Isolation, Islands and Intrigue

Isolation, Islands and Intrigue
Celebrating 60 years of National Trust for Scotland Cruises

Inishowen has literally been put on the map following the news that the National Trust of Scotand are to include the Inishowen Peninsula in their cruise itinerary for next year. Each year the NTS charter a luxury cultural cruise which ferries thousands of tourists around some of the top sites in the British Isles, and with the sixieth anniversary of the now famous excursion approaching next year, the Trust have included Inishowen in the schedule for their diamond anniversary tour.

The Inishowen Peninsula, part of County Donegal, lies at the very north of Ireland and is one of the country’s hidden treasures. On the shore of Lough foyle, on the north-eastern extremity of the peninsula, is the small village of Greencastle where we will come ashore to explore this remote part of the country. The village is home to the Inishowen Maritime Museum and planetarium and is a great starting point for coastal walks. The peninsula coastline is dotted with sandy beaches, secluded coves, staggering cliffs and some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland.

The northernmost tip of the peninsula, Malin head, is a Special Area of Conservation and an ideal location for bird-watching with its observatory and over 250 recorded species of bird, including the elusive corncrake.

Doagh Famine Village
The challenges that the area’s remoteness and isolation have caused residents from the time of the Irish potato famine to the present day can be discovered at the thatched village of Doagh, inhabited until 1983 but now an intriguing museum of life on the edge. While there is much to see in Inishowen itself, within easy reach is Northern Ireland and two of its unmissable sites: the walled city of Derry and the Giant’s Causeway. An overnight sail takes us across the Straits of Moyle to the Isle of Islay, Queen of the hebrides. With its human history start.

Saturday 18 May: Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland
Sunday 19 May: Isle of Islay, Inner Hebrides
Monday 20 May: St Kilda World Heritage Site
Tuesday 21 May: Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Wednesday 22 May: Knoydart Peninsula
Thursday 23 May: Isle of Rum, Small Isles

View full details at this link

An Grianan Theatre Spring Summer 2012

An Grianan Theatre Spring Summer 2012
Some of the events coming up at An Grianan Theatre.


Fri 27th April Wind in The Willows
Sat 28th April Chronicles of Long Kesh


Thur 3rd May Grease/Dirty Dancing
Thurs May 10th Ardal O’Hanlon
Fri 11 May Jack L
Wed 16 May Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes
Thurs 17 May The Love Hungry Farmer
Thurs 24 May The Sleeping Beauty
Fri 25 May Static Movement Variety Show
Sat 26 May Mark Black & The Trips album Launch (with support The Heads of State & In their Thousands)
Tue 29 & 30 May A Bag of Queens


An Grianan Theatre Spring Summer 2012 – Video Highlights

Location of An Grianan Theatre

Box Office and programme details: 00353 74 9120777
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Digital Marketing Strategies for Donegal Business

Digital Marketing Strategies for Donegal Business

Most businesses work hard on their digital marketing, but how much of it is really working? Join us for a free seminar that will tell you where to look to find the answers to that question.

Donegal County Enterprise Board are pleased to be welcoming Niall McKeown of iON back to Donegal to deliver a seminar for Donegal businesses next month. Niall is the founder and managing director of iON and his seminars have always been practical, informative and engaging. He has been an “internet entrepreneur” for over a decade with experience in digital marketing strategies, sales, business growth, new product development and new technologies.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Donegal Business – Event Details:
Date: Tuesday 29th May 2012
Time: 8.30am – 10.30am
Venue: CoLab, Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Cost: FREE

To book your place for this FREE seminar, please contact us on 074 9160735 or email [email protected]

The seminar will focus on improving your web strategy through the use of analytics and evidence-based decision making. The seminar will look at using web statistics and defined key performance indicators to decide which tools and digital channels (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, pay-per-click, etc) will work best for your business.

Seminar Agenda:
Introduction to analysing web statistics
Case Studies:
How companies planned their digital strategy based upon evidence
How companies increased their sales due to evidence-based decision making
Why some companies win and others fail online because they ignore the evidence
How to create digital key performance indicators

To book your place for this FREE seminar, please contact us on 074 9160735 or email [email protected]

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Inishowen Spitfire

Inishowen Spitfire

The remarkable story of the discovery of a World War II Spitfire in an Inishowen bog is to be published in early May 2012.

‘The Story of the Donegal Spitfire’, was penned by Claudy aviation historian, Jonny McNee, who discovered the fighter plane’s whereabouts after almost giving up hope. He also led the incredible excavation of the fighter, which was flown by an US pilot who joined the RAF, and the ambitious restoration project

Jonny’s new book tells of the ups and downs of tracing the last movements of the plane, pinpointing its exact location due to a chance conversation in an Inishowen shop, the ambitious year-long project to have it excavated and preserved and meeting with those closely associated with both the plane and the pilot.

The soft-back publication, which contains 130 pages including 12 pages of colour photographs, charts the story behind the discovery and excavation in 2011 of Spitfire serial number P8074 from 133 (Eagle) Squadron RAF.

During WW2, this squadron was based for a few months at RAF Eglinton. The story became known in the media as ‘The Donegal Spitfire’ and was the first licenced excavation of a WW2 aircraft anywhere on the island of Ireland.

The book also covers the fascinating career of its American pilot, Pilot Officer Roland ‘Bud’ Wolfe who abandoned his stricken aircraft in November 1941 which then nosedived and buried itself deep beneath the peat on the Glenshinny mountain, in the townland of Moneydarragh, near Gleneely village in Inishowen.

It recollects the joyous highs and stressful lows in obtaining the required archaeological licences and permissions for a project that had never been attempted before. The tale of the pilot’s internment in neutral Eire, followed by a short-lived escape back to his squadron at RAF Eglinton and his subsequent re–internment under the orders of the RAF immediately grabbed the public imagination.

The book also covers the wartime donation of this iconic fighter by successful Canadian businessman Garfield Weston and its incredible state of preservation. The firing of one of its recovered Browning machine guns – watched by over a million people on the BBC website – catapulted the P8074 story onto a global stage.

‘The Story of the Donegal Spitfire’ culminates in the emotional visit to Derry by the pilot’s two daughters and other members of the extended family to commemorate their father’s war time career and launch the museum exhibition of recovered items. The discovery and excavation of Spitfire P8074 was recorded as part of a BBC NI series entitled ‘Dig WW2’ presented by Dan Snow and filmed by Derry based 360 Production. The series is due to be broadcast next month.

‘The Story of the Donegal Spitfire’ is expected to be in local bookshops within two weeks, price £8.85 or direct from the author via email at [email protected] or by calling him on 0044 777 330 12 12.

This article was first published in the Derry Journal

Technology and Donegal Tourism

Technology and Donegal Tourism
The internet is the most important factor for almost half of overseas travellers who decide to visit Ireland, with seven out of ten relying on the web to plan their visit here. With these findings in mind, Fáilte Ireland this week organised an e-business conference for the North West tourism trade, entitled ‘Your Online Focus – Home and Away’ at the Clarion Hotel, in Sligo.

Among Donegal’s top tourism trade to attend were:
Mandy Lyons, Slieve League Lodge Hostel;
Margaret Storey, Creevy Co-Op;
Myles Gallagher, Sonas B&B;
Don McGonigle, Ballyliffin Hotel;
Brian Deeney, Rathmullan Cottages:
Colm MacPahidin, Donegal Adventure Centre;
Rosemary Ward, The Bluestack Centre;
Marguerite Howley, Castle Murray House Hotel;
Deirdre McGlone, Harvey’s Point Hotel;
Tracey Ferguson, Bundoran Town Council;
John O’Connell and Gemma Farrell, Atlantic Aparthotel.

With trends suggesting that up to 25% of people may soon be booking their accommodation through their mobile phone, the importance of keeping up to date with online technology was emphasised at the conference. A number of online experts from Google and Trip Advisor where on hand to discuss a number of topics including how technology and tourism can be brought closer together so that Irish businesses can sell more effectively to the 21st century tourist both domestic and overseas.

Technology and Donegal Tourism
Emphasising the importance of technology in tourism, Martina Bromley, Head of Operations for Fáilte Ireland in the North West, emphasised:

We were delighted that over 100 delegates from the North West tourism industry attended this Fáilte Ireland conference ranging from hotel managers and marketing managers to owners and proprietors of tourism businesses

To date, Fáilte Ireland has helped over 3,500 small and medium enterprises to plug into their full online potential through our Web Check and e-business training programmes. Just last month we held our first live industry webinar in digital marketing with a second planned on social media in April

We are particularly delighted that this year Trip Advisor took part in the conference. Tourism businesses today are operating in an environment where one in two travellers base their choice for a trip on other people’s experiences and reviews. Ensuring that you are up to speed with online reviewing and how to deal with it must be an integral part of a hotel’s day to day activity.

Peace One Day Concert

Peace One Day Concert
Imelda May, Newton Faulkner, Guillemots and Wonder Villains are the first acts confirmed for Derry’s Peace One Day Concert.

The concert – scheduled for June 21 at the revamped Ebrington Square parade ground – is produced by Jeremy Gilley, the founder of the Peace One Day movement for a global ceasefire, and is the opening concert of the London 2012 festival.

He said: “We’re so excited to be opening the London 2012 Festival in Derry-Londonderry. The concert marks the three-month countdown to Peace Day 2012 – the focus of our Global Truce 2012 campaign; we hope Peace Day 2012 will be the largest reduction of global violence ever recorded on one day.

“This day is as much about non-violence in our schools, our homes, workplace and local communities as it is about ceasefire on the international stage. Everyone has a role to play.”

More acts are expected to be confirmed for the Derry gig in the coming days.

Peace One Day Concert
Chief Executive of Derry’s Culture Company Shona McCarthy says the Peace One Day concert is a “fantastic opportunity for a joyous celebration in Derry.”

“We were aiming for a quality music line-up that people of all ages could enjoy at an affordable price. It’s great to have top artists performing here in the city,” she says.

“The ethos of Peace One Day resonates with the themes of the City of Culture project, we listened to the ideas put forward by our young people and matched those with a few of our own. The concert will allow us to show the world an early taste of the kind of events that Derry Londonderry will have to offer during 2013.

Tickets for the concert will be available shortly from and from Cool Discs and the Ticketmaster booth in Foyleside Shopping Centre.

Adventure One Surf School Fanad

Adventure One Surf School Fanad

A visiting family hit the waves at Fanad, with Adventure One Surf School, North Donegal’s leading ISA approved surf school.

We are North Donegal’s leading ISA approved surf school and No.1 supplier of surfing equipment.

Adventure One Surf School Fanad opened its doors in March 2004, originally located in Letterkenny we were North Donegal’s only surf shop! In May 2006 we opened the 1st ISA Approved Surf School on Donegal’s North coast and haven’t looked back.

We provide lessons and coaching for surfers of all abilities from beginner to advanced surfers from age 8 upwards. We are open from March until the end of October every year. Being ISA approved means Our instructors are qualified ISA level 2 coaches as well as RLSS beach lifeguards and we are fully insured.

We look forward to teaching you in the crystal clear waters of Fanad, North Donegal.

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Culture Tech Festival Derry

Culture Tech Festival Derry
We’re extremely excited to announce the launch of Culture Tech, a four-day festival of digital culture and technologies taking place August 29th to September 1st, 2012 in Derry-Londonderry. Over four days attendees can expect a phenomenal line-up of keynote speakers, workshops, digital arts installations, live music events and special film screenings. It’s set to be the biggest and most exciting digital event in NI this year, with an estimated 500+ conference delegates and over 8,000 members of the public involved in various events across the city centre.

Updated: Tues 21st August > here is link to pdf brochure

As of today we’ve released around 20% of the total line-up and will be announcing a new act or speaker every day for the next 18 weeks in the run- up to the festival. Tickets cost just £49 for the full four days, including all events and parties, with discounts for students (£29 each) and group bookings (from £25 each).

And if you book your tickets by Friday, April 27th you can get them for just £39 – that’s less than £10 per day.

We’re also keen to hear from anyone interested in getting involved through:

Group ticket sales
Speaking opportunities
Content partnerships
Marketing / media partnerships
Simply email [email protected] to learn more and we’ll look forward to seeing you in August.

Mark Nagurski and the Culture Tech team.

Bundoran Wall Mural

Bundoran Wall Mural

Over the course of 5 hours in Bundoran, County Donegal, Irish artists Eoin O’Connor and Tara Mc Guinness produced a stunning mural along the main street as part of a town clean up with RTE’s ‘Dirty Old Towns’

Approx 105ft x 10ft
Painted with household emulsion

Shot on a Nikon D40x over 5 hours and edited with FCP.

Eoin O’Connor

Tara Mc Guinness-