Friday, 7 October 2022
Donegal Connect returned as an in-person event for 2022 as part of the Global Irish Festival Series in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs, and it returned in some style!
Donegal Connect took place across the weekend of 22-25 September with a launch event on Thursday 22nd September kicking things off at the wonderous Castle Grove Country House Hotel on the outskirts of Letterkenny.
From Killybegs to Buncrana from Raphoe to Ardara and everywhere in between there was action afoot across the whole weekend in Donegal. The anchor event of the weekend was the prestigious Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards which took place at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana on 23rd September as we honoured Kathleen Sheerin, Dr. Susan K. Whoriskey, Moya Doherty and Ann & Mark Baiada for their contribution in their respective fields.
An Cathaoirleach Cllr. Liam Blaney said: “Firstly, it was fantastic to have Donegal Connect back as an in-person event for 2022. Reconnecting with our Diaspora and those with a love of Donegal has been an important theme for 2022 in general and Donegal Connect reflected that in so many ways. It was especially prevalent at the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards with so many familiar faces having travelled from America and the UK to be with us. We are looking forward to building on this momentum for 2023”.
The Remote Working Town Taster event which took place on Friday 23rd of Donegal Connect in the CoLab in Letterkenny showcased the world class opportunities and flexible working solutions available in every part of the county. Key speakers, alongside special guests from Finn Harps FC, shared their own stories of the benefits working remotely, and the opportunities afforded to them including a better work/life balance without compromise, a higher quality of life, and more time to spend with the people they care about while exploring the phenomenal landscapes and adventures found at their doorsteps.
Across the weekend a number of festivals took place including the Johnny Doherty Festival in Ardara and the Disappear Here Film Festival in Ballyliffin. In Swan Park, Buncrana, the Donegal Connect Carnival atmosphere was in the air as performances by the Inishowen Carnival Group took over the park and transformed the recently, and wonderfully, redeveloped park into a mythical wonderland. With over 1600 attendees on the day it was a massive success and many families made their exits expressing what a fantastic time they had.
As the curtain draws shut on Donegal Connect 2022 it is safe to say it has been a thoroughly enjoyable festival to bring to the people of Donegal and it will be built upon to deliver an even better line up for 2023.