15 March - 31st December 2024, Donegal Town.

In 2024, Donegal Town will mark its 550th Birthday. Its origins can be traced back to 1474, when Lady Nuala O'Donnell established a Franciscan Abbey on the shores of Donegal Bay. Around the same time, her husband Red Hugh O'Donnell the First, Lord of Tir Chonaill founded Donegal Castle. The Town of Donegal grew up around these two great buildings and became the capital of Tir Chonaill. Under the O’Donnell Lords, who were treated as sovereign princes by the Kings of France, Spain and Scotland, Donegal Town was like the capital of an independent country for 130 years. Even after the O’Donnell’s were overthrown following the Battle of Kinsale, the Town was reputedly the place where the Annals of the Four Masters were written.

Since the time of Red Hugh the First and Lady Nuala, Donegal Town has been one of Ireland’s most historic places. Few Irish Towns have ever reached their 550th Birthday. Yet, Donegal is still young at heart, a flourishing and vibrant place, endowed with a remarkable and unique heritage and culture.

That is why we are going to celebrate Donegal Town’s 550th Anniversary. To this end, a committee composed of various local stakeholders has been established to organise and co-ordinate what we expect to be an exciting and varied calendar of events in 2024.

Please follow our Facebook page for the latest updates on events.

  • Start Date Friday 15 March 2024
  • End Date Tuesday 31 December 2024
  • Free and ticketed events, information will be provided by individual organisers.
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