A few highlights from Donegal Live Event held in Donegal Town May 25-27
Donegal town was turned into a tourism exhibition centre for three days as thousands thronged the streets of the historic south Donegal town to sample the delights offered by Donegal Live 2012.
Following on from events in Dublin and Glasgow, the decision to bring the ‘Live’ formula back home proved a resounding success and the remarkable weather over the three days gave the town a continental feel to it.
Open air concerts in The Diamond and a major exhibition area highlighting the best that Donegal has to offer.
Donegal Town Community Chamber in association with Fáilte Ireland, Donegal Tourism and the Donegal Association were selected to host this major tourism promotional event. It took place in Dublin’s Temple Bar, The Iveagh Gardens and Glasgow over the last two years and highlighted all that Donegal has to offer tourists from both home and abroad.
Last weekend Donegal Town has been transformed into a tourism exhibition centre, with live music concerts from national and international bands in the Diamond area. The tented village on the pier houses exhibitors showcasing all that the county has to offer the discerning visitor.
The best of Donegal style was also on display with lots of clothing and jewellery, along with designers, artists and manufacturers of great local crafts.
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We’re a small business operating out of Carndonagh in the beautiful peninsula of Inishowen in Co. Donegal, right up the top of Ireland.
When we were a bit younger we did some travelling, our clothes drawer is an A-Z of where we’ve been. A few years ago we noticed that if a visitor came to Inishowen and wanted to take a momento home, specifically an item of clothing, you’d have to go for a knitted sweater or flat cap with a shamrock. Its not everyone’s cup of “tae”, its not ours for sure, we like to buy a t-shirt when we go away, or a silly pair of shorts, something like that, that’s just the way we are.
One idea led to another and we came up with a few designs, got them printed and people showed an interest. From there things have moved on, we now design everything ourselves, do our own printing and have gone from selling a few t-shirts a week to selling all over the world. It’s a geographically small place Inishowen but the people do get around and we’ve noticed they love to take a bit of home with them. That’s where we fit in.
The orders are coming in from everywhere, locally of course, but mostly abroad – Australia, New Zealand, America and Korea to name a few. It’s the times we live in that our own have to go away from home to experience a better life. When they are away, we like to be part of that feeling of being from Ireland. We’re finding our t-shirts in the box in the post along with the chocolate, Lyons teabags and Tayto crisps. We’re in good company!
More recently we’ve expanded a little, Pure Savage is the side of the business which designs and prints t-shirts and hoodies not specific to Inishowen. Pure Savage is more general, it can be anything from typical Irish humour to football t-shirts. It also designs and print t-shirts for hen/stag partys and birthdays and so on. Also, if there is a design you’d like printed, a one-off, we can do that for you. Basically we do a bit of everything. We think that’s the best way.
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It is 80 years since Amelia Earhart touched down in a field at Ballyarnett on the Derry/Donegal border. She took off from Newfoundland in Canada in a bid to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic.
Hoping to land in Paris, bad weather and technical problems altered her course and she landed in Derry. A week long festival was held in the city to mark the event with a fly past planned for Monday afternoon. A Donegal based flying club will stage a fly past in Guildhall Square at 15:00 BST. Six planes from Finn Valley flying club from Convoy are expected to take part.
Festival Director Oliver Green said,
I’m delighted Derry City Council have designated today as Amelia Earhart Day. This 80th anniversary is a stepping stone for our city to look at the legacy of our connection to this historical achievement. This is an endorsement of the significant and lasting place that Amelia Earhart holds in the history of our community.
After completing her transatlantic challenge, Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly across the Pacific. After her transatlantic achievement, she continued to break records.
But in 1937 her challenge to be the first woman to fly around the world ended in tragedy when her plane disappeared in the middle of the Pacific. For 17 days rescue teams scoured more than 250,000 square miles of ocean, but she was never found.
The aviator is a household name in America and an airport in Kansas was named in her honour. In March 2012, a similar bid to rename City of Derry Airport after the pioneering aviator was rejected after local politicians could not agree. That decision was criticised by the former director of a small museum celebrating Amelia Earhart in Derry. John Thompson said the failure to capitalise on Amelia Earhart’s legacy was a “major mistake”.
Artists from across Inishowen have gathered together to promote and support each other. This opening event at our working gallery is themed ‘on the edge‘. Works will consist of a wide range of media across many artistic disciplines including spoken word, music and visual arts.
Anchor Arts Moville
Set on the water’s edge at the Pier in Moville, Anchor Arts provides a collaborative creative space for artists and writers in Inishowen to develop, celebrate and display their talent. With exhibition and studio space, Anchor Arts gives members of the public the chance to meet artists at work during weekday mornings. Anchor Arts also provides opportunities for members of the community and invites them to develop their own creativity through a programme of workshops and to experience a variety of events and performances across cultural forms. Opening times are seasonal. If you would like to visit, call in for a cuppa or for more information,
please contact us in advance on 00353 83 146 4696 [email protected]
or through our website anchorarts.ie
We look forward to meeting you!
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Frost Debt Solutions came about due to the rapid decline in the Irish economy and the soaring debts people find themselves in due to this reason. Given the fact that there was new legislation coming into effect such as the mortgage crisis Karen and Ryan Stewart thought it would be best to launch their service ahead of the new regulations that were coming into play.
In the boom, people were able to afford their debt repayments but since the recession people cannot keep up with these payments for a number of reasons such as a loss of a job or a reduction in salary. At the moment Frost Debt Solutions are dealing with creditors across the country and they are accepting the proposals that they make.
Frost Debt Solutions also negotiate with creditors to see if they will freeze the interest on charges on the accounts so whatever the clients do get will come directly off the balance and not eaten up by interest charges.
All advice Frost Debt Solutions give is free and confidential.
Siansplan.com was developed after a few years of working with home cooks. The main objective of Siansplan.com is to make it as easy as possible for home cooks to cook healthy meals for their families within the budget that they have. Siansplan.com have created a meal planning in colour web application which means that home cooks can have the right food in the right amount right there in the kitchen when they need it.
Sian Breslin developed the meal planning in colour because she wanted to make it easier and achievable for home cooks to cook as many days in the week as they can. In one week which counts for 5 cooking days there are 4 red days and 1 green day. The four red days are to plan, shop and cook. Only 4 recipes are needed – 1 red meat dish, 1 chicken dish, 1 meatless dish and 1 fish dish. The green day is where all the leftovers are used that are in the store cupboard or fridge- there is no planning involved. The other two days are flexible, where a family can eat out etc.
Siansplan.com is a mother and son business where Sian is the Home Economist expert and Vincent looks after the technological side of the business.
For more information please visit www.siansplan.com
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Headfort and Portsalon join forces in twinning initiative
Headforth Golf Club in Kells, Co Meath and Portsalon in Co Donegal are to join forces this Friday in a “twinning” of the two golf courses.
Members from Portsalon are travelling down to the Headfort club where the official announcement will be made following a mixed competition.
The twinning of the clubs – which are 140 miles and three hours journey apart – will have benefits for members of both clubs.
Headfort boast two wonderful courses – Headfort New, rated as the best parkland in Leinster and one of the top 10 in Ireland, and Headfort Old an all-time gem, while Portsalon – which is being continually developed under the guidance of Paul McGinley – is a stunning links course which is rated number 27 in the top 100 courses in Ireland by Golf Digest.
Portsalon twins with Headforth
The link up between the clubs will allow members to enjoy the facilities of the other club free of charge should they visit, while members from both clubs can play their respective Open competitions at members’ rates.
Work on the deal between the clubs has been done over the past two years and Headfort marketing convenor John Griffin is delighted with the link-up.
It is a fantastic new benefit for Headfort members and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a links experience in a beauty spot well known to many Headfort members
With the raw, regal beauty of majestic Errigal and Muckish mountains as panoramic backdrops, an enterprising West Donegal man has launched a unique tourism service on and around Tory Island.
Based on his years of experience with boats of all kinds, and having recently completed a ten-person house on the Republic’s most northerly island, Michael Curran, known locally as “Sabba,” is combining sea-fishing excursions, leisurely tours around the three-mile-long island and a relaxing break at his two-storey, sea-front house.
“There is so much unspoiled beauty around here, mountain, cliff, sea and shore, and such utter tranquility that it makes for a perfect getaway destination,” said the friendly man from nearby Gaobh Dobhair, a few miles from the island on the mainland, who has established “Tory Sea Angling Charters.”
Fishing aficionados are taken from a number of Donegal coastal locations – including Aranmore Island, Bunbeg harbor and Magheraroarty Pier – on his boat, “The Cricket,” a fully-equipped, Aquastar 38′ powered by a 250hp engine, with a top speed of 18 knots, and that carries 12 people and two crew members.
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Sabba’s wealth of local knowledge means clients are guaranteed arrival at the best catch areas in this part of the Atlantic, especially as the boat’s license allows it to roam over a large, 20-mile area from Bunbeg. Cod, ling, hake, pollock, coalfish, conger eel and baskets of mackerel…you name it, you’ll probably catch it.
Then slowly grill or barbecue it later that same evening back on the veranda of “Teach Sabba” while enjoying a cold one listening to the soothing sounds of puffins, seagulls and cormorants while scanning the sea for pods of playful dolphins.
“Teach Sabba” is located on one of the finest spots on the island, close to spectacular cliff scenery, beside An Eochair Mhór (“The Big Key”), a long, steep-sided cliff spur ending in a crag called An Tor Mór (“The Big Rock”).
The spur has prominent rocky pinnacles known as “Balor’s Soldiers’ (Saighdiúirí Bhaloir) and gives the spur a toothed appearance, thus contributing to the name, “The Big Key.”
“You can’t be farther from noisy traffic and the stress of modern life than right here on the island, with the added convenience that the nearest restaurant and pub is but a short walk away,” said Sabba, gazing dreamily out from his front door at the clutch of seaweed-draped rocks below.
Aside from fishing, Sabba also offers guests relaxing tours around the entire island where they can enjoy panoramic views over the sheer, rocky cliffs at one end and across at the old lighthouse at the other, a place that is also the favored nesting site for Ireland’s rarest bird, one threatened globally with extinction – the Corncrake.
On the island, guests can enjoy varied activities. Hiking and biking from one part of the island to the other is easy for both young and old with no steep gradients to navigate, or dangers to avoid.
A stop in the middle reaps a well-deserved reward as lively Irish music is often played there in the lounge of the island’s sole hotel and where regular ceilis take place. You will no doubt also have the pleasure of meeting the island’s very own king, and conversationalist extraordinaire, 68-year-old Patsy Dan, who was been “Resident Royale” for many decades. Even his car has emblazoned along the front,”King of Tory.”
Tory island is also a haven for painters, with the striking light and gorgeous hues of the changing skies inspiring artists from all walks of life. One particularly prominent artist, Englishman Derek Hill, once lived here and started an informal school for local people that produced a genre known as “naïve art.”
Some of the school’s work, including that of King Patsy Dan, can be admired in a small art gallery (Dixon’s).
Endless stories are associated with Tory Island, some legend, others fact, making it an intriguing and colorful place to be. In the center stands a rugged rock turret pointing to the sky, the remains of a 6th century tower used as a look-out against seafaring invaders – fierce Vikings and others.
Celtic legend has it that the illustrious tribe, the Tuatha De Danann, triumphed over the Formorians here. Their leader, Nuada, was killed by the Fomorian King Balor’s poisonous eye, but Balor was himself killed by Lugh, the champion of the Tuatha, who then took over as king.
A Catholic legend tells how three Pagan sisters escaped the island in the form of swans but were turned to stone off the mainland and can now be seen as three rocks in the ocean nearby. Saint Colmcille is also supposed to have set foot on the island and built a monastery as part of his conversion campaign.
The sea around the island is a graveyard of ships, with many wrecked and sunk over the centuries, from the remnants of the fleeing Spanish Armada trying to make their way back home, to warships from the First and Second World Wars.
There is also a “Wishing Stone” on the island, a precipitous flat-topped rock beside the northern cliff-face of Balor’s Fort. Traditionally, a wish is granted to anyone foolhardy enough to step onto the rock, or who succeeds in throwing three stones onto it.
As for a holiday combining a stay at “Teach Sabba” with sea excursions on “The Cricket,” there’s no better testimonial than from the King of Tory himself.
“This is a terrific idea, both dynamic and creative. It allows visitors to really experience island life, enjoy some breath-taking scenery, learn so much about our five-thousand year old history and go off on exciting boating expeditions.”
See www.toryseaanglingcharters.ie for more details.
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In the first episode of Dig WW2, historian Dan Snow investigates the history of the Second World War in Northern Ireland, participating in archaeological digs and dives of military sites across the country. He discovers the gripping story of the Northern Irish pilot who became the most successful U-boat hunter of all time.
He also dives to the wreck of the famed U-155 and reveals the essential role that Belfast’s Harland and Wolff had in developing the famous Churchill Tank, fundamental to the march of the North Irish Horse to capture Rome. Meanwhile, in Donegal, a major excavation reveals the 70-year-old Spitfire flown by US pilot Bud Wolfe, who was forced to bail out just minutes after leaving RAF Eglington, now City of Derry Airport.
From the Donegal bog, Dan follows the journey of Bud Wolfe who after bailing out of his stricken machine ended up interned in a prisoner of war camp in neutral Republic of Ireland at the Curragh. Not that that stopped Bud!