Keeping Road Safety on the Radar

Brian O´Donnell

Brian O´Donnell


2013 saw an increase in the number of people killed and injured on Donegal roads and this, according to Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer with Donegal County Council, is why there is no room for complacency when it comes to road safety.

“I was appointed Road Safety Officer in January of this year and the key focus of my job is to increase road safety awareness in Donegal and to work with all the relevant authorities through the Donegal Road Safety Working Group to implement the Donegal Road Safety Action Plan.  This includes the Fire Service, HSE, An Garda Siochana, Donegal Youth Council, Donegal Youth Service and the Road Safety Authority.”

Brian believes promoting road safety is a necessity and talks about the Council’s role in a bid to ensure that road safety in Donegal doesn’t fall under the radar.

“We appeal to all road users to heed the safety appeals that are highlighted throughout the year. Working together to make the roads safe prevents the pain and suffering that accompanies every fatal and serious injury and road traffic collision. By making a conscious effort to make small changes to the way we behave we can make a huge difference.

“It’s the small things that mean the difference between life and death such as wearing a seatbelt on every trip no matter how short, by slowing down a little, by not driving while tired, not using your mobile phone while driving and by looking out for walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists. Of course these road users can help too by being seen and wearing bright, reflective clothing. Every agency involved in road safety needs to play their part, but critically everyone who uses the road has a role to play in keeping our roads safe.

“We have recently joined up with the Donegal GAA County Board and launched a road safety campaign for the football season.  We are encouraging all road users to change their behavior and make these changes part of their lives in the future, which we hope will save lives and reduce serious injuries on our roads” said Brian

The award winning Road Safe Road Show which takes place in mid October each year has proved to be a very effective way of reaching young people at secondary school level. This is a hard-hitting road safety message and aims to positively influence those drivers who are about to start out on what will hopefully be a long and safe motoring career.

Even though schools out for the summer the issue of road safety is not and Brian is urging parents and guardians to teach their children by example.

“Even though the school holidays have commenced the issue of road safety does not go on holiday. We all have to be vigilant.  Young children are very vulnerable, especially out and about near traffic. It is important to set a good example and to make smart choices about how you use the roads: strictly keep to the speed limits and reduce your speed, make sure you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts before you set off on a journey, no matter how short and never use your mobile phone for any purpose while driving.

Seatbelts Save lives


Road Safety facts

As of Friday 9th May, 63 lives have been lost on the roads in Ireland, compared to 66 on the same date last year.

Tragically seven children under the age of 16 years have lost their lives on Irish roads in the first four months of the year.


Road Safety tips

  • Drive at a safe speed and always observe the speed limit
  • Always wear your seatbelt and ensure your passengers do the same
  • NEVER drink and drive
  • Do not use a mobile phone while driving
  • Speed should be adjusted according to road conditions


Find out more about Road Safety at



Ethical and Shared Remembering Project

The Hands of History Project will be hosting a one-off seminar with input from the Ethical and Shared Remembering Project in the Central Library in Letterkenny on Thursday 4th September 2014 from 7.00 p.m. until 9.30 p.m.

Whatever the issues, economic, political or social that jockey for the headlines at this time, the suggestion of President Higgins (at the Michael Littleton Memorial Lecture in June 2013) – that we need “an appreciation of how we got to where we are” is a useful one. It is perhaps particularly so in the context of our being a hundred years on from events that “shaped the rest of the 20th century and still cast a long shadow into the 21st century” “History” says Michael D “is essential to understanding who we are today and who we might be in the future”. But to do so, he pointed out, requires an approach to the exploration of history that “allows us to debunk myths to challenge inaccuracies and to expose deliberate amnesia or invented versions of the past”.

A Derry-based Project called Ethical and Shared Remembering has been engaged for some years now in promoting shared and honest explorations of the events of 1912- 1922 which have so influenced the history of Ireland ever since.  It is also promoting discussion about approaches to the commemoration of these events; The Great War began a hundred years ago this year. 2016 will mark the centenary of the Easter Rising – and then there is the question of how the War of Independence and Civil War will be dealt with.

Besides its work in Northern Ireland the Project has also had opportunity to engage in Donegal. A series of evening seminars took place in Letterkenny Library in 2013 and there were one-off sessions in the Autumn of last year in schools and communities throughout the county. Both were initiatives by Donegal County Council implemented by the Hands of History Project.

The event is free of charge and refreshments will be provided.

This event is open to anyone with an interest in any of the events within the period of commemoration, including those involved in the teaching and learning of history in schools, historical societies and to organisations/individuals who may be working towards commemorative events in their area/community during the Decade of Commemorations. If you are interested in attending this seminar,please email or  as soon as possible and no later than Thursday 28th August 2014. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.



Donegal Sports Star Awards June Review

Sports Star logo


Mark English and Philip Deignan hit the headlines again in the June review of sporting successes. And the pair will now be expected to figure prominently among the nominees for the Donegal Sports Star Awards at the end of the year. Others who starred in June included the Boyle cousins Declan and Brian who became only the second crew from the county to win the Donegal International Rally, the golfer Brendan McCarroll who won a Spanish title and jockey Martin Harley who made a welcome return from serious injury by saddling 13 winners in June.

At the beginning of the month Mark English ran a season’s best of  1:46:22 for the 800m, inside the qualification time for the European Championships, to finish fourth at an international race meeting in Holland. A week later the Letterkenny man ran a season’s best of 1:45:03 to take second place behind Kenyan world record holder David Rudisha at a Diamond League meeting in New York. And near the end of June English won again this time crossing the line first in an 800 metres at the European Team Championships in Tailum, Estonia in a time of 1.47.63.

On the first day of the month Letterkenny cyclist Philip Deignan finished 43rd overall at the end of the three week Giro d’Italia. The highlight of the tough tour for Deignan was his third place finish in a very difficult 170km, 18th stage. Deignan then came agonisingly close to winning the second stage of the Tour de Suisse. In the end the Letterkenny man had to settle for second place.

Brendan McCarroll kept his dreams of joining the elite golfing world on track by winning the Alps Tour Peugeot Trophy in Madrid while two time winner of Donegal Sports Star awards Martin Harley returned from a long serious injury lay-off to ride 13 winners during the month of June. Declan and Brian became the first Donegal crew since Vincent Bonner and Seamus McGettigan to win the Donegal International Rally. Inishowen man Sean McCarter skippered the Derry/Londonderry Yacht to a fantastic victory in the New York to Derry leg of the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race. The result put McCarter’s team fourth overall with two stages of the race remaining.

Another big news story during June was that Seamus Coleman signed a new five-year deal reportedly worth 75,000 euro annually which will see the Killybegs man stay at Everton until 2019. Also excelling last month was Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney who took a silver medal in the Walled City Marathon in Derry. Brendan Boyce finished fourth overall at the British & Irish Race Walking Championships in York and was the second Irish man home. Lifford AC’s Anne Marie McGlynn was fourth in the 3000m at the European Team Championships in Estonia.

Staying with athletics there was success for Tirconaill AC’s Daniel Gallagher who won Gold in the 3000m Steeplechase at the Ulster Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast while his club mate Kelly McGrory was third in the 400m Hurdles. The same championships were also good for Finn Valley with James Kelly lifting Gold three times in the Boys Javelin, Shot and Discus and Sommer Lecky took double gold in the U15 Long Jump and High Jump

FV’s Mark McElhinney had Gold in the U14 Hammer and Silver in the Shot; Aaron McGlynn had double Silver in the U15 Boys 800m and 200m; Amy Boyle Carr brought home Silver in the U-14 200m; Sinead Doherty took Bronze in both the Hammer and Discus; her sister Niamh Doherty got Silver in the U14 Discus and Oisin McElhinney was a Bronze medalist in the U14 Javelin.

There were also medals for Lifford AC with Mark Doherty taking Silver in the Senior Shot and it was the same for Karen Gallagher in the U18 800m; bronze for Conor McKinney in the U18 Triple Jump; double Gold for Niall Quinn in the U14 80m and 800m’s; Gold for Stephen McCallion in the U15 Triple Jump; Claudia Cuskelly Gold in the 2000m Walk; double Silver for Shane O’Donnell in the U14 Discus and Hammer; Tom Mullen Silver in the U15 250m Hurdles and Bronze in the Shot Putt; Conor Breslin Silver in the U15 Hammer and Bronze in the 80m Hurdles and Conor McGinley Bronze in the U14 800m

It was a good month for Lifford AC who also took three Gold, six Silver and three Bronze at the Ulster Track & Field Championships at the Antrim Forum. Brendan O’Donnell took Gold in the U16 Hammer, Silver in both the Discus and Shot. Alan McGinley and Brandon Connolly took Gold and Silver respectively in the U16 250m Hurdles.

Brendan O’Donnell also did Lifford proud by taking gold with a Hammer throw of 56.17m at the Tailteann Games Inter-provincial competition at the Billy Morton Stadium.

Cranford AC’s Claragh Giles took gold in the Shot Putt and Silver in the Javelin at the Ulster Finals at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast while Christopher Murray was second in the U-20 800m in the same finals and the Tirconaill AC Senior Men’s team qualified for the National League Final.

At the European Team Championships in Tailum, Estonia the Finn Valley pair of Tori Pena was fourth in the Pole Vault while Dempsey McGuigan was eighth in the Hammer.

The boxing star of the month was undoubtedly Labhaoise Clarke from Carndonagh BC who won her fifth Irish title at the National Stadium in the Women’s Senior Cadet Championships on the last Sunday of June. She defeated Clonard’s Sophie Tierney in the final on an unanimous verdict in the Bantam Weight Division. Clarke was subsequently named on Irish squad for the European Women’s Youth Championships. Dungloe native Shaun McShane lost out narrowly to John Green in a professional boxing contest in Motherwell.

In cycling there was success for Errigal CC’s Michael McBride who won the ‘Best Young Rider’ category at the Donegal Ras. Errigal also had a good weekend at the North Down GP in Donaghadee with Donal Walsh and Odhran Doogan first and second in the U-12 race while Conor Halvey and P.J. Doogan were the winner and runner-up respectively in the U-14 event.

On the first Sunday of June the Termon ladies won the All-Ireland Senior Gaeltacht title for the fifth successive year with a 4-15 to 2-10 win over Clonbur in the final in Moycullen. Also in Moycullen, Kilcar won the All-Ireland Senior Gaeltacht title for the sixth time with a 3-14 to 0-13 victory over Michael Breathnach in the final. The McHugh cousins Ryan and Eoin scored a combined 3-7 in the decider.

Michael Murphy picked up the GAA/GPA May Player of the Month for his superb performance in Donegal’s win over Derry in the Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final clash at Celtic Park. And for his display in the same game the 2012 Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Karl Lacey received the Ulster GAA Writers Association May Player of the Month award.

A little of bit of history was created by Aaron Bradley who became the first member of the Letterkenny Gaels Club to play in an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Inter-County game when he lined out for London who lost to Limerick in a qualifier tie at Gaelic Grounds. Donegal booked their place in a fourth successive Ulster Final following 3-19 to 0-10 win over Antrim in Clones. And the Minors made it a double for the county with a 2-19 to 1-10.

In gymnastics Letterkenny girl Maria Gallagher won the Northern Ireland All Round Gymnastics Championships at Level 8 taking gold for her floor, vault and team routines and bronze on the bars.

And the Finesse Gymnastics Display Team took silver at the Dublin Fleadh. Buncrana defeated St. Eunan’s in the U14 A Donegal Hurling Championship Final in Convoy while for the first time in the club’s history Dungloe took the U-14 Division 2 county title by defeating Letterkenny Gaels

The Donegal ‘B’ pool team were beaten in the All-Ireland Championship Final in Ennis by Tyrone. In snooker John Connors took the David Hanna Donegal Snooker Championship title for the fifth time with a 5-0 win over Anthony Bonner in the final.

On the international soccer front there was disappointment for Ramelton’s Kyle Callan-McFadden as the Republic of Ireland U-19 side’s hopes of reaching the Elite UEFA Finals were ended after losing 3-1 to Serbia in a final group qualifier at the Tallaght Stadium. McFadden was captain for one game and played in all three group fixtures in Dublin over the week with the Irish winning 2-1 against Iceland before losing 2-1 to Turkey.

Letterkenny’s Ciara Grant came off the bench as a late sub for the Republic of Ireland Senior Women’s team who got an injury-time winner to defeat Croatia in a crucial World Cup qualifier at the Tallaght Stadium. The Irish followed that up with an excellent draw in Russia. Meanwhile, Shane Duffy, whose father Brian is from Letterkenny, made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland senior team in a friendly 1-1 draw against Costa Rica in Philadelphia.

Cockhill Celtic’s gallant effort for a shock win over Premier Division outfit Drogheda Utd came up just short as Donal O’Brien’s side ended up losing 4-2 after leading 2-1 going into the final 20 minutes of the FAI Ford Senior Cup second round tie a the Co. Louth venue. On the same Finn Harps advanced to the third round of the FAI Ford Senior Cup with a hard earned 1-0 win over non-league Belgrove/Home Farm in Dublin thanks to an eighth minute Pat McCann goal but the hosts had played most of the game with just ten men.

In the league it was a mixed month for Ollie Hogan’s side as late goal saw Harps slump to their fifth league defeat of the season losing 1-0 to Longford Town in Ballybofey. However, on the last Friday of June the Donegal outfit recorded only their second home win of the campaign when a Ruairi Keating goal gave his side a 1-0 victory over Waterford Utd.

Ramelton’s Barry McNamee, the current Donegal Sports Star Soccer title holer, scored the first goal in a ‘Man of the Match’ performance for Derry City in a 2-0 win over Cobh Ramblers in the second round of the FAI Ford Senior Cup at St. Colman’s Park. Former Letterkenny Rovers and Derry City player Cillian Morrison completed his transfer from UCD to Cork City signing a two-and-a-half year professional contract with the Leesiders.

The Donegal Women’s U-14s side finished third at the Gaynor Cup in Limerick with an Amy Boyle-Carr giving the side managed by Brid McGinty and Johnny Baird a 1-0 win in the final. St. Catherine’s defeated Bonagee Utd 4-2 to win the Donegal Schoolboys U-14 Champions League Final at Finn Park. Ballyshannon man Matthew McGarrigle won the Metalman Swimming series at Rosses Point in Co. Sligo while Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon member Aidan Callaghan finished second at the ‘Hell of the West’ Olympic distance event in Kilkee, Co. Clare. In Primary School’s sport ssKilmacrennan NS won their fourth piece of silverware of the year by taking the county Cummann na mBunscoil Roinn 2 county title. The success came after also winning the Donegal and Ulster indoor GAA titles and the boys County FAIS soccer final.


Nascanna Idirnáisiúnta á bhForbairt – An Chéad Stad: Massachusetts

Patsy Donaghey, Donna Maskery and Aideen Doherty

Patsy Donaghey, Donna Maskery and Aideen Doherty

(Is i mBéarla a scríobhadh bunleagan an ailt seo. Aistrithe go Gaeilge le haghaidh suíomh idirlín na Comhairle Contae)

Le Donna Maskery, Ionad Fiontair an BASE, Co. Dhún na nGall, Éire

Ar an 5 Meitheamh, chuaigh mé ar thuras go Massachusetts i gcuideachta Patsy Donaghey ón CoLab agus le hAideen Doherty ó Chomhairle Contae Dhún na nGall. Ba é ba chuspóir leis an chuairt seo tuilleadh nasc a fhorbairt le príomh-ionadaithe ar mhaithe le deiseanna a aithint don Chontae i dtaca le forbairt eacnamaíochta.

Céim amháin eile sa phróiseas a bhí turas seo, ag tógáil ar an seimineár iontach rathúil eacnamaíochta/fiontraíochta a reáchtáladh faoi choimirce Chomhairle Contae Dhún na nGall ar an 8 Bealtaine. Tim Murray, Uachtarán agus Príomh-Fheidhmeannach le Comhlachas Réigiúnach Tráchtála Worcester (agus fear uasail leis, caithfidh mé a rá) a bhí ina óstach againn . Chuir sé an-fháilte romhainn agus thug neart eolais dúinn.

Ar an 6ú lá den mhí, d’fhreastail mé féin agus Aideen ar Chomhdháil Ceannaireachta Ban Worcester. I measc na n-aoichainteoirí ag an chomhdháil seo bhí Molly Barker, Bunaitheoir Running Mates USA agus Girls on the Run, agus Claire Shipman, Rannpháirtí Sinsearach le Nuacht ABC.

Tá Trí-Atlan Iarainn Hawaii bainte ag Molly ceithre huaire, agus is údar í ar Girls on Track, treoir fá choinne tuismitheoirí ar conas ár gcuid iníonacha a spreagadh i dtreo fad saoil de féinmheas agus féinmhuinín. Caithfidh mé a admháil go bhfuil an leabhar ceannaithe agam, sin chomh tógtha agus a bhí mé faoi.

D’úsáid Molly a cúlra san obair shóisialta, i gcomhairleoireacht agus i dteagasc, chomh maith le taighde dá cuid ar shaincheisteanna do dhéagóirí, le Girls on the Run a fhorbairt. Inniu, tá Girls on the Run i gComhairlí éagsúla i gcorradh agus 190 cathair ar fud Mheiriceá Thuaidh, ag freastal ar bhreis agus 150,000 bean agus cailín in aghaidh na bliana ( D’fhiafraigh mé de Molly an raibh rud ar bith beartaithe aici fá choinne na hÉireann agus bhí sé ar dóigh a chluinstin go bhfuil muid mar chuid ‘den phlean’.

Clúdaíonn Claire polaitíocht agus nuacht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta eile ar son Nuacht ABC. Sular thosaigh sí le Nuacht ABC d’oibrigh Shipman mar chomhfhreagraí Tí Bháin le Nuacht NBC , mar a ndéanadh sí tuairisciú ar bheartas agus ar pholaitíocht na huachtaránachta. Is minic í ag déanamh agallaimh dhoimhne le daoine mór-le-rá sa nuacht, ar nós Ard-Rúnaí an Stáit Hillary Clinton, an tUachtarán George W. Bush agus an tUachtarán Bill Clinton. Is comh-údar í, i gcomhar le Katty Kay, ar an leabhar is fearr díol de chuid an New York Times, Womenomics: The workplace revolution that will change your life. Is treoirleabhar eolach é ar an tábhacht atá le muinín a thuigbheáil a leabhar nua The Confidence Code: The ard and science of Self-Assurance – agus What Women Need to Know.

Bhí an bheirt bhan ar fheabhas. Chuir siad brí agus beocht leis an lá agus bhí tocht ar a raibh de dhaoine sa seomra nuair a thosaigh Molly ag cur síos ar a dtaithí a bheith ag obair le cailíní óga. Ní raibh súil sa tseomra saor ó dheor.

Donna Maskery, Claire Shipman and Aideen Doherty

Donna Maskery, Claire Shipman agus Aideen Doherty

Le linn lóin, bhí ceisteanna agus freagraí le painéal ceannaireachta, Anne Margulies, Príomh-Oifigeach Eolais le hOllscoil Harvard, Vicary Graham, Uachtarán ar BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Christina Chase, Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Massachusetts agus Kelley Tuthill, NewsCenter 5, tuairisceoir ag déanamh modhnóireachta.

Eispéireas den scoth a bhí sa lá ar fad agus ba dheas dom a fhoghlaim ó na seisiúin bhreise go bhféadfainn na topaicí agus na téamaí ar fad a bhí á bplé a thuigbheáil. Níl aon amhras ach gur féidir linn foghlaim ó dhaoine eile i saol an ghnó in Worcester, ach go bhfuil neart le tairiscint againn féin fosta ónár spriocanna féin agus ónár dtaithí féin.

Dé Sathairn, thaistil muid go dtí Easthampton mar ar bhuail muid le Anne Burke, Leas-Uachtarán ar Chomhairle Forbartha Eacnamaíochta Massachusetts Thiar agus Burns Maxey, Cathair Easthampton, Stiúrthóir Ealaíon. Thug muid cuairt ar ‘Cottage Street’, an ‘Workbench’ agus roinnt suíomhanna fiontair cruthaitheacha. Labhair muid le hionadaithe áitiúla gnó atá ag feidhmiú sna comh-thimpeallachtaí seo, faoina dtaithí féin, na dúshláin agus pleananna don am atá le teacht. Thug muid cuairt ar ‘knack’, gnólacht chliste ath-úsáide agus chonaic lenár súile féin na modhanna solúbtha agus cruthaitheacha atá á gcur i bhfeidhm ó lá go lá in oibríochtaí gnó.

Le linn an turais, thug muid cuairt ar roinnt institiúidí acadúla. Bhuail muid leis an tSiúr Mary Reap ó Choláiste Elms, Carl Herrin ó Ollscoil Stáit Worcester agus Robert Johnston, Uachtarán ar Choláiste Becker. Tá Becker ar thús cadhnaíochta i dtaca le fiontraíocht a thabhairt isteach sa churaclam acadúil. Bhí deis agam bualadh le scoláirí atá ag glacadh páirte i ndianchúrsa samhraidh Mass DiGi de chuid Becker, agus bhí mé in ann triail a bhaint as cuid de na cluichí atá á bhforbairt ag na daoine óga iontacha seo, meánaois 20 bliain acu, caithfidh mé a rá! Tá áitreabh eile faighte ag Becker ar na mallaibh agus ta sé i gceist acu an réimse seo ar fad a fhorbairt níos mó.

Bhí deis againn chomh maith bualadh le Jacob Sanders, Comh-Stiúrthóir ar Choláiste Becker, Monty Sharma, Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta ar Mass DiGi agus Timothy Loew, Stiúrthóir Feidhmiúcháin ar Mass DiGi atá ag seachadadh an chláir in Becker.

D’ith muid lón le hionadaithe ó Mheantóirí Fiontraíochta Valley agus ó Infheisteoirí River Valley. Tugann meantóirí fiontraíochta Valley tacaíocht ríthábhachtach ar fáil do ghnólachtaí úra atá ag toiseacht, chomh maith le meantóirí gnó d’ardchaighdeán, ag seisiúin struchtúrtha phleanála. Ag na himeachtaí seo ligtear do ghnólachtaí a smaointiú gnó ‘a dhíol’ agus iarrann siad cuidiú chun dul i ngleic le dúshláin, mar chuid de chur i láthair cúig bhomaite. Le linn an dara cuid den seisiún, bíonn cruinniú idir na meantóirí deonacha agus na fiontraithe atá roghnaithe le plean a thoiseacht, rudaí a chruthú agus fadhbanna a réiteach.

Thug muid cuairt ar imeacht ar a dtugtar Hackathon– Níl a fhios agam an féidir liom a cheart a thabhairt don rud seo le mo mhíniúchán féin ar a bhfuil i gceist, ach seo liom, is é atá in Hackathon ná imeacht mar a dtagann daoine le cheile chun réitigh chruthaitheacha a fhorbairt le haghaidh fadhbanna áitiúl trí ríomhchlárú agus trí fhreagairtí teicniúla. Bhí daoine de gach aois páirteach ann, chomh maith le páistí ag foghlaim cóid.

Chaith muid an lá deireanach i mBostún le Jon Mahoney, Cumann Gnó Éireann Bhostúin agus sular eitil muid abhaile d’éirigh linn turas a fháil thart ar Ionad Nuálaíochta Cambridge agus café fiontraíochta, turas ar ‘mass challenge’ agus bhí cruinniú againn le príomh-ionadaithe ó Oifig Idirnáisiúnta Trádála agus Infheistíochta Massachusetts, agus cuairt chuig halla ceantair mar a bhfuil muid le Ranch Kimble, Ceann na Fiontraíochta ag Coláiste BABSON agus William Ghormley, Leas-Uachtarán Sinsearach, Xconomy, sula bhfuair muid an t-eitleán abhaile.

Ansin, phill muid abhaile, agus sea, bhí me tuirseach traochta!

Ginearálta: Glacaim leis go bhfuil tréithe na gceantracha iontach difriúil ó thaobh daonra, aeráide, rochtain ar acmhainní, méid agus scála na ngnólachtaí, agus téann an liosta ar aghaidh agus ar aghaidh. Mar sin féin, tá cuid mhór a thig linn a fhoghlaim óna chéile agus ón obair atá ar bun i dtaca le forbairt agus tacaíocht fiontraíochta, go háirithe an tacaíocht agus an fuinneamh atá á dhíriú ar thacú le gnólachtaí teicneolaíochta agus leis an gheilleagar cruthaitheach. Tá roinnt daoine iontacha thall ansin a bhfuil an-dáimh acu le hÉirinn agus fonn mór orthu a bheith ag obair le gnólachtaí as Dún na nGall.

Phill mé abhaile agus fuinneamh úr ionam, agus liosta úr rudaí ‘le déanamh’ agus deimhníodh dom arís go bhfuil An BASE ag dul sa treo ceart.


Developing international links – First stop Massachusetts

By Donna Maskery, The BASE enterprise centre, Co Donegal, Ireland

Patsy Donaghey, Donna Maskery and Aideen Doherty

Patsy Donaghey, Donna Maskery and Aideen Doherty


On the 5th of June I accompanied Patsy Donaghey from CoLab and Aideen Doherty from Donegal County Council on their trip to Massachusetts.  The aim of this visit was to further develop links with key representatives in order to identify opportunities for the County in relation to economic development.

This trip was one more step in the process, building on the very successful economic/enterprise development seminar hosted by Donegal County Council on the 8th May.  Tim Murray, President& CEO of Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce (and perfect gentleman may I add) was our host, he made us feel very welcome and provided us with a wealth of information.

On the 6th Aideen and I attended the Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference. Guest speakers at this event included Molly Barker, Funder of Running Mates USA and Girls on the Run and Claire Shipman, Senior Contributor for ABC News.

Molly is a four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, and author of Girls on track.  A parent’s guide to inspiring our daughters to achieve a lifetime of self-esteem and respect, I have to admit I bought the book, that’s how impressed I was.

Molly used her background in social work, counseling and teaching, along with research on adolescent issues, to develop Girls on the Run.  Today, there are Girls on the run Councils in more than 190 cities across North America serving over 150,000 girls and women each year (  I asked Molly if she had plans for Ireland and it was excellent to hear that we are part of ‘the plan’.

Claire covers politics and other national and international news stories as a senior contributor for ABC News.  Prior to joining ABC news Shipman served as a White House correspondent for NBC News where she reported on presidential policy and politics.  She regularly conducts in-depth interviews with top news-making figures, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton.  She is the co-author, with Katty Kay, of the New York Times best-seller, Womenomics: The workplace revolution that will change your life.  Her new book, The Confidence Code: The art and science of self-Assurance – and What Women Need to Know, is an informative guide to understanding the importance of confidence.

Both ladies were excellent. Their presence on the day was electric and emotions ran high as Molly described some of her experiences in working with young girls, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Donna Maskery, Claire Shipman and Aideen Doherty

Donna Maskery, Claire Shipman and Aideen Doherty

Lunch included questions and answers with a leadership panel, Anne Margulies, Chief Information Officer with Harvard University, Vicary Graham President, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Christina Chase, Massachusetts Institute of technology and Kelley Tuthill, NewsCenter 5 reporter moderating.

The whole day was an experience and it was refreshing to learn from the breakout sessions that I could relate to all of the themes and topics being discussed.  There is no doubt that we can learn from other business people in Worcester but we too have a lot to offer from our own experiences and aspirations.

On Saturday we travelled to Easthampton where we met with Ann Burke, Vice president for the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts and Burns Maxey, City of Easthampton, Arts Director.  We visited ‘Cottage Street’, ‘the workbench’ and a number of creative enterprise sites.  We talked to local business representatives operating in these shared environments about their experiences, challenges and future plans. We visited ‘knack’ a clever re-use business and experienced first had the flexible and creative approaches been adopted in everyday business operations.

During the trip we visited a number of academic institutions.  We met with Sister Mary Reap from Elms College, Carl Herrin from Worcester State University and Robert Johnston President of Becker College.  Becker is leading the way in terms of incorporating entrepreneurship into the academia curriculum.  I had the opportunity to meet students who are taking part in the Becker intensive Mass DiGi summer programme and I was able to try out some of the games these amazing young people were developing, average age 20, I should add.  Becker has recently acquired another premise where they intend on further developing this whole area.

We also had the opportunity to meet Jacob Sanders, Associate Director Becker College, Monty Sharma Managing Director of Mass Digi and Timothy Loew, Executive Director Mass Digi who are delivering the programme at Becker.

We had lunch with representatives from Valley Venture Mentors and River Valley Investors. Valley venture mentors provide key support to carefully selected start-ups together with high quality business mentors at a structured pitch and planning sessions.  These events allow businesses to ‘sell’ their business idea and ask for help in addressing hurdles in a 5 min presentation.  During the second part of the session volunteer mentors gather with the entrepreneurs of choice and begin a plan, create and problem solve.

We visited a Hackathon– I’m not sure I can do this justice with my explanation as to what it is but here goes, a “Hackathon is an event where people come together to develop creative solutions to local problems through computer programming and technical responses”.  There were people participating of all ages and kids learning code.

We spent our last day in Boston with Jon Mahoney, Boston Irish Business Association and before flying home we managed a tour of Cambridge Innovation Centre and venture café, a tour of mass challenge and we had a meeting with key representatives from the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) also avisit to district hall where weMet Ranch Kimble, Head of entrepreneurship at BABSON college and William Ghormley, Senior Vice President. Xconomy before flying home

Then we went home, and yes I was tired 🙂

Overall: I accept that the characteristics of the areas are very different in relation to population, climate, access to resources, size and scale of businesses and the list goes on and on however there is a lot we can learn from each-other and the work that is on-going in relation to enterprise development and support, in particular the support and energy that is being focussed on supporting technology businesses and the creative economy. There are some great people over there with a deep affinity for Ireland and they are keen to work with Donegal businesses.

I returned home re-energised with a new ‘to do list’ and it reaffirmed for me that The BASE is headed in the right direction.


What can the Local Enterprise Office do for Your Business?

Are you running a business in County Donegal or are you thinking of starting a new business? Then look no further than the Local Enterprise Office.

Local Enterprise Office Donegal team at the launch of the new LEO with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD  (centre front)

Local Enterprise Office Donegal team at the launch of the new LEO with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD (centre front)


Michael Tunney, the Head of Local Enterprise has been working with local businesses and sharing a wealth of business knowledge for almost 30 years. He encourages local business owners and entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith in starting their own business and is on hand to provide the necessary support and advice.

“We are a nation and a county of small and in particular micro enterprises. We need local entrepreneurs and sustainable local business as they create local wealth and employment and contribute to every village, town and parish in the county. Our challenge is to create the environment and conditions which encourages more and more people to set up their own businesses and to work with them to ensure they succeed and grow and ideally export.” said Michael.

The Donegal Local Enterprise Office (LEO) has been in operation since April this year having formally operated as the Donegal County Enterprise Board. The Board had been in operation for over twenty years and had operated as the agency for enterprise promotion and micro business support in the county over this period. The Local Enterprise Office will continue to fulfil this role and function.

What is the Local Enterprise Office and what do they do?

Local Enterprise Office Logo

Local Enterprise Office Logo


The LEO is the “first point of contact” or first stop shop” for anyone in business or thinking about starting a business in Donegal. The LEO provides a range  of supports from information, through training and management development, to mentoring and direct financial support.

The overall aim is to support businesses to achieve their ambitions and to increase the number of successful businesses in the county. Already the LEO is working closely with other Council services to identify funding opportunities to support businesses and sectors within Donegal.

Michael talks about the Local Enterprise team and their wealth of experience in business and is confident that they can help Donegal business’s grow in today’s challenging economy.

“The LEO was launched in April however the staff in the Local Enterprise Office has many years of experience in working with businesses in the county. We have an amazing team of staff who have been with the Board for over 14 years so they all know the business world inside out.

“We are always looking at new opportunities to develop business in Donegal and one of our key initiatives is The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative. Our aim is to promote and develop opportunities for the food sector in Donegal by branding Donegal as a “food county” – a place with a vibrant food culture and food economy. The initiative is open to anyone with an interest in the County’s food sector – from start-up businesses to part-time food producers, from on-farm added value producers to established primary producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and restaurant.

“This is only one of a number of initiatives that we are currently driving and we are here to support businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish and grow in Donegal.


Facts about the LEO

The LEO has four key areas of operation-

  • Providing business information, advice and referral
  • Providing enterprise supports such as Start Your Own Business and Small Business Accounts training, mentoring and management development programmes and access to financial assistance both by way of grant aid and/or micro loans.
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship including schools enterprise, youth entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship and the development of clusters and networks.
  • The provision of local enterprise development services which include contributing to county and area specific development plans, delivery of national initiatives and the development of appropriate enterprise infrastructure.


If you have a business idea and are unsure of where to start you can call the Local Enterprise Office at 0749160735 and arrange to meet with an executive or sign up for one of Start Your Own Business Programmes.

For further information


Comhairle Óige Dhún na nGall ag dul chun na Rómáine

Donegal group travel to Bacau in Romania


Beidh Comhairle Óige Dhún na nGall ag taisteal chun na Rómaine go luath mar chuid den togra úrmhaoinithe Daonlathas Óige na hEorpa. Tá an Chomhairle Óige, i gcomhar lena bpáirtnéirí réigiúnacha IEÓ Leitir Ceanainn, i ndiaidh dul i gcomhpháirt le ‘Gluaiseacht Óige na Rómáine ar son an Daonlathais’ (GÓRD) agus Eagraíocht ‘A Smile’ ó Réigiún an Bacau in Oirthear na Rómáine, chun a dtogra ‘Forbróirí Daonlathais’ a fhorbairt, togra a bheas á mhaoiniú ag Coimisiún na hEorpa tríd an Chlár ‘Óige i mbun Gnímh’.

Mar chuid den togra ‘Forbróirí Daonlathais’ rachaidh an grúpa as Dún na nGall go Bacau sa Rómáin idir 16 – 24 Iúil le haghaidh ‘Grodchampa Daonlathais’ – ceardlann seachtaine ina mbeidh 24 rannpháirtí ag foghlaim faoi, agus ag fáil blaiseadh ar, na coincheapa agus na modhanna a bhaineann le gníomhaíochas agus le r-dhaonlathas trí mhodhanna neamhfhoirmeálta ar nós Amharclannaíocht Fóraim agus scéalaíocht dhigiteach.

Tá sé d’aidhm ag an togra feasacht daoine óga i mBacau agus i nDún na nGall a ardú i dtaca le huirlisí an daonlathais rannpháirtigh agus le modhanna rannpháirtíochta óige a mheasúnú. Mar chuid den togra, déanfaidh gach grúpa taighde ag leibhéal réigiúnach lena fháil amach cad é mar a sheasann rudaí ó thaobh rannpháirtíocht na hóige sa phróiseas daonlathach ina réigiún féin.

I ndiaidh an turais chun na Rómáine oibreoidh na páirtnéirí éagsúla a bhí páirteach ann le “Uirlísí agus Scileanna le haghaidh Daonlathas Rannpháirtíochta’ a chruthú – ábhar tacaíochta do dhaoine óga ar mhaith leo guth a bheith acu i measc na n-údarás poiblí agus i bhfóraim eile.

Comhairle Óige Dhún na nGall réidh le taisteal chun Na Rómáine mar chuid den togra “Forbróirí Daonlathais.

Mar thoradh ar an togra, chomh maith leis sin, déanfar ‘Mol ar son Daonlathas Rannpháirtíochta’ a fhorbairt – mar atá gréasan de ENRanna Óige, a chuirfidh spás ar fáil d’eagraíochtaí atá oscailte chun tograí úra ar an daonlathas rannpháirtíochta a fhorbairt, agus leis an dea-chleachtas is fearr a chomhroinnt lena chéile.

Faigheann an togra seo maoiniú ó Choimisiún na hEorpa. Tá Comhairle Óige Dhún na nGall á maoiniú ag Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall, Cothú Sláinte an FSS agus an Roinn Leanaí agus Gnóthaí Óige agus is é is aidhm leis deiseanna a sholáthar do dhaoine óga topaicí agus tograí, atá aitheanta ag mórphobal óige an chontae, a aithint, a chur in ord tosaíochta agus obair a dhéanamh orthu.

Fá choinne tuilleadh eolais ar Chomhairle Óige Dhún na nGall, is féidir leat dul i dteagmháil le Comhordaitheoir na Comhairle Marty Keeney ar 087-6806676 nó ar ríomhphost