Monday, 15 October 2012

Rory Kavanagh Joins Another Winning Team

Following on from his recent success in bringing the Sam Maguire cup back to Donegal, Rory Kavanagh is now playing his part in supporting The Donegal Gathering as an ambassador.

Rory has commented on the Donegal Gathering saying “For everyone looking for an excuse to come to Donegal, this is it. Come back to Donegal for the Gathering next year, you are guaranteed to have a good time and you can even visit Sam when you are here.”

Rory has been a real example of athleticism as he drove Donegal on from midfield this year. The Donegal Gathering steering committee recommends that those travelling to Donegal next year will need similar stamina levels to keep up with all that is happening around the county!

 An exciting year ahead is promised and there will definitely be plenty of sport. Anyone who witnessed the displays of unbridled joy at the full time whistle on All-Ireland final day, and the subsequent celebrations during the team’s week long tour of the county will realise that we know how to enjoy ourselves in Donegal. So make sure you’re a part of next year’s festivities.

Meanwhile, work behind the scenes continues as the steering group for the Gathering 2013 guarantees we are in for a memorable year.  So let’s all make sure we let our friends and family living abroad know that if they only do one thing next year, it’s to get themselves to Donegal!

To view our growing list of ambassadors, check out

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Gathering 2013

The Gathering 2013

The Gathering Ireland 2013 is about the people of Ireland throwing open our arms and inviting anyone with a connection to our country to come and visit.
It’s about asking anyone who has Irish blood, a link to Ireland, or even just a love of our country – to join us for a series of amazing and diverse events throughout 2013.
They will range from clan gatherings where people will discover their roots, to rugby clubs inviting foreign teams to their sevens tournament, and groups of international business colleagues conferencing in Ireland. Those amazing events will be created by you, your neighbour, your work colleague or your sports team. They will be organised by individuals, groups, business colleagues and clubs within the community who will reach out to their worldwide networks. For those organising the events, there will be lots of information, help and support available on this website over the coming months.
The Gathering is a powerful grass-roots movement. By reconnecting with our global community, it will be like completing an electrical circuit. Energy will flow and our community will light up and sparkle with its own vitality.

Donegal Meetings

Throughout 2012, people in each county in Ireland will be invited to participate in a Community Meeting, organised by a local Gathering Steering Group. At the meeting, you will have an opportunity to hear about The Gathering, learn how you can become involved and develop ideas for gatherings in groups with others from your community.
The following dates and venues have been arranged for the Community Meetings in Co. Donegal:

10th September 2012 – Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny

18th September 2012 – Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Buncrana

19th September 2012 – Maghery Resource Centre, Maghery, Dungloe

25th September 2012 – Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey

26th September 2012 – Lough Eske Castle Solis Hotel, Donegal Town

All the meetings will run at the same time: 7.00 – 9.00pm. Everybody is welcome!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ceol Na Coille

This week, July 16th - 20th, Ceol na Coille - School of Irish Traditional Music is hosting its Summer School in Glenswilly, Letterkenny. The week will see traditional music students from throughout Ireland, USA, Belgium, Germany and Holland, engage in a week long series of workshops, recitals and sessions culminating in a final concert for family and friends on Friday Afternoon. 

To commemorate the memory of the late Jim Doherty, Fiddler from Legnahoorey, Letterkenny, Jim's family have very generously entrusted one of Jim's Fiddle's to the Music School, which will be passed on an annual basis to one of the schools most promising Fiddle students. The fiddle will be presented to the student at the concert by members of Jim's family. Music from Jim's wide and varied repertoire will be taught during the week and performed in Friday's concert, passing Jim's musical legacy on to a new generation of traditional musicians.

Further information on all events can be found on

Thursday, 28 June 2012

NAFCO 2012

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo) will be the largest musical event in the north west this year as hundreds of musicians, dancers, academics and plain music loving people flock to Derry and Donegal over the last week in June to participate in the first NAFco convention to be held in Ireland. 
NAFCo is a celebration of all things related to fiddle music and there will be workshops, concerts, discussions, films, exhibitions, masterclasses, lectures, ceilis, a festival club and lunchtime concerts taking place throughout the city of Derry and in various parts of the county of Donegal.
One of the eagerly anticipated highlights of NAFCo will be a guided bus tour that leaves Derry on the morning of Saturday 30th June and travels south to take in some of the more famous places associated with fiddle music in Donegal. Leading the tour will be fiddle players Dermot Diamond, originally form Belfast but now resident in Dublin and Raphoe man,  Martin McGinley.  A frequent visitor to south Donegal where he teaches during the fiddle week in Glencolumcille, Dermot is Professor of Chemistry in Dublin City University .  Martin is well known as the editor of The Derry Journal but his prowess as a fiddle player has spread his name near and far.  Glenties musicians Vincent, Jimmy and Peter Campbell will be on hand to play a few tunes for those taking the tour which will include a lunch stop in Glencolmcille.
The bus will then make its way to the Highlands Hotel where later that evening at 8pm Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh, founder member of Cairedean na bhFidileiri and highly regarded chronicler of Donegals musical history,  will introduce an evening of fiddle music and dance entitled “Strathspey Stories” with contributions from Tommy Peoples, Ciaran O Maonaigh and Aidan O’Donnell, Paddy McMenamin, Ann Connaghan, Visiting musicians  with include fiddle player Paul Anderson, singer and harper, Mary Ann Kennedy, the piper Fin Moore along with dancer Caroline Reagh from Scotland, From Cape Breton in Canada where fiddle, piano and dance are supreme come Andrea Beaton, Janine Randall and sisters, Dawn and Margie Beaton. This looks set to be a truly memorable international gathering in Glenties and the music in the Highlands Hotel will last long into the night as there is a pass the fiddle session planned for later that same evening.
The Cape Breton musicians scheduled to play in the Highlands Hotel on Saturday 30th will be giving a free lunchtime presentation on their music and styles of playing and traditional dance in the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey at 1pm.
Irish music legends The Chieftains are the guests of honour chosen to bring the curtain down on NAFCo on Sunday July 1st when they play the Plaza, Buncrana at 8pm with support from the Danish female fiddle trio Fiolministeriet. Earlier that day in Letterkenny there will be a free lunchtime concert in the Regional Cultural Centre, Port Road featuring Canadian musicians Pierre Schryer and his trio and the old time/bluegrass sensations Oh My Darling.
For more information check out: and information from 048 71 375134.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tickets on sale for the Northwest Garden Rose

To kick start what is anticipated to be the biggest Northwest Garden Show to date, the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative Ltd, event organisers, are delighted to invite you along to the Northwest Garden Rose 2012 a brand new feature of this year's show, which will take place on Friday 25th May, in The Villa Rose Hotel, Ballybofey. Tickets cost €15 and are now available from McElhinney’s Department Store, The Villa Rose Hotel, or from any member of the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative Ltd. Castlefinn.

Come along for a great night’s entertainment with master of ceremonies TV3’s Noel Cunningham commencing the activities at 8pm in the Villa Rose and enjoy live music from local band Off the Cuff. Each Northwest Garden Rose candidate will be interviewed by Noel Cunningham, hoping to impress our judging panel and charm the crowd in their quest to be crowned the 2012 Northwest Garden Rose.

The winning Rose will receive a perpetual crown designed by Newbridge Silverware, a McElhinney’s gift card valued at €1000; a stunning Lancôme & Newbridge hamper valued at €750 and she will be invited to attend and mix with the crowds at the 2-day Northwest Garden Show event on May 26-27 at CPI Complex Castlefinn, Co. Donegal.

The event is one of many new features to the Northwest Garden Show 2012, and is sponsored by Mc Elhinney’s Store Ballybofey, Public Image, Newbridge Silverware, and Lancôme. It is a great platform for business’s to be showcased by their representing rose on the run up to and on the night of the event, for more information on this unique advertising avenue contact 074 91 43976
Speaking ahead of the Northwest’s biggest garden and outdoor living event, Director Michael Carlin says: “We are so excited about this year’s show, not least having achieved an award at this year’s Donegal County Enterprise Board’s “Enterprising Donegal Business Awards” reflecting the success of the Northwest Garden show and the achievements of a small group of people for the greater good of a community. This means so much to a voluntary committee”

“Having been the fastest selling event so far we are on the way to a bigger and better show this year and we are delighted to welcome on board our sponsors Robert Kee & Son, Gillespie Polytunnel, John Paul Florists, Ferrys Refuse, McElhinneys Department Store and Failte Ireland”

Located on the grounds of the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative Complex in Castlefinn village, Co. Donegal, this year’s event will draw in crowds from far and wide, bringing a fresh and new opportunity for everyone involved in the art of gardening to meet, greet and talk all matters green on Saturday and Sunday May 26-27, 2012

With an exciting line-up of celebrity gardening gurus, entertainment, attractions and impressive features from up to 140 unique exhibitors, it promises to be a great day out for all ages. Other attractions include a Farmers Market, Artisan Food Producers Marquee, Family Fun Zone, live Floral and Cooking Demonstrations, The Garden Challenge Area, Trash ‘n’ Fashion catwalks and exclusive McElhinney’s fashion shows as well as the much anticipated White House Garden creation by gardening expert, author and TV personality Diarmuid Gavin and much, much more that you will not want to miss out on!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

RTE Junior presents the Happy Prince!

RTE Junior radio presents a live broadcast and video cast of the Donegal adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince with the Donegal Youth Orchestra & Youth Choir on Friday May 18th @ 2pm and you are invited you to listen in!!!

Pack up the school bags or put on the kettle and enjoy a 45 minute magical radio treat!

Ireland and particularly Donegal is known for its creativity. Oscar Wilde, who wrote the beautiful story ‘The Happy Prince’, is one of Ireland’s most famous writers. Donegal County Council Cultural Services Public Art Program decided that they wanted to write a new adaptation of this most special story but write it in a way that made best use of our creative strengths in Donegal, which include music, storytelling and performance. They worked from this existing text, and writer, actor, storyteller and musician Little John Nee and composer Vincent Kennedy were commissioned to write and perform an orchestral/narrated Donegal adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince. They also asked Donegal Youth Orchestra if they wrote something especially for them, would they be interested in performing it and they said yes. The world premiere was performed in Donegal in April but now, with the support of RTE Jnr you are invited to enjoy and experience this Donegal adaptation of 'The Happy Prince'.

You can listen to RTÉjr Radio on your digital radio, online at, on Saorview and on the RTÉ Radio Player online, on iPad or on your mobile device.
 There is also an education pack that can be downloaded in Irish and English to enhance the experience for our younger 7-12 age group.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Daniel O Donnell to receive freedom of the County

County Mayor, Noel Mc Bride has offered Daniel O Donnell the Freedom of the County  on behalf of the people of Donegal. The famous singer has graciously accepted this rare honour which will be conferred in June.

Having released almost 40 albums and with sales in excess of 10 million, Daniel is one of the most successful recording artists that Ireland has ever produced.

With countless awards to his name, including a 1989 Donegal Person of the Year award and a 2002 Honorary MBE for services to the music industry and charity, Daniel is also a recognised philanthropist, and despite his successes, has never lost his identity or forgotten his roots.

Mayor Mc Bride commented that this award is in recognition of the outstanding contribution that Daniel has made as an ambassador for the county.

The conferring ceremony will take place on 22nd June @ 3pm at Lifford County House.