Empire Heritage Malin Head Donegal

Empire Heritage Malin Head Donegal – Underwater robotics technology has been shedding new light on two shipwrecks off the Donegal coast. “The Northern approaches off the Donegal coast represented a bottleneck for convoys in a major shipping route in the second World War across the North Atlantic,” says Dr Daniel Toal from the Marine Robotics Research Centre at the University of Limerick. “Significant tonnage in shipping was attacked and sunk in this wartime gauntlet and there are a large numbers of wrecks.”

He and his team built the smart robotic system used in the survey, ROV Latis, and technical diver Dr Ger Dooly helped to plan the expedition.

In September, the ROV checked out the wrecks of the S S Empire Heritage, sunk in 1944, which lies 70 metres under the surface and 15 miles north-west of Malin Head, and the passenger liner S S Empress of Britain, sunk in 1940 and now lying at a depth of 160 metres, 40 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland.

Despite the challenging weather conditions and wave heights of up to four metres, the Marine Institute-supported survey gathered camera and sonar images of the SS Empire Heritage site. They showed the cargo of Sherman tanks, which were originally destined to fight in the second Word War but are now scattered across the seafloor, according to Dr Toal. The survey also showed that the SS Empress of Britain lies on her side and is broken along her keel.

The UL team is now focusing on developing underwater robotics technology to support the renewable ocean energy sector.

This article appeared in the Irish Times

Old Tom Morris Golf Ball Search

Old Tom Morris Golf Ball Search – Divers have begun a search in Donegal for what they believe could be some of the world’s rarest golf balls.The gutta percha balls once belonged to golfing legend Old Tom Morris, who won the Open four times in the 1860s. It is believed the balls have been lying at the bottom of one of the county’s deepest lakes for 120 years. “It really is like looking for a needle in a haystack but if we find the golf balls it’ll be well worth the effort,” said dive leader Gus O’Driscoll.

The team started searching Lough Salt, near Kilmacrennan, last month. They believe that Old Tom Morris drove up to 20 golf balls into the lake while he was designing the nearby Rosapenna golf course in 1891.

From St Andrews in Scotland, he was a player, club maker, green keeper and course designer who helped set up the Open. In the last two decades of the 19th Century he was regarded as the most famous golfer alive. He was brought over from Scotland by Lord Leitrim to design the 18-hole links course through the sand dunes outside Downings.

A statue of Old Tom Morris overlooks Rosapenna golf course in Downings “We’ve carried out some research and spoke to local people whose parents were around when Tom Morris was here and they told us how he stood up on the hill overlooking Lough Salt and drove the balls into the lake,” said Gus.

“It soon became a tradition after that for golfers on their way home from the Rosapenna to stop off and drive balls into the lake.

“That checks out because we’ve seen thousands of balls on the bottom of the lake and we have recovered some which date back to the 1940s and 50s.”

But the golf balls Gus and his team are searching for are no ordinary balls.

Known as gutta percha, they were designed in the 1840s and used by Old Tom Morris at the time when he won his Open titles.

“They are a very distinctive ball and should stand out amongst the others.Some of them have come up for auction before and sold for thousands of pounds. If we were to find some of the balls used by Old Tom Morris then they would be even more valuable. If we do get lucky and find one then we are going to donate it to the Rosapenna Golf Course because they’re his link with this part of Ireland.”

This article appeared on BBC website

Christmas Trail at the Iosas Centre Donegal

Christmas Trail at the Iosas Centre Donegal – A Wallace Media news feature on the Iosas Centre Christmas Trail, a memorable interactive Christmas experience for all the family. Each little house in the garden will have its own Christmas theme and in the tradition of the great Irish storytellers, will have characters telling the Christian stories behind some of our favourite Christmas traditions – St Nicholas the Giver of Gifts, the Candy Cane, the first Christmas and more. Filmed/Edited & Produced by Shane Wallace. Narration by Shaun Doherty

Celtic Prayer Garden

The garden is inspired by the 5th – 12th Century spiritual renaissance in Europe, which followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The Garden with its representations of the Cross of Patrick, the Boat of Brendan, the Island of Columba and the Oratory of Canice,inspires visitors to a spiritual re-awakening and renewal following the recent Troubles in this land. Also, a rough pathway round the perimeter of the Garden affords Christian Pilgrims ample opportunity for reflective prayer.

The Celtic Prayer Garden is a six-acre site laid out in the shape of the island of Ireland which depicts the lives of the major saints of Ireland’s Golden Age (5th to 12th Century). Individuals and groups can tour the garden, enjoy its wonderful peace and natural beauty and learn more about our common Celtic Christian heritage. It is a place of incredible peace and natural beauty which affords the pilgrim time and space away from today’s hectic pace of life.

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The Bluestack Way App

The Bluestack Way App – The Bluestack Way App is now available by clicking here: http://www.everytrail.com/guide/the-bluestack-way-app A big thanks to Mark Flagler of Flagler Films for the use of his images in the video. The Bluestack Way app is a free app with six guides for iPhone or Androids available from the EveryTrail PRO platform. With EveryTrail PRO in place on either device, you can enjoy offline usage without roaming charges with all of the audio and material on your phone.

Every aspect of the area from history to geology, poetry to placenames, anecdotes and memories are on offer in what is the most comprehensive walking app of its kind anywhere in the world. Offered by navigatour™ guided apps from Headland New Media, audio, video, text and pictures showcase the celebrated way-marked way in northwest Ireland. See www.navigatour.ie for more.

Between Donegal Town and Ardara, enjoy the host of stories and history that make this place so special; a region whose people survived on their knowledge of the elements without modern equipment, an area that drew a Harvard Professor-turned sheep farmer into its bosom for 14 years, that was the inspiration for Brian Friel’s ‘Ballybeg’ and a heritage town that has more festivals than just about anywhere else.


Follow in the footsteps of mythological characters Diarmuid and Grainne, of Fionn and the Fianna, hear about ghosts, fairies and pookas, of customs and piseogs, fairdays and feastdays and of the finest view atop on the mountains, looking down as far as Cavan and Mayo and up as far as the Derryveagh mountains.

This is a very special journey and we hope you take a few days out to ensure you get to enjoy its beauty and its people in full for hopefully safe walking, good weather and an abundance of happy memories.

Image credit: www.whiteblaze.net


Scoil Mhuire Buncrana Gangham Style

Scoil Mhuire Buncrana Gangham Style- Here are the students and teachers from Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana, Co. Donegal with one of the first whole school Lip Dubs in the Republic of Ireland.

Featuring music by The Undertones, One Direction, Little Mix, Jennifer Lopez, Queen and PSY’s GANGNAM STYLE!


City of Culture Animation

City of Culture Animation

The programme for City of Culture was announced on 25th October.  Derry’s world-class culture programme next year will attract internationally renowned and respected artists while also involving local artists and non-artists in the creation of new works, promised organisers at yesterday’s launch.

Speaking at the Ebrington launch, Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, said:
We will both bring amazing and create amazing work in and to the city and the hope is that as many people as possible can get involved for free. We have tried to guarantee that every single person gets the opportunity to be inspired, and to participate in free cultural and artistic events.

City of Culture Animation

Thia video was produced by the Nerve Centre and shows highlights of Derry~Londonderry’s year as UK City of Culture 2013, including the Turner Prize, Primal Scream, Luminaire Light Festival, Music Promise and Colmcille Pageant. music from Gary Curran of The Japanese Popstars

Download the full programme at this link

Donegal in Bridgestone Guide

Donegal in Bridgestone Guide
* check out the video at the bottom of this post

32 Donegal businesses are featured in this year’s edition of John and Sally McKenna’s prestigious Bridgestone Food Guide.

Now in its 10th year, the Guide have been central to Ireland’s food revolution and been instrumental in spreading the word about quality and authenticity in the Irish food and hospitality industries.

Donegal has been making great strides, year on year, and this year sees and exceptional 32 premises being singled out for honours. They include:

  • Nancy’s Bar and The West End Café in Ardara
  • Doherty’s Café and Harry’s Restaurant in Bridgend
  • The Beach House Bar & Restaurant as well as Linsfort Castle in Buncrana
  • Quality Sea Veg in Burtonport
  • Claire The Bakers in Burtonport
  • The Glen House in Clonmany
  • Aroma Coffee Shop, The Blueberry, McGettigan’s Butchers, The Olde Castle Bar & Restaurant, Simple Simon Natural Foods,and Eddie Walsh & Sons in Donegal Town
  • The Green Man, The Mill Restaurant and Starfish Café and Bistro in Dunfanaghy
  • Castle Murray House, St John’s Point
  • The Red Door, Fahan
  • Filligan’s Preserves and Good Earth in Glenties
  • Glenveagh Tearooms
  • Kealy’s Seafood Bar, Greencastle
  • The Wine Buff and Cafe Banba in Letterkenny
  • The Village Tavern, Mountcharles
  • The Farm Shop, Moville
  • Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Raphoe
  • Moorfield Lodge, Ramelton
  • Kinnegar Brewing and Rathmullan House in Rathmullan

There is no recession in Irish quality food. In fact, the best food producers, restaurateurs, markets and counties are enjoying unprecedented success. It may seem difficult to believe that things have never been better, but things have never been so good in Irish speciality food. Conditions are tougher than ever in the marketplace, but food producers who have the right product at the right price now have a devoted audience, who are more conscious than ever before about buying Irish foods.

John McKenna discusses Donegal Tourism

Start Your Own Artisan Food Business

Start Your Own Artisan Food Business

Start Your Own Artisan / Food Production Business Information Road Show
A Practical Guide to Starting a Food Business

Information Road Show

In line with the recently launched Food Strategy DCEB is running a 10 week Start Your Own Artisan / Food Production Business programme. Come along to find out how this programme will help you build your business. You will hear about the structure of the programme from the trainer as well as the experiences of a local artisan food business.

Letterkenny, Donegal County Enterprise Offices on Wednesday 17th Oct at 7pm
Donegal Town, Enterprise Centre on Thursday 18th Oct at 7pm
Moville, Community Chef Premises on Tuesday 23rd Oct at 7pm
The Programme

Aimed at: People thinking of starting their own artisan / food production business or in the early stages of start-up.

Objectives: On completion of the programme participants should have a sound knowledge of the rudiments of food business start-up.

Starting: November 2012

To register or for further information, please contact Mairead or Danny on 074 9160735 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Derry Journal Move to New Offices

Derry Journal Move to New Offices

End of an era as the Derry Journal turns over new page

The last edition of the Derry Journal to be published on the Buncrana Road
One of the oldest newspapers in the world is turning over a new page with a change of premises.

The Derry Journal is leaving the Buncrana Road in the city after over 40 years, and moving to new offices at Pennyburn Pass less than a mile away.

It is only the third time the Journal has moved offices in 240 years.

The first offices were in Shipquay Street where the Richmond Centre is now.

Editor, Martin McGinley, started with the Journal in 1980 and said the paper, like the industry is unrecognisable from that time.

“I was a cub reporter. People might have recognised the newsroom from old films, it was very much like that.

“I sat down to a manual typewriter, I thumped out the story. You took your story and you folded it over and because it was on paper hoped you had a good thick bunch to bring into the editor.”

The Derry Journal holds perhaps the most important archive on the history of the North West and Mr McGinley said experience has taught them to be extremely careful when moving it.

“We will be packing up the archives very carefully today because one of the things that happened when we moved in 1970 from Shipquay Street was that there was an accident and a lot of glass negatives were actually broken, so extra care will be taken with this move.”

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This article first appeared on http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-19596224