The Donegal Connect Programme of events has been launched at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny. The programme covers over 45 events taking place over 10 days of events,from September 27th – October 6th across the county.
The launch unveiled details of an 8-week promotional campaign aimed at capturing lots of attention for the events worldwide. “We will be staging a #lovedonegal Twitter day on 14th August, asking everyone with Donegal connections to tell us what they love about our county,” said Michael Tunney of Donegal LEO – a leading partner in the project.
“We’ll be calling on our high-profile Donegal Connect ambassadors like Sarah Jessica Parker, Packie Bonner and others to support the Twitter day, so we are confident this will help us reach even more people.”
“We will also be launching a short video competition on social media, which is for everyone – you don’t have to be a professional to enter. We want to harness the talent and creativity of ordinary people in how they portray Donegal in 20 seconds or less. And we want and to share their vision of Donegal and their pride in our county, to create an online global buzz.”
“But none of this would be possible with the funding and support we have received from Fáilte Ireland under the Global Irish Initiative,” said Michael. “The Donegal Connect project is extremely grateful that we now have this chance to extend our reach across the world.”
Donegal Connect Programme Details
The programme of events was officially launched by the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Nicholas Crossan. “Donegal Connect aims to entice all those with Donegal roots home to visit, to work, to retire, to invest, or to start a business,” said Cllr Crossan. “So the programme will have something for everyone and will showcase just how much we have to offer here. Full details are on the website for the main programme, and the fringe programme.”
Feast for the Senses
Speaking at the launch, Cllr Crossan said music highlights for Donegal Connect include Altan and Christy Moore. “We will have a feast for the senses with a spectacular LUXE carnival, plus art exhibitions on Gaeltacht life, and women & emigration. And Donegal Food Coast events will offer a real taste of our local seafood and produce, and culinary skills.”
“If you want to explore your Donegal roots, then there are workshops in how to trace your genealogy and clan gatherings. Get outdoors with walks, tours, Gaelic football, golf, island trips and a half marathon. There will be family fun, poetry, songs and choirs. Lá na Gaeltachta will highlight our rich Gaeltacht heritage and its future growth.”
“So, there are lots of reasons for you to come along to our events and to invite family and friends to join us,” said Cllr Crossan.
Focus on Business and Growth
“But Donegal Connect is also about creating opportunities for economic growth,” Council Chief Executive, Seamus Neely, told the launch. “Special events will explore business and investment opportunities. We will also have a focus on education and career development, showcasing what local employers have to offer. And the programme includes networking events and workshops on the practicalities of relocating or returning to Donegal.”
Donegal Connect is about creating a global network of those with Donegal roots or connections, said the chief executive. “It’s about giving this Diaspora a chance to ‘connect’ with Donegal and with one another for the benefit of all of us. By connecting with our Diaspora, we want to create new opportunities for our county – investment, business development and job opportunities.”
Special Offers for Donegal Connect
“If friends or family are coming home for Donegal Connect, let them know there’s a range of travel offers available, said Garry Martin, Director of Service with Donegal County Council. “These include discounts on US flights – which have now been extended to the end of August for booking.”
Garry says there are fly-break packages from Glasgow and Dublin. “There is also a Vouchers book of special offers for Donegal Connect, which cover discounts on accommodation, attractions and activities.” You can download your own Vouchers Book from the website here:
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.