Glencolmcille is a coastal district in the southwest Gaeltacht of County Donegal. While Gleann Cholm Cille is still an Irish-speaking community, English has been steadily replacing Irish as the main language, with only 34% of the people speaking Irish on a daily basis in 2002. Cashel is the main village in the district.
The name translates into English as “valley of Colm Cille”. Saint Colm Cille, or Columba, is one of Ireland’s three patron saints (along with Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid). Colm Cille and his followers lived in the valley for a time and the ruins of several of their churches can still be seen there.
This thatched-roof replica of a rural village in Ireland’s most north westerly county offers a glimpse into daily life as it was during past centuries.
The Folk Village Museum is a cluster of several small cottages, called a ‘clachan’, perched on a hillside overlooking the sandy curve of Glen Bay Beach in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) of South West Donegal. Designed, built and maintained by the local people, the Folk Village is one of Ireland’s best living-history museums.
Fort Dunree located on the west side of the Inishowen peninsula, is a Napoleonic period fort built by the Royal Navy. The fort is located on a rocky promontory accessed over a natural fissure. It was remodelled in 1895 to have 2 x 4.7 inch (119 mm) QF guns below, and later 12 pounder (5 kg) QF and 2 x 6 inch (152 mm) guns in a battery above. The top of a hill overlooking the site was walled in to form a redoubt.
The guns at the Fort were manned by the Irish Army until decommissioned following World War II.
The fort is now a military museum with detailed exhibitions, many restored guns such as BL 6 inch Mk VII naval gun and an old military camp. There are also displays about the area birds, marine life and coastal vegetation.
Other facilities include a gift shop, auditorium, café and trail walks.
King John’s Castle is a 13th-century castle located on King’s Island in Limerick, Ireland, next to the River Shannon. Although the site dates back to 922 when the Vikings lived on the Island, the castle itself was built on the orders of King John in 1200. One of the best preserved Norman castles in Europe, the walls, towers and fortifications remain today and are visitor attractions. The remains of a Viking settlement were uncovered during archaeological excavations at the site in 1900.
The walls of the castle were severely damaged in the 1642 Siege of Limerick, the first of five sieges of the city in the 17th century. In 1642, the castle was occupied by Protestants fleeing the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and was besieged by an Irish Confederate force under Garret Barry. Barry had no siege artillery so he undermined the walls of King John’s Castle by digging away their foundations. Those inside surrendered just before Barry collapsed the walls. However, such was the damage done to the wall’s foundations that a section of them had to be pulled down afterward.
Ashford Castle is a medieval castle that has been expanded over the centuries and turned into a five star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo-Galway border, on the shore of Lough Corrib in Ireland. It is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World organisation and was previously owned by the Guinness family.
A castle was built on this Monastic site in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman House of Burke.
After more than three-and-a-half centuries under the de Burgos, whose surname became Burke or Bourke, Ashford passed into the hands of a new master, following a fierce battle between the forces of the de Burgos and those of the English official Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, when a truce was agreed. In 1589, the castle fell to Bingham, who added a fortified enclave within its precincts.
Dominick Browne, of the Browne Family (Baron Oranmore) received the estate in a Royal Grant in either 1670 or 1678. In 1715, the estate of Ashford was established by the Browne family and a hunting lodge in the style of a 17th-century French chateau was constructed. The double-headed eagles still visible on the roof represent the coat of arms of the Brownes.
In the late 18th-century a branch of the family inhabited the castle. In the early 19th-century, one Thomas Elwood was agent for the Brownes at Ashford and was recorded as living there in 1814.
Donegal Castle is a castle situated in the centre of Donegal town, County Donegal. For most of the last two centuries, the majority of the buildings lay in ruins but the castle was almost fully restored in the late 1990s.
The castle consists of a 15th-century rectangular keep with a later Jacobean style wing. The complex is sited on a bend in the River Eske, near the mouth of Donegal Bay, and is surrounded by a 17th-century boundary wall. There is a small gatehouse at its entrance mirroring the design of the keep. Most of the stonework was constructed from locally sourced limestone with some sandstone. The castle was the stronghold of the O’Donnell clan, Lords of Tír Conaill and one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries.
Donegal (Irish, Dún na nGall), translates as Fort of the Foreigner possibly coming from a Viking fortress in the area destroyed in 1159. However, due to hundreds of years of development, no archaeological evidence of this early fortress has been found. The elder Sir Hugh O’Donnell, wealthy chief of the O’Donnell clan, built the castle in 1474. At the same time, he and his wife Nuala, built a Franciscan monastery further down the river. A local legend tells of a tunnel connecting the two but no evidence for this has been found. The castle was regarded as one of the finest Gaelic castles in Ireland. This was indicated by a report by the visiting English Viceroy, the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Henry Sidney, in 1566, in a letter to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, the Lord High Treasurer, describing it as “the largest and strongest fortress in all Ireland”, adding:
“it is the greatest I ever saw in an Irishman’s hands: and would appear to be in good keeping; one of the fairest situated in good soil and so nigh a portable water a boat of ten tonnes could come within ten yards of it”
In 1607, after the Nine Years war the leaders of the O’Donnell clan left Ireland in the Flight of the Earls. In 1611 the castle and its lands were granted to an English Captain, Basil Brooke. The keep had been severely damaged by the departing O’Donnells to prevent the castle being used against the Gaelic clans but was quickly restored by its new owners. Brooke also added windows, a gable and a large manor-house wing to the keep, all in the Jacobean style. The Brooke family owned the castle for many generations until it fell into a ruinous state in the 18th century. In 1898 the then owner, the Earl of Arran, donated the castle to the Office of Public Works.
Welcome to the one and only “Daniel O’Donnell Visitor Centre” where for the very first time there will be a permanent celebration of his incredible life.
As a mark of recognition to the remarkable success of Daniel we have created this museum of his life thus far and we hope you will join us.
The Visitor Centre is like no other…
Once you are inside the custom designed building the story of Daniel’s life will be told through displays, videos and exclusive memorabilia to show the progress of his international career over the last 25 years. The displays include some of his favourite stage outfits and as a special treat visitors can see close up his wedding suit and Majella’s beautiful wedding dress.
The visitor can follow Daniel’s life from his roots in a small coastal village to the world stage and see some of the many awards he received including his gold and platinum albums. Video screens will show extracts from many of the top TV shows he has appeared on along with all his own song promo films and extracts from many sell out concerts since his career began.
As you all probably know Daniel hails from the Rosses, in the small townland of Kincasslagh but what you probably didn’t know is that Dungloe is the capital of the Rosses so we feel it only right that the location of “THE DANIEL O’DONNELL VISITOR CENTRE” is right in the middle of Dungloe Main Street.
If you are a fan of Daniel O’Donnell then you will not want to miss a trip to Dungloe to experience this dedicated permanent tribute to the boy from Donegal.
Tullamore Dew is a brand of blended Irish whiskey produced by William Grant & Sons. Although it was originally a single pot still whiskey, first distilled in 1829 in Tullamore, County Offaly, the modern product is a blended whiskey that is not produced in Tullamore town. The primary blend ingredients are from the New Midleton Distillery in county Cork (a facility owned by Pernod-Ricard), as are Jameson, Powers, Paddy and the rest of the Irish Distillers products. The name derives from the initials of an early manager of the concern, Mr. Daniel E. Williams (abbreviated “D. E. W.” and merged to form “Dew”). Formerly owned and marketed by the Irish company, C&C Group, the label was sold to the Scottish Company William Grant & Sons in 2010.
Ards Forest Park is probably the most beautiful and varied of Ireland’s forest parks. It covers 480 hectares and contains a large diversity of plant and wildlife forms. Sandy beaches, rivers, viewing points, nature walks, picnic and play areas are all available. It also has many features of historical and archaeological interest. The remains of four ring forts are to be seen in the park as well as a number of megalithic tombs. A walk in Ards Forest Park will allow you to truly experience the wilds of Donegal.
Westport is a town in County Mayo in Ireland. It is at the south-east corner of Clew Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland. Westport, designated one of Bord Failte’s Heritage Towns, is situated in the shadow of Croagh Park. One of the few planned towns in the Country, Westport was designed in the 18th Century by James Wyatt. It has become one of Ireland’s established tourism centres.
The famous pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick, known locally as “the Reek” lies some 10km west of the town near the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey. The mountain presents a striking backdrop to the town. Croagh Patrick, one of Europe’s best known places of Pilgrimage, has provided a tough ascent for many pilgrims each year, climbing barefoot in the memory of St. Patrick, who spent forty days and forty nights fasting on the summit more than 1,500 years ago. A small church at the summit of the mountain welcomes penitents, while magnificent views of Clew Bay, with an island for every day of the week and provides inspiration for many walkers and visitors throughout the year.
Unique and charming, the heritage town of Westport is a captivating blend of traditional and modern. From the cosiest corner of an antique pub to state-of-the-art conference facilities from the heart-stirring beat of traditional music to the cosmopolitan approach, contrast and paradox are just part of its charm.
The award-winning Great Western Greenway, one of Ireland’s most-talked-Greenway west resizes about walking and cycling trails starts here. Westport House and Country Estate, one of Ireland’s most recognisable tourist attractions is 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of town. Ireland’s iconic pilgrimage mountain, Croagh Patrick is just up the road. Lots of sandy blue flag beaches near Westport are just a short drive away, along the shores of Clew Bay.
Westport is also well known for sea-angling and freshwater fishing is popular on nearby Loughs Mask and Carra, and on the Eriff River. Westport House and its Pirate Adventure Park attract families, many of whom stay at the caravan and camping park which belongs to Westport House. Westport has an 18-hole golf course. A nearby 9-hole course has an attached guest accommodation.