstrations by some of the top chefs in the country including Conrad Gallagher, Nevin Maguire, Catherine Fulvio and Joe Shannon.

        And of course its another festival I'm going to miss! I'll be home on Thursday for 7 days. Who wants to meet for pinta?

        Monday, August 23, 2010

        Oh no! Oatfield!

        Oatfield sweets is laying off 30 of it's 45 workers:

        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2010/0823/1224277381196.html
        One of the Republic’s oldest confectionery makers has laid off two-thirds of its workforce.

        Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
        The Oatfield Confectionary Company in Co Donegal, which was founded by the McKinney family in Letterkenny in 1927, blamed rising manufacturing costs for the job losses.

        A total of 30 out of 45 employees will lose their jobs when the company shuts down its “boiling production” in October.

        The manufacture of boiled sweets will now be transferred to Oatfield’s sister company Tilley’s in the UK.

        And this is something I didn't realise, I thought Oatfield was still locally owned:
        The Oatfield buildings are owned by Donegal Creameries and are leased to Dublin-based firm, Candy, which runs the local plant and owns the brand.

        Wikipedia has some background on Oatfield:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatfield_%28confectionery%29
        Donegal Creameries PLC purchased the company in February 1999 for £783,750. In 2007 Zed Candy, an Irish confectionery company famous for its Chewing Gum, bought the brand from Donegal Creameries.

        Sunday, August 22, 2010

        The Gardens of Glenveagh

        Nice article in the Irish Times about Glenveagh:

        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2010/0821/1224276997698.html

        ... I’ve written before about Elizabeth Temple’s magical walled garden at Salthill, just outside Mountcharles, so won’t again, except to say it is even better than when I saw it last four years ago. And I’ve no room to do justice to the carefully and beautifully restored Oakfield Park, near Raphoe, the home of Gerry and Heather Robinson, so I’ll save that for another time – although let me just mention that if you fancy visiting, you’ll need to hightail it up there before the end of the month, when the season closes for the year.
        Glenveagh
        Glenveagh Lough by Mick Timony
        So instead, I’d like to park myself for the rest of this page at Glenveagh Castle Gardens . This is one of the most remarkable gardens on this island. It is concealed in a remote and seemingly inhospitable place, in the middle of Glenveagh National Park in the north of the county ... The setting of the gardens is spectacular, but so also is the planting. Within the sheltered microclimate, frost is rare (last winter was an exception), rainfall is high, and growth is lush. Big-leaved rhododendrons, elegantly-fronded tree ferns, and plump Cordyline indivisa make this a surreal, subtropical oasis in the hostile mountain landscape. Much of the planting dates back to the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the last private owner, Henry McIlhenny, employed – among others – British plantsman and designer James Russell of Sunningdale Nursery, and later, American garden designer Lanning Roper.

        ... The setting of the gardens is spectacular, but so also is the planting. Within the sheltered microclimate, frost is rare (last winter was an exception), rainfall is high, and growth is lush. Big-leaved rhododendrons, elegantly-fronded tree ferns, and plump Cordyline indivisa make this a surreal, subtropical oasis in the hostile mountain landscape. Much of the planting dates back to the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the last private owner, Henry McIlhenny, employed – among others – British plantsman and designer James Russell of Sunningdale Nursery, and later, American garden designer Lanning Roper.

        I was hoping to stop at Oakfield when I'm home in the 1st week of September, but they close for the season on August 31st! Bahh! Oh well, I guess I'll take the opportunity to go to Glenveagh, walk the lough and better explore the gardens. Anyone been to Temple's gardens?

        Saturday, August 21, 2010

        Muggings.

        Woman in her 60's mugged in Letterkenny in broad daylight, her hangbag was stolen and she was beaten up so badly that she's had to have pins inserted into shattered elbow.

        This is a particularly brutal attack, and it's surprising that it happened somewhere like Letterkenny. Someone is bound to have seen something, or been in the area at the time. If you think you seen something contact the Letterkenny Gardai. I'd bet that this this fecker has a drug habit, and if he'd do this to an older woman what else might he be capable of? And just cause he did this to Letterkenny, doesn't mean he'll from there, or will limit his activities to there.

        If you see something suspicious, call the Gardai, yesterday I was walking home and I see this skanger wander and stagger down the middle of the road, aye he looked suspicion. I'm thinking he was eyeing up cars to break into by his behaviour, and guess what he does? He stick his hand in through a partially open window and pops the lock of a car and hops in. So I called the cops on the fecker, and you see something odd, you do the same.

        Here's coverage of the Letterkenny story from the Belfast Telegraph:
        Retired nurse Anna McDaid, who is in her late 60s, received several fractures, bruised ribs, a dislocated shoulder and a head injury after being mugged for her handbag during the day in Letterkenny, Co Donegal ... Just yards from the post office, she was set upon by a man wearing a grey hoodie-type top.

        He demanded her handbag and then struck her several times during the terrifying ordeal which left her unconscious for a number of minutes.

        Passers-by found Mrs McDaid in a confused state at McClure’s Terrace and she was brought to Letterkenny General Hospital where she has remained since the Tuesday afternoon attack.

        ... Mrs McDaid has had to undergo a number of different surgical procedures, including having pins inserted into her left elbow after it was shattered during the attack.

        She is also on constant medication and has to take oxygen because she now has difficulty breathing.
        Here's Highland Radio's coverage, and an interview with the woman's husband:
        In Sligo, an 88 year old was attacked in his home and robbed, and a 30 year old man was mugged in the morning by 2 hooded men:

        Wednesday, August 18, 2010

        Simple Simon's is to reopen!

        Simple Simon's has reopened. There's an article in Democrat about it:
        http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Simple-Simon39s-reopens-in-Donegal.6477552.jp

        Here's a snippet from the article:

        Finbar Rock, owner of Toni’s Bistro nearby, saw the demise of a loved institution as a massive loss to the town. So without hesitation he decided to bring it back in a refreshing new style while at the same time retain the natural stone and old look of the building.

        Finbar said: “Donegal is an historic and cultural town and the Diamond is our showpiece. I think it is important that we as business people should try and retain this image and avoid gaudy, plastic signage.

        “If it is in keeping with the surrounds, I honestly believe that it will attract more business.”

        Indeed this mission statement was proving very accurate as Finbar opened his doors last week. The store has been packed with many of the old faces and a lot of new customers from morning to evening.

        Serial Twin: Wirin's Tale

        Serial Twin just released a new album! Get it at Melody Maker in Donegal Town, or on iTunes
         See their website for more details:

        Sunday, August 15, 2010

        Serial Twin at the Coach House

        From Ciaran via Facebook:

        Serial Twin are playing a 40 minute set of original songs at Coachfest - at the back of The Coach House, Main St Donegal at 6.30 pm Sunday 15th August.

        Saturday, July 31, 2010

        Burn It All!

        Serial Twin has a new video for their song "Burn It All".



        Their new album "Wirin's Tale" due out in 2 to 3 weeks!

        Thursday, July 15, 2010

        Ballintra Dating Agency in Court

        A Ballintra matchmaker is in court for allegledgely not screening clients:
        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0715/1224274739224.html


        A WOMAN who runs a Donegal dating agency has been instructed to allow a District Court judge view files from male clients.

        But Mary Mitchell, who runs The Happy Matchmaker agency, was not ordered to allow a dissatisfied woman client, Annemarie McBrearty, see them ... Ms Mitchell of Ballintra, Co Donegal, has been accused of failing to check out men introduced to Ms McBrearty.

        Ms McBrearty is suing Ms Mitchell for €6,348.99 for negligence, breach of duty and fraudulent misrepresentation.

        Ms McBrearty, of Oldtown, Letterkenny, claims that she paid €600 for 12 "introductions" in Hide allJanuary, 2009. The agency had advertised that "each prospective suitor" would be screened.

        Ms McBrearty claimed in an earlier District Court hearing that it became clear after four introductions the "prospective suitors" had not been vetted or screened in any way. She claimed that as a result she was "groped, assaulted and battered without lawful excuse".

        Wednesday, July 14, 2010

        Carrot Spit

        Cool pic from Pitmatic at the Balor Theater in Ballybofey.


        Carrot Spit
        Originally uploaded by Pitmatic

        Tuesday, July 13, 2010

        Bad, bad, bad car accident up in Inishowen

        An awful car accident happened north of the county:
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/northern_ireland/10594606.stm

        Eight people have been killed in a car crash in County Donegal, about 15 miles from the Northern Ireland border.

        The two-car collision happened on the Drumfree to Clonmany road at 2230 BST on Sunday.

        Seven of the dead were travelling in a black Volkswagen Passat, the driver of which survived. The eighth person to die was the driver of the second car.

        It is believed the 66-year-old man had been returning home after playing bingo in Buncrana.

        The seven young men who died in the Passat were 21-year-old Mark McLaughlin, from Fahan; Paul Doherty and Ciaran Sweeney who were 19 and from Ballyliffin; Patrick McLaughlin, 21, from Burnfoot; 22-year-old Eamonn McDaid and 21-year-old Damien McLaughlin, both from Buncrana, and James McEleney, 23, from Clonmany ...

        People, slow down ad take it easy. There's enough people killed on Donegal roads.

        The Irish Times has more details:
        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0713/1224274591194.html

        Stephen Lambert of the National Roads Authority said it was the highest death toll in a road crash since records began. “I have never come across such a multiple road fatality scene and I am finding it very difficult to take in,” he said after visiting the scene.

        Friday, July 09, 2010

        Thursday, July 08, 2010

        Going to Oxegen?

        Going to the Oxegen festival and need to get there? Looks like Furey's bus of Sligo has a bus leaving from Ballyshannon:
        http://www.irishtourist.com/board/19723.shtml
        See the schedule at Furey's website:
        http://fureysofsligo.com/oxegen.html

        Sunday, June 13, 2010

        Pavesi

        Great new song and video from Pavesi

        Monday, May 31, 2010

        History of Saint Patrick's Church Tawnawilly

        Thanks to Jumper O'Kelly for posting this on our Facebook page:
        The Catholic church in Donegal Town celebrated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of "St. Patrick's Memorial Church of the Four Masters" on 17th March 2010. The church produced a lovely little booklet to celebrate the occasion. The following website (unofficial) has been set up to host the booklet;
        It is a lovely booklet and it has many pictures of the chapel from it's construction to modern times.

        Sunday, May 30, 2010

        Donegal Jam Club Contest!

        A (weird) message from the Donegal Jam Club, about their upcoming content!

        Bye, Bye Old Water Bus

        Looks like the old water bus is leaving Donegal Town. Anyone know where it's going?


        Thanks to Christina Irwin for the pic! I like the way this looks like auld pic.

        Friday, May 21, 2010

        Icelandic Photo Exhibition in Mountcharles

        Rebekka Guoleifsdóttir, a famous Icelandic photographer, will be having a Exhibition at the Man-Made Gallery in Mountcharles. The Irish Times has a brief article about the show:
        http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2010/0521/1224270751308.html

        Rebekka Guoleifsdóttir is a self-taught photographer who lives in Iceland. She is also rated the most popular photographer on Flickr, was named as the “Web’s Top Photographer” by the Wall Street Journal in 2006, and has a first-rate website and blog. “There is nothing I would rather do,” she says of photography, though she divides her working time between photography, knitting sweaters and drawing.
        Guoleifsdóttir’s work is personal and often playful, as in the case of the image that put her on the internet map: a striking self-portrait in which she seems to be suspending an apple in mid-air through the force of her mind.
        A Nordic Saga features a series of works depicting “neglected dolls, abandoned buildings and a self-portrait”. And yes, she did set off to photograph the volcano when it began erupting. Her vivid images and account can be found online.
        If your a photographer you should go see this, if your passing through or by Mountcharles you should drop by. See Man-Made's page about the exhibition for more information. You can see a selection of her photograph on Flickr.

        Thursday, May 20, 2010

        Tuesday, May 18, 2010

        Planter Box Man!

        Great article from the Democrat about Laghey Man Sean Gallagher, whose been making a go of it! Sean was a builder and like most builder has seen little to no work in recent years. So Sean started doing something different, and something he likes to do.  He creates Planter Boxes, and provides the soil and will come out and install them for ya too.
        Sean's now based in Kildare, like many of us he had to leave home for work. But, I'm sure he'd pop up to Laghey, or maybe even trek to  Donegal Town if he got enough orders. ;)

        Here's the Democrat's Article:
        "I came from a farming background in Laghey and was always interested in the concept of self-sustainability. Even before I closed down the building business I had built my own coop and had my chickens and fresh eggs out in the back garden.

        "It was great, my wife Aisling and two daughters Ellie and Grace finally found out that not all chickens come from Tesco and likewise with eggs, that they don't come in packets.

        "I found people were asking me about self-sustainability and the whole concept of growing their own vegetables. I soon realised that there was a market out there.

        "I started producing my own raised vegetable beds which gave people with small urban gardens the opportunity to grow their own produce. With limited space there is a lot to be said for creating raised beds. They need less cultivation because they are rarely trodden on, they have great drainage and the soil warms up much quicker in spring as it is lifted from the cold winter's ground.
        Read more at the Democrat's website.

        Sean was also on Nationwide last Friday on RTE (May 14th 2010), see the video at:
        Go to the 13 minute mark to see Sean, whom I think did really well on Telly. It's hard not to be nervous on camera, and I think RTE should have him do a gardening show! :)


        PatchWorkVeg has a website, which provides advise for gardeners and when and how to start planting, and how to get a planter box if your interested. If your on Facebook, you can join the PatchWorkVeg group!

        Monday, May 17, 2010

        Statue stolen from Solis Lough Eske Castle

        Wow, the nerve of some people! A statue at Solis Lough Eske Castle was stolen over the weekend, sounds like it was out front of the main entrance and was swiped overnight:

        http://oceanfm.ie/news/2010/05/17/valuable-statue-stolen-from-five-star-hotel/

        Thieves entered the grounds of the Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel, outside Donegal Town, at the weekend and made off with a statue of a deer sometime between midnight on Saturday and 8am on Sunday morning.
        The piece, estimated to be worth in the region of 7,000 pounds sterling, had been on display upon a plinth in the grounds at the front of the hotel.
        If you seen or heard anything, contact the Gardaí.

        Donegal Stuff!

        So how's the form everyone? Sorry for the lack of postings. I was home for a week, then mad busy when I got back, then I had surgery on my knee and I've just been too busy to attend to the blog. If you ever need anything, or any news that you think need to get out there ASAP, don't hesitate to contact me.

        One of the things I missed mentioning was the "Donegal Live" event in Dublin yesterday (Sunday May 16th 2010) whose goal is to promote tourism to Donegal:
        http://www.donegallive.ie/ 
        OceanFM says over 25,000 people where there throughout the day:
        http://oceanfm.ie/news/2010/05/17/thousands-turn-out-for-donegal-live/
        Also, the latest edition of "Donegal - Community in Touch" is available. News about Donegal and Donegal people:

        Welcome to the Donegal in Touch e-zine. This e-zine is part of the Donegal Diaspora Project. Through this project Donegal is reaching out and connecting with people in all parts of the world who have a connection to or interest in Donegal. This e-zine is sent to people in all parts of the world.

        Please feel free to pass this e-zine on to others that you feel might be interested in it. Any views, comments or contributions to the e-zine are very welcome. The latest edition of the e-zine can be viewed or downloaded via the Donegal County Development Board website - http://www.donegalcdb.ie/ using the following link:

        http://www.donegalcdb.ie/publications/DonegalCommunityInTouche-zineIssue7.pdf
        I'm sure all you GAA fans will love this old poster they have in the latest edition:

        Wednesday, May 12, 2010

        The Bluestacks Jam Club Singer Song Writers Star Challenge €5,000.00 Prize


        A message from Greg of The Bluestack Jammers for you all, see the MySpace page for more details:
        http://events.myspace.com/External/Facebook/Event/View/4070679

        The Bluestacks Jam Club will be holding The Singer Song Writers Star Challenge over the summer starting Monday June 7th.There will be a €5,000.00 for the overall winner plus recording time in a studio for 4 tracks. The Challenge Will be open to Unsigned Solo artists and Bands. To qualify for it, each artist or band must have their own Guitars and Amps and 10 or more original songs of to a high standard " STRICTLY NO COVERS" as there will be two 30 min heats each Monday night.

        Each Applicant also must have 4 or more original tracks on My Space and links sent to BluestacksJamClub@ymail.com and BluestacksJamClub@myspace.com We have Drums and a PA on stage each night as the regular Open Jam Session will take place as normal @9pm.To enter- send an email to BluestacksJamClub@ymail.com with the name of your band , members Names and Email addresses & phone numbers and instruments you play plus your 10 song list. Send us your contact details and phone number. Title the email with " Bluestasks Singer Song Writers Challenge" to Book your entry .

        The Winner will be selected by online voting which will cost the voter €3 so its in your interest to let your fans and face book friends know about this event so its very important that you create an event on your own face book account and invite them along as its part of the terms and conditions to qualify for your entry and get as many votes as you can.

        We have created a system for you to link your music tracks which you should have on your My Space account.This means that if your fans can't get to see your performance they can listen to your music and vote anyway. So again its important that as soon as you are excepted and qualify for the Challenge that you promote your self to your Face Book Friends and Fans about your taking part in the Challenge as its a FREE tool , Why not use it.


        Mon June 7th Act A - Ruairi Friel Act B -----------------
        Mon June 14th Act A --------------- Act B------------------
        Mon June 21st Act A --------------- Act B-------------------
        Mon June 28th Act A --------------- Act B------------------
        Mon July 5th Act A --------------- Act B------------------
        Mon July 12th Act A ----------------- Act B------------------
        Mon July 19th Act A ---------------- Act B------------------
        Mon July 26th Act A ---------------- Act B------------------
        Mon Aug 2nd Act A Emily Whelan Act B-----------------
        Mon Aug 9th Act A ----------------- Act B-----------------
        Mon Aug 16th Act A ---------------- Act B----------------
        Mon Aug 23rd Act A ---------------- Act B----------------
        Mon Aug 30th Act A ---------------- Act B---------------

        Wednesday, April 21, 2010

        Once again Donegal is Forgotten!

        How many more examples of this are we going to have?

        http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/national-news/county-wiped-off-crisis-hq-maps-2146203.html
        The worst suspicions of Ireland's "forgotten county" have been realised after it emerged Donegal does not exist on the maps of the Government`s crisis response headquarters.

        The apparent oversight at the National Emergency Co-ordinating Centre was further proof the Republic's second-largest county does not exist in the minds of central policy-makers, senior politicians claimed.

        Charts on the walls of the taskforce HQ, two floors up in Dublin's Agriculture House, show in detail the east, west and south of Ireland.

        But in the event of a major catastrophe hitting Donegal or the north, crisis management teams will have to scramble outside the nerve-centre to locate a map of Ulster, it seems.

        Sunday, April 18, 2010

        Volcano!

        The Icelandic volcano is affecting area Airports with both the Donegal & Derry Airports closed:
        http://www.highlandradio.com/2010/04/17/ash-cloud-continues-to-affect-donegal-and-derry-flights/
        This means all flights in and out of City of Derry and Donegal Airports have been grounded, with Ryanair cancelling all flights into and out of Ireland, as well as internal flights, until one pm on Monday.

        However, the crisis could stretch beyond Monday, with holidaymakers from Ireland facing the prospect of being stranded in Europe until next week.

        Yours truly, is booked to fly Boston->Dublin on Thursday keep your fingers crossed that I make it! If I can make it, I'll be driving straight down from the Airport to Donegal Town. If anyone needs a lift, let me know. I could do with the company to keep me awake. :)

        OceanFM & The Bluestack Jammers

        Tune into OceanFM tonight, April 18th 2010, at 8pm to the Bluestacks Jam club and the Laghey Blast Festival will be feature.

        And you don't need to be in Donegal! You can listen to OceanFM on the web at:

        Saturday, April 17, 2010

        Concert at the Bosco Center and support the Summer Festival

        Big band sound by Keith McDonald and his Band followed by a disco at The Pavesi (The John Bosco Center) tonight, April 17t 2010! This is to raise money for the Summer Festival and I hear that not too many people showed up for last night's gig. If they don't raise enough money it's going to be tough to have all the planned activities at the Summer Festival. Last night drinks were dirt cheap, with all pints and bottles €3.50 maybe they'll do the same tonight?

        http://donegaltownsummerfestival.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/see-keith-mcdonald-his-band-and-support-the-festival/

        If your on Facebook you can RSVP at:
        http://www.socuteurl.com/pwettykittehbop

        Thursday, April 15, 2010

        Lough Eske Castle

        Found this video on Youtube that someone did of Solis Lough Eske Castle:

        Monday, April 12, 2010

        30 years on the go at Ballyshannon, Donegal Ireland

        This great pic was taken during the Ballyshannon Folk Festival of the ticket office. Thanks to AoghanArt for the pic!