The Info List - Donegal

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or Donegal
Town (/ˈdʌnɪɡɔːl/ or /ˌdʌnɪˈɡɔːl/; Irish: Dún na nGall, meaning "fort of the foreigners")[2] is a town in County Donegal
County Donegal
in Ulster, Ireland. The name was historically written in English as 'Dunnagall' or 'Dunagall'. Donegal
gave its name to County Donegal, although Lifford
is now the county town. From the 1470s until the very early 17th century, Donegal
was the 'capital' of Tyrconnell
(Irish: Tír Chonaill), a Gaelic kingdom controlled by the O'Donnell dynasty
O'Donnell dynasty
of the Northern Uí Néill. Donegal
sits at the mouth of the River Eske
River Eske
and Donegal
Bay, which is overshadowed by the Blue Stack Mountains
Blue Stack Mountains
('the Croaghs'). The town is bypassed by the N15 and N56 roads. The centre of the town, known as The Diamond, is a hub for music, poetic and cultural gatherings in the area.


1 History 2 Buildings of note

2.1 St. Patrick's Church of the Four Masters 2.2 Donegal
Parish Church

3 Industry and tourism 4 Transport 5 Sport 6 Media 7 Notable people 8 Surnames 9 Climate 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links



Approaching Donegal
Town by sea

There is archaeological evidence for settlements around the town dating to prehistoric times, including the remains of ringforts and other defensive earthworks. Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
was captured by raiders from the clans governed by Niall of the Nine Hostages, and this region is that to which Patrick returned, being familiar with the people, language, customs and lands.[citation needed] The first clan to convert to Christianity as the result of St Patrick's efforts was Clan Connaill (also known at one time as Clan Dálaigh: in English, this is pronounced Daley and it translates as "one in a leadership role"). Connall was a son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. As a result of their acceptance of Christianity, Patrick blessed the clan members; the sign of the cross appeared on the chieftain's shield and this became not only the heraldic device for the clan but also for County Donegal. Donegal
Town itself is famous for being the former centre of government of the O'Donnell dynasty, the great Gaelic royal family who ruled Tír Chonaill in west Ulster
for centuries and who played a pivotal rôle in Irish history. Their original homeland lay further to the north in the area of Kilmacrennan. From the 15th to the 17th century, they were an important part of the opposition to the colonisation of Ireland
by England. The town itself contains Donegal Castle, on the banks of the River Eske, and the remains of Donegal Abbey a Franciscan abbey which dates back to the 15th century
15th century
on the Southern shore of the Bay. The Annals of the Four Masters
Annals of the Four Masters
may have been partially written in the old abbey in the 1630s. The story of Hugh Roe O'Donnell
Hugh Roe O'Donnell
(Aodh Rua Ó Domhnaill, also known as "Red" Hugh II), Lord of Tyrconnell, was the inspiration behind many books and films, not least, Disney's The Fighting Prince of Donegal. In 1601 the Siege of Donegal
Siege of Donegal
took place during the Nine Years' War. After the Flight of the Earls
Flight of the Earls
from near Rathmullan
in September 1607, the castle and its lands were seized by the English Crown and given to an Englishman, Captain Basil Brooke, as part of the Plantation of Ulster. Captain (later Sir) Basil Brooke (ancestor of the Viscounts Brookeborough) was granted the castle around 1611 and he proceeded to carry out major reconstruction work and added a wing to the castle in the Jacobean style. The current plan of the town was also laid out by Brooke, including an attractive town square known as The Diamond. From the late 17th until the early 20th centuries, Donegal
Town formed part of the vast estates of the Gore family (from 1762 Earls of Arran in the Peerage of Ireland) and it was during their ownership that the town took on its present appearance.[citation needed] Donegal
Borough returned two members to the Irish House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland, until the Acts of Union 1800
Acts of Union 1800
came into force in January 1801. Evidence of the Great Famine still exists, including a workhouse, whose buildings are now part of the local hospital, and many famine graves. Buildings of note[edit] St. Patrick's Church of the Four Masters[edit] Dedicated to Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
and 'the Four Masters', this Catholic church was built in the early 1930s and was completed in 1935.[3] Known locally as 'the Chapel' or 'the Town Chapel', it was designed by Ralph Byrne, the famous Dublin
architect, in a mixed neo-Irish Romanesque and neo-Gothic style.[4] Donegal
Parish Church[edit] This Church of Ireland
church was built in a simple Gothic style mainly in the late 1820s and was completed in 1828. The main church appears to have been designed by a Mr Graham of Donegal
Town. A chancel was added in 1890.[5] The chancel of 1890 was designed by the office of J. Guy Ferguson in Derry
and built in a neo-Gothic style by James McClean builders from Strabane. Industry and tourism[edit]

The Church of Ireland
at night in Donegal

There are many sandy beaches in the area of Donegal, such as Murvagh beach, and some boasting good surfing conditions, such as Rossnowlagh. Donegal
is also used as a base for hill-walking in the nearby Blue Stack Mountains. The town has many hotels catering for visitors, and nearby towns such as Letterkenny
offer public swimming pools, cinemas and large shopping centres.[6] Like most clothing manufacturers in Ireland, the size of the workforce has been in decline for many years. Donegal
also has a long tradition of weaving carpets. Donegal Carpets
Donegal Carpets
have been made in Killybegs
for over one hundred years and have been found in Áras an Uachtaráin, the University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame
and the White House.[citation needed] On 1 December 2016, National Geographic Traveller
National Geographic Traveller
named Donegal
as the number 1 coolest destination of 2017. According to Pat Riddell, editor of the UK magazine, “It’s a warm-hearted place, but wilderness always feels just a stone’s throw away. And it is wilderness . . . world-class wilderness. We think it’s due a big year.”[7] Transport[edit]

The Abbey Hotel in the Diamond

The Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann
service number 64 Derry/ Galway
route: this makes several other stops including Letterkenny
and Sligo
(which allows for rail connections by Iarnród Éireann, from Sligo
Mac Diarmada railway station in Sligo
to Dublin
Connolly railway station. This route also allows for rail connections from Londonderry railway station
Londonderry railway station
to Belfast, via Coleraine. The number 30 Donegal
Town/ Dublin
route which makes stops at other key towns such as Enniskillen
(which provides connections to Belfast
via Ulsterbus).[8] Two private companies operate the other routes: 'McGeehan Bus' operates a regular service, from Glencolumbcille[9] and Dungloe[10] in West Donegal
to Dublin Airport and Busáras
in Dublin, which passes through the town;[11] while Feda O'Donnell Coaches (also known as Bus Feda) operates a regular Glenties/ Galway
service that stops in Donegal.[12] Donegal railway station
Donegal railway station
opened on 16 September 1889 and finally closed on 1 January 1960.[13] The site of the old station is now used by CIÉ as a bus depot while the actual building is the home of the Donegal Railway Centre.[14] Sport[edit] Donegal
town is home to many amateur sports clubs. The most popular sport in the area is Gaelic football
Gaelic football
and the local GAA club is Four Masters. The club also has been developing hurling. Other popular sports include soccer, rugby union, basketball and track and field. Donegal
Town was host to the final stage of the World Rally Championship on 1 February 2009 and was viewed by 68 million people worldwide. Media[edit] The town is home to the regional newspapers Donegal Democrat
Donegal Democrat
and Donegal Post
Donegal Post
and the local Donegal
Times[15] newspaper. The Northwest Express regional newspaper is also distributed throughout the town and surrounding county, as is The Derry
Journal. Ocean FM, an independent local radio station from Collooney
in County Sligo, has one of its three studios in the town, which broadcasts to most of south County Donegal. Highland Radio, which is based in Letterkenny, can also be received in the town. Donegal
Town was host to the final stage of the World Rally Championship on 1 February 2009 and viewed by 68 million people worldwide. Notable people[edit]

town centre at night

Paul Durcan, Gaelic football
Gaelic football
goalkeeper Karl Lacey, Gaelic footballer and 2012 All Stars Footballer of the Year Amybeth McNulty, Irish Canadian actress - CBC series Anne based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables Alexander Porter, United States Senator Colonel Robertson, soldier and philanthropist Pauric Sweeney, fashion designer John White (d. 1894), Conservative MP in the House of Commons of Canada Enya Patricia Brennan,Singer, songwriter, musician, and producer

Surnames[edit] Most common surnames in Donegal
at the time of the United Kingdom Census of 1901:[16]

1. Martin 2. McGinty 3. Cassidy 4. Callaghan 5. Gallagher 6. Stevenson 7. Wray 8. Thomas 9. Morrow 10. Slevin

Climate[edit] Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).[17]

Climate data for Donegal

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 8 (46) 7 (45) 9 (48) 10 (50) 13 (55) 15 (59) 16 (61) 17 (62) 15 (59) 13 (55) 10 (50) 8 (47) 12 (53)

Average low °C (°F) 3 (38) 3 (37) 4 (39) 5 (41) 7 (45) 9 (49) 11 (52) 11 (52) 10 (50) 8 (47) 5 (41) 4 (40) 7 (44)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 114 (4.5) 80 (3) 86 (3.4) 58 (2.3) 58 (2.3) 64 (2.5) 71 (2.8) 91 (3.6) 100 (4) 119 (4.7) 114 (4.5) 104 (4.1) 1,057 (41.6)

Average precipitation days 19 13 16 12 12 13 13 15 16 18 18 18 183

Source: Weatherbase[18]

See also[edit]

List of towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland Abbey Vocational School List of monastic houses in Ireland#County Donegal


^ "Population Density and Area Size 2016 by Towns by Size, CensusYear and Statistic". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 1 August 2017.  ^ Placenames Database of Ireland: Dún na nGall/Donegal ^ Alistair John Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (popularly known as the Pevsner Guide to North West Ulster), p. 238. Yale, London, 2003 (originally published by Penguin, London, 1979). ^ Alistair John Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (popularly known as the Pevsner Guide to North West Ulster), p. 238. Yale, London, 2003 (originally published by Penguin, London, 1979). ^ Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (popularly known as the Pevsner Guide to North West Ulster), p. 238. Yale, London, 2003 (originally published by Penguin, London, 1979). ^ Letterkenny
Information- Letterkenny
Reunion, Earagail Arts festival, Donegal
rally, St Patricks Day Archived 24 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Letterkennyhomes.com (18 August 2008). Retrieved on 23 July 2013. ^ Digby, Marie Claire (1 December 2016). " Donegal
named coolest place on planet by National Geographic". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 December 2016.  ^ Bue Éireann homepage ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-17.  ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-17.  ^ McGeehan Bus homepage ^ Bus Feda homepage ^ " Donegal
station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 23 September 2007.  ^ County Donegal
County Donegal
Railway Restoration Ltd. homepage ^ The Donegal Times
Donegal Times
On-line ^ Most Common Surnames in Donegal ^ Climate Summary for Donegal ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on 12 July 2013.

Further reading[edit]

Aldwell, B. 2003. A survey of local resident butterflies in County Donegal. Bull. Ir. biogeog. Soc. No. 27. 202–226.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Donegal.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Donegal.

Official website Donegal
Public Art

v t e

Places in County Donegal

County town: Lifford


Ballybofey Ballyshannon Buncrana Bundoran Carndonagh Donegal
Town Letterkenny Lifford


Annagry Ardara Ballintra Ballyliffin Bridgend Bruckless Burtonport Carrick Carrigans Carrigart Castlefin Churchill Cloghan Clonmany Convoy Cranford Creeslough Crolly Doochary Dunfanaghy Dungloe Dunkineely Fahan Falcarragh Fintown Frosses Glen Glencolmcille Glenties Greencastle Inver Kerrykeel Kilcar Killea Killybegs Killygordon Kilmacrennan Laghy Lettermacaward Loughanure Malin Malin Beg Manorcunningham Milford Mountcharles Moville Muff Narin Newtowncunningham Pettigo Porthall Portnablagh Ramelton Quigley's Point Raphoe Rathmullan Rossnowlagh St Johnston Stranorlar Teelin


Ardagh Bunbeg Burt Carnamoyle Castleforward Demesne Clonglash Derrybeg Downings Drumardagh Drumrainy Gartan Gortahork Kilclooney More Kincasslagh Magheroarty Meenagolan Portsalon Ranafast Termon Urris


Arranmore Cruit Eighter Glashedy Gola Inch Inishbofin Inishcoo Inishdooey Inishkeel Inishmeane Inishsirrer Inishtrahull Owey Rathlin O'Birne Rotten Rutland Tory

Other regions

Cloughaneely Fanad Gweedore Inishowen The Rosses

List of townlands in County Donegal Category:Mountains and hills of County Donegal Category:Rivers of County Donegal Category:Geography of Co