Donegal County Council Logo
Home > Your Council > Communications Office > Press Releases Archive > Press Releases

24/10/18 - Friends and family from Scotland welcomed home for Donegal Global Irish Festival


Donegal Global Irish Festival 379x269

Pictured at the Donegal Global Irish Festival in Ionad An

Mháchaire, on Saturday last are Jimmy Duffy, Genealogist,

Hugh Rodgers, Aranmore Island, Madge Mc Carthy,  

Kathleen Nancy Gallagher, Colin Hindle, Fáilte Ireland,

Joanne Kilmartin, Donegal County Council, Frances Boyle,

Ionad An Mháchaire, Douglas Sinclair, Lerwick Historical

Society, Anne Marie Saunders, Michael Tunney, Donegal

County Council



Friends and family from Scotland welcomed home for Donegal Global Irish Festival



There was a great energy in Dungloe and Maghery over the weekend as local people welcomed visitors, friends and family from Scotland back home to take part in the first of the Donegal Global Festival weekend of events. 



The Donegal Global Festival, a joint initiative between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council seeks to encourage our Diaspora to visit Donegal during the off peak tourist season.  Speaking at the event, Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise said “we were delighted to have secured the funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through Fáilte Ireland to deliver the Donegal Global Festival in Donegal, the funding has provided us with an opportunity to extend our existing Diaspora network and to deepen our close connections with Scotland”.



The weekend was officially opened on Friday evening in Ionad Teampall Chroine in Dungloe and guests enjoyed a very informative talk by historian and author Breandán Mac Suibhne on the Seasonal Migration workers. Breandán spoke at length about the Donegal people who settled around the globe from Scotland to Pennsylvania referring in particular to the jobs they had and the conditions they had to endure.



On Saturday guests were treated to a range of talks in Ionad An Mháchaire including personal recollections of working as tattie Hoakers, herring gutters and tunnel tigers.  Speakers recounted their heartbreak at leaving Donegal, the conditions on the Derry boat, the back breaking work but most of all they recounted the “craic”, the friendships formed, the character building and their ability to support and provide opportunities for their younger siblings back home.



The Irish Minstrels Comhaltas group from Glasgow also travelled and provided live music sessions on Friday and Saturday and were the main act in the weekend’s concert in An Chúirt Hotel, which also featured young local musicians from Cloughaneely CCE and An Cranóg.



Speaking about the event Joanne Kilmartin, the Donegal Diaspora Executive explained that this was the first of two fun filled weekend of events and that next weekend will focus on engaging with our younger Diaspora.  She said “next weekend we will welcome 2 underage GAA teams to Dungloe to play their counterparts here in Donegal.  The weekend will include a guest appearance from Packie Bonner and a coaching session with some of our County Players.  This is a great opportunity to connect with the younger Diaspora and we hope that this will allow us to engage on a deeper level with them with a view to welcoming them home on many more occasions in the future”.



She welcomed the support from local people, particularly Frances Boyle, Bainisteoir, Ionad An Mháchaire and referred to the appetite from both the local people and visitors alike to explore the strong bonds to our Scottish Diaspora saying that “this is a pilot year and hopefully one that will springboard us to a much larger event in 2019”.  She urged people to keep an eye on the Donegal Diaspora website or follow the Donegal Diaspora project on facebook or twitter for plans for 2019. 



Rate this Page

Select an option below

Map Services

Map Portal

  • winterweather Image
  • NWGreenway network icon
  • Donegal Tourism Logo
  • Rennet Image
  • NPPR Logo
  • Donegal Gathering Logo
  • Donegal Diaspora Logo
  • Public Art logo
  • Regional Cultural Centre logo
  • Spaceial logo
  • IrishWater
  • LEO