Sunday, February 28, 2010

Walking around Ireland playing Golf

So there's this mad-man decided to walk to all the golf courses in Ireland and play each one. Of course by the time he got to North Donegal he was really mad, but Cruit Island's 9 hole course saved him from that.,28136,1631308-0,00.html

My curious route to Cruit Island only made me more partial to this spot on the yonder edge of Donegal. After hiking eight miles up to Kinncasslagh and checking into my hotel (there was only one), I was disappointed when the gentleman behind the desk told me that the golf course was still a good three-plus miles away, another hour on the hoof.

As I slung my sack of Mizunos over my shoulder and started out for the road, he stopped me.

"You're really walking?" the gentleman asked.

I nodded. I could no longer even muster a yeah, nary a humph for that question. I wish I had a hat that said, 1.Yes, I am walking. 2. Yes, I am mental.

"Well, there is another way to Cruit," he explained. "Tide's out. You want a short-cut?"

Tide's out? Typically, I would steer clear of any mention of a short-cut that was contingent upon the gravitational interaction of the earth and moon. But in this case, I was lucky to be in an ornery enough mood to say screw it, I'll risk death by rising water to get me off the road four minutes faster.

Besides Cruit's miracleous abilities, he also liked Bundoran, and Murvagh.

Original Posting on Donegal Friends.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quiz at Carlin's in Aid of Laghey Blast Festival

A wee message from Greg Gorman

Table Quiz
Time: Friday, 26 February 2010 21:00
Location: O'Caorlins Bar Laghey Fri 26 Feb @9pm

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Snow!

More snow due in the Northwest!

... The freezing temperatures follow heavy falls of snow in Donegal, Mayo and high ground in Co Wicklow on Thursday night.

Met Éireann said today would feature a dry and bright start, with sunny periods after early mist and fog. However, wintry showers are expected on Atlantic coasts. and rain will reach west Munster this afternoon.

The rain is set to turn to sleet or snow as it spreads to the rest of Munster and Leinster during this evening and tonight.

The current cold spell is also expected to continue through tomorrow and much of next week. Daytime temperatures are not expected to rise above 7C, while sharp or severe frosts are expected at night, bringing temperatures as low as -6C in places ...

Today in Boston, where I am, it's the first sign of spring and a lovely sunny day with temperatures of 48°F/8.9°C with snow due on Tuesday! That's pic I took at Murvagh last summer to take your minds off the bad weather. :)

Original posting at Donegal Friends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fiddler of the year!

Maybe not fiddler of the year, Dunkineely native Aidan O'Donnell is TV4's Young Traditional Musician of the Year!

On Thursday Aidan O'Donnell became one of only a select group of Donegal musicians to be announced as the recipient of a very prestigious 2010 Gradam Ceoil award.

The Dunkineely native follows in the footsteps of fellow Donegal men Martin Tourish (Ballybofey) and Gaoth Dobhair's Ciaran Ó Maonaigh, as a winner of the TG4 Young Traditional Musician Of The Year award at TG4's annual traditional music awards ceremony.

... Aidan said it came as a 'complete shock' when TG4's Commissioning Editor, Proinsias Ní Ghráine called him to say he had won the award.

Watch Aidan & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh play in Dunkineely on the release of their album Fidl.

See their website for more information about the group, their music, and their album:

Original Post at Donegal Friends.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Diamond Over Christmas

Nice view of the Diamond over Christmas, taken by Jeannie me sister! :)
Originally uploaded by my_angel_toes

Local Robberies

The Yutopia shop on Main Street was broken into and approx €7000 of merchandise was stolen. The shop, is amongst other things a "Head Shop" that sells substances that give "legal highs" and it appears it was these items that were targeted and stolen:
... Thousands of euros worth of ‘legal highs’ was taken from the ‘Yutopia’ adult shop on Main Street between Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning.

The substances, in powder and tablet form, are estimated to be worth in the region of 7,000euro.

Gardai said the culprits gained access to the store through the front door.

They’re appealing for any witnesses to come forward and contact them on 074 97 21021 ...
Yutopia has been in the news before and it's also a sex shop. But, besides's its "sensationalist" and "scandalous" having €7k of goods stolen is not good for any business. Someone's bound to have heard something. If you did, phone the Gardai at the number above.

I wanted to make a funny quip, like "the culprits were last seen giggling their way down Main Street", and I'm sure a lot of people will think this is a bit funny, but whomever robbed the place is probably going to be reselling the stuff and probably unscrupulously to kids. Whose business are they going to rob next?

Also, over the weekend the Bundoran Motor Garage was broken into on Friday night and 2 cars were stolen:
... Thieves broke into Bundoran Motor Garage in the East End of the town on Friday night.

Two cars were taken, although one has since been recovered outside the town.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to come forward and have said investigations are on-going.
Expect more crime because of the economy. :(
Original Post on Donegal Friends.

Conor Sinclair

Local photographer Conor Sinclair passed away:

... His work featured in numerous publications, including the Donegal Democrat.
Mr Sinclair was also involved in the establishment of community newspaper ‘The Donegal Times’ in 1989.
During a varied and highly interesting life, Conor Sinclair worked in the printing industry, as a Garda, a police photographer in England and was also renowned for his musical talent ... He said there is a deep sadness at today’s news and Donegal Town has lost one of its most “respected sons”.

 Cheers Conor, and happy snapping with the camera where ever you are.

It would be great to be able to see some of the great pics Conor has take over the years, and the pictoral history of the town over the past half century (or more).

Original Post at Donegal Friends

Update: The Democrat has a lovely article about Conor:

News: Bits & Bobs ...

Nice article from the Democrat about the Donegal Town Credit Union, and that their memberships and deposits have grown, possible because of the recession. Plus, they're local, really local, and shouldn't screw ye over like most of the big banks.
Since the beginning of January, new deposits at the Donegal Town Credit Union have dramatically increased ...

Speaking to the Democrat, Chairperson Liam Kelly said, “The year 2009 was a very successful one for us. We are delighted to state that business at the Donegal Town Credit Union is steadily growing, along with continuing to facilitate our members needs. The current membership now stands at 4,800 and expected to increase this year. Our success is based on the fact that we are about people. There are several hundred thousand euro in loans out at the moment, and a result of the current economic climate, we have recently witnessed a growth in small loans ...
And a pretty vague article from OceanFM about begging in town. Four lines, and no real details ...

... Reports locally have indicated towards a rise in the number of Romanian nationals begging along with young children. Adriana Fechette is manager of Leanbh services with the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).  She said they would concerns over the practice generally and the impact it has on children.
The ISPCC has some good information about what to do if you see children begging:
And just don't give money to beggers:
If your really concerned, support ISPCC and suggest they use the funds in the NW:

Finally, some fluff news, Meryl Streep's ancestor's may be from Donegal:

Original Post at Donegal Friends.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Johnny Doherty - Fiddler on the Road

This was a documentary made by UTV and broadcast by RTE in 1972 of infamous fiddle player Johnny Doherty from Ardara. Great stuff, and it interesting seeing Donegal all those years ago.

More details at IrishCentral.

Original Post at Donegal Friends.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Glenties Walking Trail

Some lovely pics of the GAP Walking Trail up in Glenties. Thanks to mweav31 on flickr for the pics.

GAP Walking Trail
Originally uploaded by mweav31

See the whole set at:

More info about the Gap Trail at Donegal Direct.

Original Post at Donegal Friends.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ballyshannon 1991

Sludgegulper has a whole load of pics he took while on various biking tours around the county in the late 1980's and early 1990's. He's this great pic looking Main street past Grimes and Dorrian's hotel.

Dorrian's Imperial Hotel and Grimes Bakery, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal March 1991
Originally uploaded by sludgegulper

See more of his pics of Donegal from the recent past on flickr:

Original Post at Donegal Friends.

Friday, February 05, 2010

News: Bits & Bobs 2

Co. Donegal had the highest rate of redundancies in the country in January:
A total of 166 people lost their jobs in the North West in the month of January.
Redundancy figures released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment show Donegal had the highest number of job losses at 122.
Sligo followed with 30 while 14 people lost their jobs in Leitrim last month.
Quads denied access, via one entrance, to Tullan Stand:
One of the entry points to Bundoran’s Tullan Strand will from now on be closed off to bikers.
The owner of the land, Charlie Fergus, today confirmed the move in the wake of a wave of complaints in recent weeks against the beach being used as a track for quad bikes.
I don't anything about the situation, but I can guess that too many people on quad bikes are horsing it up and down the strand and are scaring and pissing off anyone not on a quad.

And a huge meteor was seen over the NW recently:
Witnesses in Donegal to a fireball that blazed across the country yesterday are being urged to report their sightings to Astronomy Ireland ... Reports this morning suggest the meteorite may have landed in the northern half of the country ... Frosses man Tommy Brogan was in his workshop at the time of the sighting

He spoke of seeing a bright light heading towards Donegal Town which he claimed looked like a UFO.
OceanFM is great source of local news, but this is just so typical of them; they ask that people contact Astronomy Ireland if they've seen anything but they don't tell anyone how! See, there's this thing called Google on the Internet, and I typed in "Astronomy Ireland", and in 30 seconds I found this:


OK, and now for really feckin' crappy news, this is a headline you'd expect to see from some big European or US city and I'll let it speak for itself:
Report shows children trafficked into Sligo sex industry

And then there's lads wandering around with guns:
Gardai in Letterkenny are continuing to question a man in connection with dissident republican activity. The 49-year-old was arrested in Ballybofey last night after Gardai noticed a group of men acting suspiciously.
Three other men fled the scene and a number of checkpoints have been mounted around the county ... Gardai are appealing to anyone with any information to come forward.
Original Post at Donegal Friends.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sam McGuire in Donegal Town 1992!

Thanks to the Bluestack Jammers for digging this out, it's a video someone took in 1992 of the crowds in Donegal Town awaiting the arrival of the Donegal County Team after winning the all-Ireland and arriving home with the Sam McGuire Cup.

I wonder who took the video? Was it Gordon Simms?

Originally posted at Donegal Friends.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

News: Bits & Bobs

44% if new-borns are to unmarried parents, and that teenage girls in 16 years will their pick of the lads as more boy babies are being born than girl babies:
... almost half of children born in Donegal in the first half of last year were to unmarried parents. The figures from the Central Statistics Office cover Janaury to June of 2009, in that period 1,156 children were born - there were 10% more male babies born than female.

The statistics show that 568 babies were born to married parents, of the 519 that were not, 378 were born to parents living at the same address ... on average will have her first child at 28, and a subsequent child at 31.

A while ago I posted about all the empty houses in the county, now they're saying there's 22 "ghost" estates in the county.
... 22 'ghost estates' with the vast majority of them located in the north and north west of the county ... Professor Rob Kitchin and his research team at the Maynooth-based National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) have calculated the numbers of such estates in each county and mapped them out based on their research.

'Ghost Estates' for the purpose of their research are housing estates with ten or more houses, built since 2005 with 50 per cent of the housing unites either vacant or under construction ...

"This raises a number of questions for those people living in such estates because NAMA, in conjunction with the developer, has six options as to what it will do with vacant and under-construction housing stock in such estates. Each of these options has different consequences for residents."
Read the article for more info.

And you know the way the Government has been telling everyone to shop in the Republic and the County Council are trying to encourage people to shop in Donegal instead of across the border. Well behind me Mum's house they're putting in a new roundabout. She says that the contractor being used is from across the border.

On another note, she's a bit peeved that took down part of the hill behind her as she's got less privacy. With the hill gone the noise of yer man with the Subura racing up and down the lane will be louder what with the braking and that feckin' compressor. And I'm sure him and the other boy-racers will have fun squealing and braking around this new roundabout. It'd be nice if the council consulted with people who live nearby before making changes.

Original Post at Donegal Friends .