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Donegal Events and Festivals


MacGill Summer School & Arts Week
19th - 24th July 

Dr Joe Mulholland and Glenties local committee celebrate the memory of local writer, Patrick MacGill, whose books became bestsellers in Britain in the first decades of the 20th century.

Every July this event brings together government ministers, members of the opposition, heads of industry, trade union leaders, economists, sociologists, church leaders, members of the judiciary as well as public representatives from Northern Ireland for a week of non-partisan debate.

Nora 2015
24th July – 8th August

In 2012 Mullaghmore Sailing Club, Sligo Yacht Club and Killybegs Sailing Club have teamed up to create a new Regional Event which with support became the Malinwaters Series.
Now in it’s fourth year, in 2015 this event looks set to grow with interest already being expressed from clubs in Mayo and Lough Erne. This year NORA is helping to celebrate the Yeats 150 celebrations, by making the last leg of its trip in Sligo Bay the “Memory Harbour” Regatta which will take place on the last days of the Yeats 2015 International Festival.

Bart Whelan Photography Exhibition
July-August

Bart Whelan is from Ardara, Co. Donegal. A Historian, Radio presenter on Donegal Sounds Radio and Photographer.

Wild Atlantic Week
2nd-11th August

Ardara is situated in South West Donegal and is popular with tourists for its friendly atmosphere, scenery, and thriving traditional Music scene. From the 2nd of August the lively Heritage Town has organised a full week of special events for visitors and the community. The area is also rich in folklore and archaelogy, home of handwoven tweed, angling, historical landmarks and a wide range of countryside and coastal walks to choose from and quiet roads throughout the area make sightseeing a pleasure for the motorist, cyclist or hiker.

A Taste of Donegal Festival
28th-30th August

The Taste of Donegal is must attend event bringing together top restaurants, hotels and food, drink and lifestyle product providers in Donegal. Over 100 exhibitors will showcase and sell their products to customers who are passionate about food and drink. Celebrity demonstrates are planned by Neven Maguire, Kevin Dundon,Gary O’ Hanlon, Brian Mc Dermott, Joe Shannon and Donegal’s own Anthony Armstrong and Martin Anderson. The festival opens on Friday from 4pm to 10pm concluding with a Fireworks display over Donegal Bay. Adults admission is €5 children €1 and a weekend pass is €12.00.

Johnny Doherty Festival
25th-27th September

Irish Traditional Music & Dance festival which brings people from all over the world to the scenic town of Ardara. Something for everyone to enjoy, with Concerts, Ceilis, Barn Dances, Sean Nós, Set Dancing, Workshops, Pub and Street Sessions.

Donegal Festival of Storytelling
23rd-25th October

Stories, songs and recitations delivered in diverse styles by seasoned and local storytellers across various venues in Donegal Town. There are a plethora of events planned throughout the weekend, so all the family can participate. This years theme is: Maritime Tales Along The Wild Atlantic Way and there is sure to be a few ghost stories - being so close to Halloween.

Matchmaking Festival
6th-8th November

The Ardara Matchmaking Festival is a weekend of music, dancing and matchmaking based on an old idea of matchmaking once prevalent in Co Donegal. Incorporating Blind Dates, Speed Dating, a Matchmaker and top country bands in attendance including Jimmy Buckley and Gerry.

Halloween in Ardara and Portnoo

Christmas in Ardara and Portnoo

New Year in Ardara and Portnoo


For further details on upcoming Donegal festivals and events also see: www.govisitdonegal.com