Council supporting Sport Stars through Sports Bursary Awards


(Blaithnaid Patton – Blathnaid Patton receiving her sports award for Athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)

Mayor of Donegal Cllr Ian Mc Garvey presented seventeen applicants with awards under the Donegal County Council’s Sports Bursary Award Scheme at a recent event in the County House, Lifford.  Bursaries were awarded under three categories: Olympic / World Class / International, Developmental and Veteran and recipients included sports people from all parts of the county across a range of sports including athletics; boxing; cycling; tug-o-war and motorcycle racing. Image

(Donna Barr – Donna Barr receiving her sports award for boxing from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)


(John Kelly – John Kelly receiving his sports bursary award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.) Image

(Darren McBrearty – Darren McBrearty Receiving his award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.) Image

(Joe English for Mark English – Joe English Receiving an award for athletics on behalf of his son Mark English, from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)  Image

(Keira Finnegan for Ruari Finnegan – Keira Finnegan Receiving an award for athletics on behalf of her brother Ruairi Finnegan, from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.) Image

(Christopher Carter – Christopher Carter receiving his award for Cycling / Tug-O-War  from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)

Speaking at the event Mayor McGarvey said that “the Council’s sports bursary awards recognise the contribution that elite sports people make to the county, but as a Council we also recognise the important contribution that sport at any level can make to individuals and communities right across the county”.

He added “over the last number of years the Council, through various initiatives with sports organisations and funding bodies, has sought to increase participation in sport in Donegal regardless of age, gender or ability and has recognised the importance of sport in promoting social inclusion, active citizenship and pride in our communities”.


(Richard Kerr – Richard Kerr Receiving his award for Motorcycle Racing from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.) Image

(Peter Gibbons – Peter Gibbons Receiving his bursary award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely) Image

(Jason Quigley – Jason Quigley Receiving his award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)


(Manus Boyce for Brendan Boyce – Manus Boyce Receiving an award for athletics on behalf of his son Brendan Boyce, from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)

Mayor McGarvey concluded by saying that “these dedicated sports people have represented their county at different levels and their dedication and determination to achieve their personal best in their chosen sports has brought great pride and joy to the people of Donegal.  They are great role models for everyone in the community and I am delighted that we are in a position to support them in achieving their goals through this bursary scheme”.


(Hugh Gallagher – Hugh Gallagher Receiving his award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)


(Martin O’Donnell – Martin O’Donnell Receiving his award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)


(Roisin Carter – Roisin Carter receiving her sports award for Cycling from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)


(James Kelly – James Kelly receiving his award for athletics from Mayor Ian Mc Garvey, with Cllr Rena Donaghy and County Manager Seamus Neely.)


Suzanne says Reuse that Rubbish


(Suzanne Bogan)

One mans waste is another mans treasure as the saying goes. But what if we could waste no more?

Suzanne Bogan, Environmental Awareness officer for Donegal County Council talks rubbish and how to reuse it.

“I have been working with Donegal County Council for 10 years, and I’m usually talking about rubbish most of the time, she laughed.

“When we talk about waste we usually hear of the three R’s, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The three R’s are an ethos we should all live by. First, reduce the amount of waste we produce, this can be as simple as opting for fruit and vegetables without the packaging when we do our shopping. Second, reuse by getting the most out of something, this is as simple as taking re-useable bags to the shops rather that paying 22cent for plastic bags or repairing an item rather than throwing it out. Third, recycling making sure that we recycle as much as we can.”

Suzanne says that there are recycling centres in numerous locations around Donegal and this should make it easier for us to reduce, reuse and recycle.

“Donegal County Council own six Recycling Centres now operated by Bryson Recycling, these centres are large scale collections points for over 20 different items. A large number of items can be recycled for free including glass, cans, aerosols, batteries, scrap metal, all electrical goods such as a television, cooker, fridge freezer or even a games console. There is also a charged area where you can bring a standard car full of papers, hard plastic, cardboard, cartons, used engine and used cooking oil for only €4 per car load. The six recycling centres are located at Letterkenny, Stranorlar, Milford, Carndonagh, Dungloe and Laghey.

“The Council also provide Bring Banks for the recycling of glass, cans and clothes at over 70 locations through the county. It is free to recycle glass, can and clothes. All colours of glass bottles and jars can now be placed into any glass bank. We always ask that the public never leave any empty boxes or bags or household waste at the banks as this is considered littering and illegal dumping.”

“The good news is it is working; householders in Donegal are now recycling 40% of their waste. Over the last number of years a wide range of recycling services has been established and the introduction of various regulations for things like, the free recycling of electrical goods and batteries have also helped greatly, so people are really getting on the band wagon.”

A key part of Suzanne’s job is to work with schools around the county.


(Exhibition of photos in the school)

“The schools environmental education programme is an essential part of my work. I provide information, deliver recycling and composting workshops, organise schools competitions and support and promote the Green Schools Programme, and the pupils really love it which makes it easier to get them to carry recycling on into adulthood. The green schools programme has been a great success in Donegal with 139 Green Flags flying. The programme covers Waste and Litter, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship.”


(Edeninfagh Prize-giving)

Suzanne says the statistics on how much food we waste each year is shocking and urges people to take the ‘stop food waste’ challenge and leave that extra portion out of the pot.

“If I said each household was wasting €700 – €1,000 each year you would be shocked, but that is the truth and we are wasting it on food waste. The national stop food waste campaign has a number of key elements to “Stop Food Waste”. 1.Be a savvy shopper, beware of BOGOF (Buy one get one free) they are great for toiletries but not for perishables especially fruits and vegetables. 2. Storage, find out where the best place is to store each type of food and check the freezer for U.F.O’s (unidentified frozen objects), clear them out to make room for new food and label your food as you freeze it so you know what it is and when it went in. 3. Canny Cooking, portion size is something that we all need to consider. Are you always ending up with food left over, usually we add in some extra pasta just to be sure! If you do have leftovers try and make another meal from it rather than throwing it out. The futures bright, the future’s green, she mused.”

Side Bar

  • Householders in Donegal now recycle 40% of waste.
  • For more information on recycling centres visit
  • There are over 70 bottle bank locations throughout Donegal.
  • Home compost bins are available from all Council offices for only €13.
  • There are 139 Green Flags flying in Donegal.
  • We waste between €700 – €1,000 on food waste each year.
  • For more ideas on the stop food waste challenge visit
  • 1/3 of our waste can be composted.
  • It’s free to recycle all electrical goods and batteries.

Kevin says you’ve Visited the Rest now Visit the Best

Where will we go? Why not Govisit Donegal!


(Tourism officer Kevin O’Connor)

Donegal County Council tourism officer and a native from Derry, Kevin O’Connor explains how Donegal is paving the way as one of Irelands top tourist destinations and how he personally thinks Donegal has it all.

“In my opinion it’s the best county in Ireland and that’s coming from somebody who’s not even from Donegal. It’s got the highest amount of blue flag beaches, we are the county with the longest coastline and to top it off we have Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht area. We have so much to offer tourists; to experience the true culture of Donegal.

“One of our newest tourist attractions is The Wild Atlantic Way which is a scenic touring route which stretches from the very north of Donegal to West Cork its has a total length of 2,500km and showcases Ireland’s magnificent Atlantic coastline, its truly amazing.

“I think this shows that Donegal caters for everyone we have a lot to offer the family, couples and to people who like to get out in the outdoors, so we really do have the whole package.”


(The great outdoors – Sliabh Liag)

Kevin says the support for boosting tourism in Donegal has been outstanding and hopes that this year will top last year’s success.

“Donegal County Councils support for tourism has been brilliant – they support it in all aspects from providing funding to highlighting what Donegal has to offer. We also work very closely with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland to promote the county internationally as well as in Ireland. We also have a substantial marketing budget and last year we invested in a full-scale advertising campaign and our new website was the cornerstone of this campaign, attracting in excess of 30,000 unique users. Last year we spread the Donegal message in Belfast with Billboards in all areas of the City; we advertised on 50 Dublin Buses in July, took over the Breakfast Shows on Newstalk and Today FM for two weeks in the summer, and ensured we had a presence where it mattered all round the country.”

“Donegal County Council is leading out on many projects including the development of Sliabh Liag as a world class visitor attraction. The aim is to capitalise on the 100,000 plus tourists who already visit Ireland’s highest sea cliffs annually, through the implementation of a sustainable visitor management strategy.  €4 million has already been invested in implementing this strategy and we can already see the benefits of this investment.


(Check out the go visit Donegal website – to see what Donegal has to offer)

“The Council is also leading out in developing a number of other tourism projects in Donegal including Malin Head, which will see a major development of a cliff top path and a viewing area at Ireland’s most northerly point. The Council is working in partnership with the Loughs Agency to deliver this EU Funded €220,000 project.”

“The Donegal Gathering has been a great success and has given people from all over the world with a connection to Donegal a chance to reconnect, and we are going to continue to build on this in 2014.”


“Last year really was our best year in a while, there was about a 6% increase of overseas visitors, there was a really good feeling about, a real positive outlook and people really got involved in it and I think Donegal has really upped its game. The trade has become so focused on delivering high quality customer care at affordable prices.”

Kevin says that social media has created such a buzz for Donegal, and pictures of Donegal have been shared worldwide.

“A large amount of our Facebook traffic would be people with a Donegal connection living in different parts of the world.  Many of them enjoy the fact that we put up stunning pictures of Donegal and this brings more attention to how great Donegal is and shows what Donegal has to offer tourists.  This in turn makes them want to visit and see for themselves. If Carlsberg did counties, he laughed.”

Side Bar

  • Donegal attracted 174,000 Overseas Visitors in 2012
  • Donegal attracted 41% Market share for NW Region
  • Overseas Visitors generated €40 million for the Donegal Economy
  • The Wild Atlantic Way is 2,500km long.
  • 26,000 people are employed in tourism related jobs in the North West.
  • Donegal boasts Europe’s highest sea-cliffs at Sliabh Liag.
  • Donegal has more Blueflag Beaches than any other County – 13!
  • In the last count Donegal had over 56 hotels – that’s more hotels than the whole of NI if you take Belfast out of the equation.
  • For more info check out .

Over 140 students attend ‘Engineering Opportunities in Donegal’ during Engineers Week


Engineering Opportunities in Donegal, organised by Donegal County Council and LYIT in association with the Engineers Ireland, took place in the Millennium Building of the Killybegs Campus on Monday, 10th February.

Over 140 students from seven post-primary schools attended the event including Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town; Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon; Coláiste na Carraige, Carrick; Rosses Community School, Dungloe; Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana; St. Catherine’s Vocational School, Killybegs; St. Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties.



Students had a chance to take part in a competition run by Engineers Ireland. The name of one lucky student from Rosses Community School in Dungloe has been drawn from all entries and will be sent off to Dublin for the national draw. The Student will be in with a chance to win an iPad Air and a visit to the school from a STEM show.

Engineers Week is an annual campaign highlighting the possibilities a career in engineering can offer and promoting the vital role played by engineers in our community everyday.

Five Killybegs companies: E.K. Marine, Sea Quest Systems, KER Services, Mooney Boats and Barry Electronics showcased career opportunities in the fields of marine and electronics engineering.  Letterkenny IT provided information on Electronic, Mechanical and Civil Engineering and participating schools had also an opportunity to visit the Wind Energy workshop where they learned about the principles of the wind turbine technology.


(Mooney Boats at Enjineers week)


(Letterkenny IT provided information on Electronic, Mechanical and Civil Engineering)


(Seaquest Services at engineers week)


(The future engineers?)

Speaking following the event, County Manager Seamus Neely said that he was delighted that so many schools participated in this event.  “I think that this event was a great opportunity for the young people to see first hand some of the career opportunities in engineering in Donegal and for the companies to highlight what is expected of engineers in today’s innovative and cutting edge industries.  We hope to build on this work highlighting the many strands and opportunities the engineering sector has to offer in Donegal”.

Donegal County Council and Letterkenny IT would like to thank the showcasing companies, the teachers and indeed the students for taking the time from their busy schedules to attend the event, as well as Donegal Education and Training Board, Donegal Volunteer Centre, Niall Mór Centre and Volunteers from the Killybegs Men’s Shed for their support.

It’s a Dirty Job and Brian’s got to do it!


“During my time as a litter warden I have seen some shocking illegal dumping sites.” 

Illegal dumping has been a consistent problem in Ireland for years but what is it doing to our beautiful emerald county? And how can we stop it?   Litter warden for Donegal County Council Brian Mc Brearty highlights the issue and has us thinking twice about throwing that wrapper out the window.

“I’ve worked in the council for 9 years now and during my time as a litter warden for the Stranorlar Electoral Area I have seen some shocking illegal dumping sites. The one that sticks out in my mind and really makes me angry is when we were called to a resource centre that had a playschool quite close by. There were around 30 bags with broken bottles in them and there were even hypodermic needles in a few of them.  “The job entails daily patrols of areas that have previously been dumped on and calling out to sites that have been dumped on. It can be a busy week, we rely a lot on the public contacting us and reporting any sites where they see rubbish dumped as we can’t see everything.” Image

(Shocking dumping site before)


(And after)

The most frequently asked question we get is if I see rubbish dumped somewhere how can I report it?

“If a person comes across illegal dumping the quickest thing to do is to contact the Council on 074 91 53900, they can phone in anonymously if they want.  But we prefer if you phone in and give your name or number and give the location of the dumping site as it makes it much easier for us.”

Brian urges people to stop dumping or face the consequences that come with the crime.

“We now use covert cameras more and more.  They are out there in various locations throughout the county and we use them to help us catch illegal dumpers.

These cameras have proven to be very successful, especially in rural areas, we have had some good results with them. We have issued fines to people and they have denied it but once they see the footage of themselves dumping, they then pay the fine as it is hard to argue when they are caught on camera.”

“We all have a part to play in stoping this behaviour.  Some people think it is okay to throw things out the car window or thinking its okay to dump that black bin liner in the countryside.

It is a problem yes; our fines are on the increase and we are certainly finding more evidence and more incidents of illegal dumping, but the technology that we are now using is a huge bonus, it’s the equivalent of having an extra man or extra pair of eyes on the ground 24 – 7, and that has helped increase the output of fines.”


  • You can report illegal dumping by calling Donegal County Council at 07491 53900
  • Donegal County Council issued 317 littering fines or fixed penalty notices last year alone.
  • A littering fine or fixed penalty notice cost the culprit anything from €150 to €3,000.
  • The Council has set aside over €780,000 in the 2014 Revenue Budget for litter management throughout Donegal.

Business Connections Event was an Inspirational Success

The much anticipated Business Connections event was held last Thursday in the Abbey hotel, Donegal Town with over 100 businesses attending the event.

The event kicked off with an array of motivational speakers and a selection of workshops on everything from accessing finance to how to get your business on the map.


(Grainne Kelly with attendees at the Business Connections Event)


(Two budding business entrepreneurs at the Business Connections event in Donegal Town)


(Donna Maskery, Daniel Browne and Sarah Meehan smile for the camera at Connections event)

Motivational speakers Gerry Duffy, John Conaghan and marketing expert Daniel Browne, to name just a few shared inspiration on the tears and triumphs of running your own business in today’s economy.


(Grainne Kelly – Bubblebum)


(Daniel Browne – Ocean FM)


(John Conaghan – Carecall)

Top business moguls Joanne Sweeny Burke founder of Media Box and Grainne Kelly inventor of Bubblebum inspired young business entrepreneurs and business owners alike on how to get on the road to success.


(Joanne Sweeney Burke – Mediabox)


(Yummy business – Kerry O’Donnell – I Want Candy Ireland)

Budding business owner Kerry O’Donnell has been running I Want Candy Ireland, a successful candy buffet business for a year and a half and says that she left the event feeling inspired and motivated.

“The business connections event was brilliant, it was great to see all the businesses come together, I reconnected with so many people and left with so many contacts. The talks were so insightful and answered so many questions I had. I stayed at the event till the bitter end and left on a real motivational high. She laughed.”

Speaking about the struggles of running a successful business Kerry said you have to work at it every day but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Its always a struggle but nothing beats that feeling of pride knowing you own your own business, it has been a dream come true.”

What did they think of the event? 

“The event was extremely well run and the speakers were excellent. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with established business people and network with other businesses. I have come away inspired and with plenty of new ideas and am grateful for the opportunity to attend a top class conference at my doorstep. Props to Donegal County Council for taking such a pro- active role in supporting new enterprise!
Well done and thank you!

From Christina Irwin


“Yesterday’s event was well run and covered a diverse range of topics that made it well worth attending. It was bonus that it was held in Donegal Town as you normally have to travel to larger cities to attend conferences of this calibre.

Thank you from George Irwin Hardware

“Thank you very much for organising such a great Event yesterday!
There was an excellent atmosphere throughout the day, and the positivity of the Presenters was contagious and appreciated by all. I’m sure people returned to the businesses energised and ready to put what we learned into practice, and to follow up with the contacts they made on the day.
Please let me know if we can be of any assistance in the future.

Yours in Support, Dermot Cunningham, Supported Employment Co-ordinator”

“Thank you for inviting me to exhibit at the Business Connections Event yesterday.  It was a fantastic day with such interesting, inspiring guest speakers.  You should be very proud of yourself today, it truly was a fantastic great day and I left feeling very motivated, positive and enthused.  For anyone who attended yesterday and thinking of setting up a business, I believe that they received great tips, advice, and also possibly instill a real “can do attitude”.

Sandra Dooley, Foroige NFTE Programme
A great day spent at the business connection event held in The Abbey Hotel. Very well organised and executed by all involved so a big thank you. I especially liked Gerry Duffy @32marathons and Grainne Kelly from Bubble Bum

Shelley Leslie, Shelley Leslie Design

Want your say Register to Vote today!

Everything you need to know about voting!

Pic from piece in LK Post

To vote or not to vote is the question many people ask themselves when the elections come rolling around again, and cries of it ‘feels like yesterday’ can be heard echoing throughout the country. But just how important is it to vote this May 23?

Siobhan McDaid, a clerical officer for Donegal County Council, has been helping people secure their vote for almost 30 years, says if you don’t vote then you’re giving up your chance of having a say.

“I have been working in Donegal County Council 29 years. Out of the 29 years I have worked 25 of them in the register, so you can take it from that I like it, She laughed.

“If you want a say in who’s running the country and who’s going to be representing you, you have to vote.”

Some of the most frequently asked questions we get are am I registered to vote and if not how do I register, says Siobhan.

“You can check online to see if your name is on the register, through our website. Alternatively you can ring here anytime and we will check for you, the registers are also available at post offices, libraries and Garda stations and in all the public service centres.

“There are loads of ways to check it, it’s very readily available even if you’re not in touch with the world of the web.”

“It is also our job to ensure that postal votes are available for those who have work commitments or for the elderly or for people with disabilities who can’t make it to a polling station on election day”.

Highlighting the issues of the current voting system Siobhan states how important it is to promote voting.

“We advertise the register every year in November in the local papers, asking people if they are on the register and if they are not we remind them to get their application form and send it in.”

Siobhan states that we are keen to make sure that everyone who is entitled to a vote is registered and we now use our Facebook and Twitter highlighting that they need to register to vote and of course encourage people to keep voting.”


Side Bar

Polling for the European Parliament and Local Elections 2014 will take place on Friday 23rd May 2014.

The hours of poll are 7.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m.

The closing date for the Supplement to the Register is Tuesday 6th May 2014.

The closing date for the Supplement to the Postal and Special Voters List is Saturday 26th April 2014.

Everyone aged 18 or over living in Ireland has the right to vote in the local elections, including non EU citizens.

To vote in the European Elections you have to be a citizen of a European country.

To Vote in the Dail Elections you have to be of Irish or British nationality.

Check if you are registered to vote at

You can register to vote by completing RFA application form and returning to the Electoral Register Office, Donegal County Council, County House, Lifford, Co. Donegal.  Applications Forms are available from or by calling 074 91 53900.