Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Here's a few photos I took of the Diamond when I was home at the end of November. If you wait a minute you'll see the star flash on the first photograph.

If you sick of all that rain, here's the Diamond when it's snowing! :) 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hikes and Walking Trails around Donegal Town

John Ward put together a great series of guides about the different walks and hikes around Donegal Town and furhter afield. They're available on, and you can download them to your Android phone or Apple iPhone. Photos are by Emmet McCauley.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Donegal Fiddle Players

Great video from TnaG (the Irish language TV station) about fiddle playing in the county. Hosted by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of the band Altan. The show is in Irish with English sub-titles. It's well worth watching (or listening to).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Little Taste of Christmas ... Nov 26th

This event is happening in the Abbey Hotel on Saturday November 26th 2011. It looks a bit like a holiday market, admission is 2 Euros. Click on the image for more details.

Also the Christmas Lights will be Switch On the next day. Santa and Friends will be there too on Sunday 27th November at 5.00pm!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Film: Brighter Days

A lovely wee video by Daniel McGarrigle about his Grand-Dad's life, narrated by his Grand-Dad Colm Melly.
Like the Film on Facebook
Visit the Film’s Blog
Watch the Film on YouTube

The Roundabout Song

Great video from Swilley Driving School, filmed on location in Letterkeny.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Donegal Town 2011 Christmas Fair -- Nov 14th

Don't forget that the Donegal Town 2011 Christmas Fair will take place on Monday 14th Nov 2011 in the Abbey Hotel 5.30pm-10pm.  Admission is free. There will be Carol Singing & mulled wine.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Laura Thomas & Damien Quinn: The Lark CD

Laura Thomas is from Donegal Town and is now based in Galway. Listen to the song "Death and the lady " from Laura and Damien's new album The Lark at Reverb Nation.

Original Posting at Donegal Friends.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Serial Twin in Doms

Serial Twin are playing in Pier One on Saturday October 15th! Go see 'em! RSVP on Facebook. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good Luck Donegal!

The squad in Donegal Town before heading off to Dublin for the game:
Donegal 2011 GAA Squad

Thanks to Donegal's own Matt Britton for the photograph. You may need to be a friend of Matt's on Facebook to see the full sized photograph.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 Donegal Town Food Festival!

2010 Crowds
This weekend, Friday August 26th - Sunday August 28th, the Donegal Town Food Festival will take place. Met Eireann has a positive weather forecast and if your in the area I suggest you pop in for a visit. It's 2 euro per day, or 5 euro for a weekend pass. It doesn't say where in town, but I presume it's down by the Quay where it was in 2010.

See the website for more details:
And the full agenda is available at:
And a PDF of the agenda is available at the Donegal Town website at:
Happy 2010 Attendees
Food being Prepped by
Tracey Duke
at the 2010 Festival
Thanks to Donegal Town's own Matt Britton for the photographs of the 2010 Food Festival.

On another note, I know I've been wile bad at blogging this year and promoting events and adding news. I know no-one wants to listen to me apolgies, but it's time-consuming, and doesn't pay (the ads don't pull in enough to buy a pint a year), and I'm busy doing other things. And it sometimes get's tough to find the time to spend an hour or so drafting these blog postings, finding photographs, and getting the layout to look good.

So feel free to e-mail me anything you'd like me to post, no blatant adverts please, the blogs about the town and promoting the town. See my Contact page.

Bank Walk

Tree Name
John Ward wrote a very guide to the Bank Walk on

John did a lot of work on this, with a lot detail and pics. The Bank Walk has seen some improvements done recently, with bird houses added to some of trees
And some of the trees labeled so one can identify them.

The only thing I'm not sure of is all the gravel they spread, I liked the old rooty dirt path that was there and that by making the walk a little more accessible that's lost a little of it's charm.

Bench and New Gravel Surfacing
And a big thank you to John for writing that article and helping publicise Donegal Town.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Donegal Town Castle: Heirtage Week 2011

Donegal Town: The Old CastleThis Saturday, August 20 2011, marks the start of Heritage Week. Free admission in to Donegal Town Castle and an Arts and Crafts day for the kids.

You can follow the Old Castle on Facebook!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Donegal Wins the Ulster Final.

Donegal beat Derry on Sunday July 17th, 2011, to win the 2011 Ulster Championship. Next stop the all-Ireland?

The cousin Fergal took some great pics of the game, and our foe Derry put up a good fight.

Donegal and the Flag.
Getting the ball.
Irish President Mary McAleese congratulating the team. What looks to be, Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness is in the Background wearing the grin and red tie. :)
Fergal has a tonne more photographs of the game on his Facebook album.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Alert Garda catches thieves who robbed MJ's Pub on Main Street:

Ballyshannon District Court heard  how Garda John Sweeney who was on traffic duty at Dunkineely became suspicious when he discovered two car occupants gave wrong details.
He studied CCTV pictures of a pub robbery at MJs pub, a short distance from St Patrick’s Church, Donegal town, at 11.20 on a Sunday morning and he recognised the two he saw in the car.
Supt Jim Coen told the court the car was later located at Ballintra halting site and €1,600 of the stolen money was recovered.

And in Leghowney, brazen crooks break into a house while the owners were in bed asleep, raid the house, then steal the owners car:
Thieves broke into the house around 5am on Tuesday and stole TVs, computers and other electrical goods.The brass-necked thieves then loaded the stolen property into the homeowner's own Skoda car and sped from the scene.

The silver Octavia car with registration number 10 DL 3505 was seen driving in the direction of Ballybofey.

Gardaí are appealing to anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the Leghowney area of Donegal in the early hours of Tuesday morning to contact them.

If you saw something, call the Donegal Town Gardaí at (074)9740190 or your local Gardaí.

Farmers Market doesn't have enough Farmers?

Farmers Market in Donegal TownThe Donegal Daily is reporting that the Donegal Town Farmers Market may close as there aren't enough vendors selling locally produced produce:

Businesses in the town claim produce other than that grown locally is being sold at some stalls - and is therefore in breach of the spirit of the market ... if produce other than that grown locally - or which competes against rate-paying established businesses - stall owners could be removed or the entire market closed down.
A council source told us: "It is now clear that the original farmers market idea has been expanded to goods which go against the spirit of what the market should be.
"Inspections will be carried out and orders issued against any stalls in breach of the market's original plan."
 Read more at the Donegal Daily, and please ask them to credit me for my photograph that they are using that page (I've a copy linked to here for you to view).

Friday, July 08, 2011

Summer Jobs for Students

The County Council is offering workplace to up to 30 students around the county:

Today, July 8th is the last day to apply:

Summer Student Placement Scheme 2011

Donegal County Council

Donegal County Council intends to provide summer work placements for up to 30 students. Applications are invited from full-time students who are currently undertaking a third-level course in Culture, Heritage, Arts, Engineering, Business, Finance or related disciplines. Applicants must have at least one year (third-level) completed and be returning in September 2011 to continue their studies.

Placement Period
Monday, July 25, 2011 – Friday, September 2, 2011

€302.75 per week (35 hours per week, paid fortnightly)

Likely locations will be Carndonagh, Donegal Town, Dungloe, Letterkenny, Lifford or Milford, County Donegal.

Only on-line applications will be accepted. Curriculum vitae and covering letter, stating preferred location, to be submitted to:
In view of the timeframes involved, Donegal County Council will award placements on the basis of curriculum vitaes submitted. Depending on number of applications received, Donegal County Council reserves the right to shortlist.

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, July 8, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Donegal Town Summer Festival!

The Donegal Town Summer Festival is this weekend, starting June 30th to July 3rd 2011.
To get more information see the Donegal Town Summer Festival Facebook page:
Or the Donegal Town Web site at:

If anyone knows of somewhere else where the information is listed, let me know and I'll post it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vote for Donegal Town Playground!

Vote for Donegal Town's Playground

If they get enough votes for Donegal Town's Playground, Brennan's Bread pay for a "brilliant renovation". This will include:
  • The repair and painting of play equipment
  • Any additional items required to make it one of the best playgrounds in the country such as plants, seating and other playground essentials!
Support your town, and kids and help the playground!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Bank Walk: Light at the end of the tunnel

Thanks to Matt Britton for this pic of the bank. Matt said this about the picture and the work done by the Mayor and volunteers:
Light at the end of the tunnel - the "Far Bank" walk in Donegal Town restored to its former splendour ... Major Tom Conaghan just got about 15 people together, a digger, dumper and a few chain saws and its looking great ...

You can also see the picture on Matt's facebook page.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Dungloe Gorse Fire Pics.

Some pics of the fires around Dungloe that Susie Davitt took:

If your on Facebook, you might be able to see them here. And some video from afar by Donegal Daily.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Bog Fires: Updated

Some eejits think it's funny to set whin bushes on fire. There's a been a spate of gorse fires around the country, including Donegal:
Fifty troops were deployed in Donegal and north-west Mayo and an Air Corps helicopter, equipped with a bucket, flew missions to drop 1,200 litres of water at a time on the fires near Dunloe ...

Ten units of the fire service are tackling a large gorse fire between Lettermacaward and Dungloe in west Donegal ...

Four houses in the area were evacuated and fire fighters have requested the assistance of the army.

The Donegal Fire Service has said the blaze was started maliciously.
I've also heard from friends that there's a fire somewhere near Ballyshannon or Bundoran, probably started by copy-cats. RTE has some video here of the fires in Dungloe.

An update from Donegal Daily:
Already thousands of acres of gorse and forestry have been burned around Dungloe, Lettermacarward and Doochery since the fire started yesterday.

There are also serious fires round Fanad with hundreds of acres scorched there too as firefighters try to keep that blaze under control.

Exhausted firefighters are now out at the scene for more than 24 hours at the blaze at the general Upper Rosses area ...
A number of families have already been evacuated from homes across the region as more than 100 firefighters tackle the blaze.

A spokesman for the fire service said they now believe the blaze was started deliberately.

At least one property is believed to have been destroyed already but there are no reports of any casualties ...
Hundreds of locals have also been working throughout the night to protect their properties and to assist in trying to put out the fire.

Motorists are also being advised to avoid the area at all costs, especially the N56, which is covered in dense smoke.

A lot of wildlife is also believed to have perished during the blaze.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ballintra Girl Dies in Australia

Ballintra Graveyard

Elaine Morrow of Ballinatra passed away in diving accident in Australia.
Elaine Morrow (23) from Ballintra, Donegal was on a three-day charter boat trip with pals on Langford Island off north Queensland on Sunday and decided to go scuba diving, but never resurfaced ...

Her distraught family are waiting for the post-mortem results before they can fly their beloved daughter home. However, this is expected to take up to 10 days ...

Mayor of Ballyshannon Brendan Travers said the news of her death had stunned the community.
"When something like this comes out of the blue, it's so hard for people to take. Our thoughts and our prayers are with her family."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Some news!

Sorry for the drought (the lack of news) here at Donegal Friends. Here's a few news items I thought you might find interesting and an auld pic!

Here's a photograph I took of the town, from the Iron bridge, back in 1992. Click on it to see a larger size and a more recent pic I took in 2005. See any changes at all?
Donegal Town: View East 1992
Donegal Town 1992.
And now a few news. Some Donegal (and local) area restaurants won some awards:
At last Monday night’s awards ceremony the Donegal winners were named as follows; Best Chef: Darren Iddon at Solis Lough Eske castle in Donegal Town, Best Casual Dining; Kealy’s Seafood Restaurant, Greencastle, Overall Best Restaurant, The Mill, Dunfanaghy, Best Customer Service; Harvey’s Point in Donegal Town, Best Gastro Pub, Harry’s Bar, Bridgend, Best Hotel Restaurant; Castlegrove Country Hotel in Letterkenny.
And Jimmy Melly of North West Alarms, in Donegal Town, warns about unscrupulous security alarm installers:
... “Unfortunately there is a large number of illegal operators in the county at the moment who are operating without licence.

“This industry is very, very strict. We are inspected at least once a year. We were the first company to be licensed when the legislation was introduced. People should know that it is illegal for anyone to install an alarm without a licence.
An American lady of African descent who lives in Donegal has Irish citizenship and whom is married to an Irish man, and talks about her experience with racial profiling:
Speaking on today’s Shaun Doherty Show, she recounted a recent experience when gardai boarded a bus to Dublin and questioned her and another person of colour.

She said it’s ironic that she was travelling to a meeting of a national committee of which she is a member ...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Killybegs Hotel to Close ...

Image courtesy of the Donegal Daily
The Bay View Hotel in Killybegs is to close (or is already closed):

Another hotel has fallen victim to the downturn in the hospitality sector, with the closure of the Bay View Hotel in Killybegs, Co Donegal, writes Gavin Daly.

Bank of Scotland (Ireland) last week appointed a receiver to the company behind the hotel, which closed suddenly last month. According to a notice on the hotel’s website, the Bay View Hotel has been closed ‘‘until further notice’’. The hotel is on the main street in Killybegs, over looking the harbour. It has 40 bedrooms and a leisure centre ...
The Donegal Daily has a slightly take on this:
There were fears the hotel was shut down after a visit from another director to the premises last night.

Local director Bernie O’Callaghan says that he has asked gardai to investigate after equipment went missing overnight. This includes TVs, tills and catering equipment.

Mr O’Callaghan said he was left completely in the dark about the decision of another director from Leinster to send staff home and claim the hotel was closed with the loss of 35 jobs.
Original posting at Donegal Friends.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day

 Some video by Greg Gorman, taken from the Laghey Blast float during the 2011 Donegal Town Saint Patrick's Day Parade:

If you any photographs or video you like to share, let me know.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Cannons in the Wild

Michael & Nathalie Cannon and their family were recently on TV in the RTE show "Families in the Wild". The Democrat has an article about it at:
Following last years success of ‘Teens in the Wild’, clinical psychologist David Coleman is back with a new show based on a similar concept, but this time he has extended his advice and therapeutic work to the whole clan. Families in the Wild sees David (the Irish Dr. Phil), taking three individual families, including the Cannons, away from the stresses and pressures of daily life to the isolation and tranquility of the Kerry wilderness for a week of activities and therapy.
The Cannons on their exploration of the wilds.
I hope ye all had fun, and it was a worthwhile adventure! :)

If your in Ireland you can watch the episode for a limited time on the RTE player at:
Original Posting at Donegal Friends.

Laghey Blast's: Come Dancing Competition

Some video from Greg of the Strictly Come Dancing contest held in the Abbey Hotel on 18th March in aid of the Laghey Blast Festival.

The Laghey Blast Festival will be held in Laghey (sometimes spelt Laghy on the maps) on Sat April 30th & Sun May 1st 2011 (the May bank holiday weekend).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Vote for Pavesi

Do you like Pavesi (the band)? Vote for them in the Youbloom contest at:

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Western Waves

A load of new programmes from Western Waves:

    And the latest "State of Art" is interesting listen:

    Original Posting on Donegal Friends.

      Ryan's Bakery

      Have you tried the new(ish) bakery on Bridge Street? They sell artisan breads (think french breads and the like), specialty meats, cheeses etc.

      If your looking for Gluten-free pancakes for Pancake Day (good if you have a Gulten intolerance or have Celiac disease) Ryans's will be selling some (made by Zack) on Pancake Day only.
      For some reason Ireland has one of the highest rates of Celiac's in the world!

      Original Posting at Donegal Friends.

      Sunday, February 27, 2011

      Mary's Gone, Thomas & Pearse have Arrived ...

      Mary Couglan is reported to have lost her seat in the Dáil, and the Green Party
      Outgoing Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has become the biggest name to lose her seat in the General Election ...

      Fianna Fáil is in meltdown, the party could have just 22 or 23 seats, and just one in the capital in outgoing Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

      The Tánaiste is the most high-profile casualty, but other political dynasties are about to come to an end - the names Haughey, Andrews, and Hanafin will be gone.

      Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny will not make an overall majority, but a handful of final seats could decide whether he needs Labour or can try and cut a deal with Independents.
      But the Greens will be wiped out since none of the party's outgoing TD's or candidates will make the cut.

      The Irish Times has more coverage, with a breakdown of the voting coverage:
      As the counters began distributing Ms Coughlan's transfers from her vote of 5,655 the final battle appeared to be between Mr Ó Domhnaill with 5,724 votes and Mr Pringle on 9,139 votes. While Ms Coughlan was expected to transfer well to her running mate the advantage decidedly was with Mr Pringle.

      He did not reach the quota but the Killybegs man was elected with 1,175 votes, while Mr Ó Domhnaill with 8,834 votes lost out.
      With the final voting tallies of the 3 seats in Donegal South West going to:
      In other election news, Gerry Adams the election he fought in Louth:

      As with anything else, we'll just have to wait and see what these results mean for Donegal AND the country. Also, interestingly enough Mary has a Twitter page which hasn't been updated since 2009:

      Original Posting at Donegal Friends.

      Monday, February 21, 2011

      Kee's of Laghey Robbed, Armed Thug captured

      Looks like Kee's in Laghey was robbed on Saturday night by a man with a handgun. It doesn't appear anyone was hurt, and I hope the attendant isn't too scarred:

      A man is to appear in court in Sligo later today charged in connection with an armed robbery at a filling station in Donegal over the weekend.

      Kee's Filling Station in Laghey was raided at around 11pm on Saturday night by a man wearing a disguise who was armed with a handgun.

      The shop attendant was forced to hand over a sum of cash.

      A man was later arrested in Donegal town - the cash was recovered and an imitation firearm was seized.

      Sunday, January 30, 2011

      Donegal From Up There.

      A great pic, taken by Kate out at Biddy's O'Barnes, of Donegal Town from the air in wintertime with a little snowfall.
      Donegal Town in Wintertime
      See more pics on Biddy's O'Barnes Facebook page. If your on Facebook, befriend Biddy's as Kate has been taken some fabulous photographs of the town, Barnes, & of Lough Eske.

      Original Posting on Donegal Friends.

      Friday, January 28, 2011

      Health Care Cuts

      Some news articles that show some of the effects in Donegal of cuts to the HSE's budget:

      87 year old's home help cut to half-an-hour twice a week:
      Letterkenny General Hospital
      Letterkenny General Hospital

      Four year wait for Orthodontist for some children:

      This article (about parking at Sligo Hospital) claims there's 28 people awaiting admittance:

      Thanks to Leppre on Flickr for the photograph of the sun beam over Letterkenny Hospital.

      Original Posting On Donegal Friends.

      Thursday, January 27, 2011

      2nd Annual Country Weekend at the Abbey

      The Abbey Hotel is having it's 2nd Annual Country Weekend on February 4th to 6th 2011.
      See the Central Hotel's Website for more details?

      Original post on Donegal Friends.

      Tuesday, January 25, 2011

      Serial Twin: Wirin's Tale Take 2! :)

      Serial Twin are (once again) launching their debut album 'Wirin's Tale' on Saturday January the 29th 2011 in The Coach House, Donegal Town at 10pm! Unfortunately, the original date was canceled due to the fowl weather. RSVP for the event on Facebook.
      See the song "Burn it all" from the album on Youtube:

      Buy the album on iTunes or on Amazon, see the Serial Town Website for more buying options.

      Original Post at Donegal Friends.

      Monday, January 24, 2011

      News: Out on the road!

      Walk to Glenveagh
      Road to Glenveagh
      Gardai to clap down on dangerous driving, and irresponsible boy racers, and people with illegal mods done to their cars, hopefully things like those feckin' compressors that make so much bloody noise especially late at night!
      "We operate what is virtually zero tolerance policy. We just do not let any offence go ignored. We didn't ignore anything and that was our instructions, regardless how trivial or how menial they are. The only way these guys will learn is through education and the only way to teach the guys who do not have the life experiences or the education, is through harsh enforcement," Insp. Harrison stated.
      Did you know they now have seat belts on school buses? I didn't. Does it surprise you that most of the wee'un's don't use 'em? All it taks is a collision at 40mph and everyone on the bus not belted in is going to go flying.
      As few as one in ten teenagers here are wearing seat belts on school buses and unless the trend changes a tragedy involving a school bus could happen on Donegal's roads, it has been warned.

      Garda spot checks are being carried out to highlight the problem and the Donegal Road Safety Working Group has warned the possibility of withdrawing bus passes from students who don't wear seat belts could happen.
      A farmer up in Convoy has 2 expensive 4x4 quad bikes stolen in the middle of the night:
      It is understood that the bikes were driving away from the shed at approximately 4.30am yesterday morning and it is likely they were then loaded into a get away vehicle such as a lorry or van.

      Speaking to the Democrat last evening Mr Gregg said the quads had been locked in a shed on his premises and the thieves forced their way inside and drove the bikes away up a back lane.
      And in nearby Raphoe, a couple's caravan was stole, and it's scuppered their plans to finish work on their house:
      A young couple's efforts to restore a 400-year-old cottage in Raphoe in County Donegal have been jeopardised after thieves stole their caravan worth 10,000 euro.

      Helen Hancock and Ian Holyoak were about to sell it to pay for the property's thatched roof, but have now had to abandon their plans ...

      "They had to bring a spare wheel as one was tied to the gas tank," she said.

      "I felt so secure here, but since this happened I haven't been able to sleep at night. It's so sad."

      The Avondale touring caravan was taken sometime over the weekend. The couple had lived in it for two years. Recently, it had been used as a home for volunteers from across the world who were working on the restoration project.
      I'd bet these crimes are connected, and possibly by some gang who nip back'n'forth across the border. So if you saw a few quads around 4am, or a caravan toddling about the place in the middle of the night; call the Gardai and tell where you saw it! It might help them narrow down where they went, and whom stole them.

      The photo above is one I took on the old road from near Churchhill to Glenveagh. The start is near Derek Hill's gallery which is well worth the visit if your near there. You can't drive the road, but it's a lovely 6k walk to Glenveagh, mostly downhill too (but then you need to walk back!). :)

      Original posting at Donegal Friends.

      Tuesday, January 11, 2011

      Laghey Blast Fundraiser: 21 January 2011

      There will be a Quiz in O'Carolans Bar Laghey to fund-raise for the Laghey Blast Festival 2011.You can RSVP or ask questions on their Facebook page.

      Table quiz and Raffle on the night.
      21 January · 21:00 - 23:30

      For more information about the festival see the Laghey Blast Website.

      Monday, January 03, 2011

      Frozen Donegal Bay

      A lovely pic of a frozen Donegal Bay by me sister Jeannie:

      You can see more on her Flickr page.