The call goes out to Donegal Diaspora all over the world: come home to visit, to work, to invest, to raise your families or to start a business here. The public and private sector in this wild and wonderful county have come together in a new project - Donegal Connect. The project will showcase the county’s rugged beauty, food, culture, heritage, business and innovation between 27th September- 6th October 2019.
“Donegal’s list of accolades includes Coolest Place on the Planet and Most Scenic Airport in the world,” says Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development & Global Engagement with Donegal County Council – a leading project partner. “We want to connect with the Donegal Diaspora to boost visitor numbers and create new opportunities for the county.” Garry says it’s time to time to shout about our strengths.
Spotlight on Donegal’s Success
“We’ve hosted Star Wars and the Irish Open, which has helped to shine a spotlight on our stunning, unspoiled coastline and landscape. We have 13 fabulous blue-flag beaches, a vibrant arts and music scene, and a thriving business and enterprise culture. We want to remind our Diaspora about all of this”
“And we want them to know about our growing list of newer successes too. We’ve just opened new walkways and a visitor centre at the Slieve Liag cliffs – amongst the highest sea cliffs in Europe. We’re all working together to develop our growing food and drink sector, with an emphasis on quality locally produced ingredients for fine dining and consumer products.
“We’re developing marine tourism – harnessing the sea for surfing, diving, kayaking and more. We’re supporting the development of other adventure activities and sports like mountain climbing. And we’re supporting creative industries and innovation in tech and FinTech.”
Donegal Connect Events Programme
Donegal Connect is running 10 days of very special events starting on 27th September, says Joanne Kilmartin, of the Donegal Diaspora Executive – another project partner. “The events aim to highlight our strengths in tourism, business, arts & culture, food & drink, and our rich heritage and Irish language.”
Joanne explains there is something for everyone in the programme. We’ll have world renowned Donegal artists, like Altan, playing at iconic venues across the county. Our arts and culture programme includes Donegal plays, exhibitions and concerts.”
“We’ll get you out and about with walks, runs, island visits and a 7 a-side competition. You can get a true ‘taste’ of Donegal with the unique food experiences being specially organised as part of the programme. And to explore your Donegal heritage, we will have workshops on genealogy.”
“Donegal Connect will also have a range of business, investment and skills symposia with key speakers. For those thinking of moving back home or relocating here, we will also address and the practical “ins and outs” of returning to Donegal.”
“We know Donegal is a great place to learn Irish for beginners and improvers alike. You can immerse yourself in the language in our Irish-speaking Gaeltacht communities. Attend one of the many Irish language colleges or choose special centres like Oideas Gael in Glencolmcille.”
To mark Donegal Connnect, Údarás na Gaeltachta is running an Open Day to explore business and job opportunities in the Gaeltacht. In addition, they’re running a day trip to Tory Island and visits to the birth place of Mickey McGowan, author of ‘Rotha Mór antSaoil’.
Special Offers for Donegal Connect
Donegal Connect has launched a Vouchers book of special offers for Donegal Connect, which cover discounts on flights, accommodation, attractions and activities. You can download your own Vouchers Book from the website: www.donegalconnect.com – check the News page for details.
One highlight of these offers is for US visitors travelling to attend Donegal Connect. Aer Lingus has created a fantastic special discount of $100 off a Return Economy or $200 off a Return Business flight. For One Way journeys, half the discount applies in both Economy & Business. Travel dates must be from September 9th to October 27th 2019, with return travel during or after Donegal Connect. Bookings must be made before the June 30th 2019, using the Promo Code ‘DONEGAL19’ on www.aerlingus.ie
Donegal Airport also has a special offer for a 2-night break with flights and accommodation for €179pp midweek or €199pp weekends. Details from +353 74 9548284 or email email@example.com
Book Now for Donegal Connect
Donegal Connect is funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Global Irish Initiative. Additional funding, operational support and sponsorship comes from: Donegal County Council, the Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Donegal Diaspora, Donegal Tourism, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Udaras na Gaeltachta, IDA Ireland, Donegal Food Coast, Pramerica, Abbots Diabetes Care, Randox, Harvey’s Point Hotel, and Donegal Global Irish.
Donegal Diaspora Project, Donegal County Council, Local Enterprise Office, The Enterprise Fund Business Centre, Ballyraine, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland