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Donegal Town is famous for being the former home to the O'Donnell Clan, who played a pivotal role in Irish history. From the 15th to the 17th century, they provided the main 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 a Franciscan abbey which dates back to the 15th century on the Southern shore of the Bay. The Annals of the Four Masters are traditionally thought to have been started in the abbey in the early 17th century. The story of Red Hugh O'Donnell, Lord of Tyrconnell, was the inspiration behind many books and films, not least, Disney's The Fighting Prince of Donegal (1966).
GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK
Glenveagh National Park is a remote and hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains and pristine lakes. Donegal gets fewer tourists than other locations in Ireland, but with the remarkable backdrops of Mount Errigal (Donegal’s highest mountain) and Muckish, this is one of the most tranquil and scenic national parks in the country. Populated with red deer, the Park, which covers more than 40,000 acres, consists of three areas. The largest of these is the former Glenveagh Estate, including most of the Derryveagh Mountains. To the west are the quartzite hills around Crocknafarragh and to the south, the peatlands of Lough Barra bog, Meenachullion and Crockastoller. Glenveagh Castle and Gardens are at the heart of the park. The castle was built in the 19th century by the controversial John Adair, who evicted no less than 244 tenants from the homes, because they were spoiling his view! Access to the interior is by tour only, but morning and afternoon teas are served in the castle tearooms all season. The Park Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and an audio-visual show.
Killybegs is Ireland's premier fishing port. Located on the northwest coast of Ireland, this natural harbour provides a perfect gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. It is an excellent place to base yourself when touring the south west of Donegal. A lively fishing town with Ireland's largest fleet of trawlers. Killybegs is a bustling town where local and foreign ships tower over the quayside. With large numbers of both trendy and modern restaurants and the more traditional pubs, Killybegs offers the visitor a variety of good food, drink and entertainment.
Built by the O'Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, beside the River Eske, the Castle has extensive 17th century additions by Sir Basil Brooke. The Castle is furnished throughout and includes Persian rugs and French tapestries. Information panels chronicle the history of the Castle owners from the O'Donnell chieftains to the Brooke family. Limited access for people with disabilities to the ground floor.
The Slieve League cliffs are said to be the highest and one of the finest marine cliffs in Europe. To fully enjoy the spectacle of Slieve League, it is best to leave your car at the car park and walk the few miles to the cliffs so as not to miss the exciting scenery of the area. There are terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay as you walk towards the terrifyingly high top of Slieve League, where the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600 metres above the raging seas below. Experienced walkers only should venture beyond the viewing point onto One Man's Pass which loops around onto the Pilgrim's Path.
Photo Courtesy Greg Clarke (Public)
SLIEVE LEAGUE CLIFFS