Friday, 23 September 2016

The Red Door Experience, Inishowen

Denise Henry, Marketing, Inishowen Tourism
The 4* Red Door Country House Restaurant and B&B, pictured above, is nestled beside the ancient area of Fahan, on the shores of Lough Swilly and located a short drive from Buncrana, a picturesque seaside town on the Western side of the Inishowen Peninsula. On approach to the Red Door it is hard to deny the stunning views from the moment you step out of the car and make your way to the entrance. 
During your visit you will be surrounded by picturesque gardens, colourful flowerbeds and a carefully maintained landscape that emphasizes the unspoiled nature of the area.

A Meal With A View

At The Red Door Restaurant, pictured above, you will notice the interior design is inviting, stylish and quirky. The seating arrangement in place, allows you to take advantage of the wonderful views surrounding the grounds. With this in mind, as you can see below, you can enjoy a meal with beautiful views.

History on The Door Step: Fahan Abbey

Located a short walk from the hotel is Fahan, the site of an important ancient abbey founded in the 6th century. On a visit to the Abbey you can view the beautifully carved St Muras Cross, pictured below. The decorated cross and associated grave slab is thought to date from the 7th Century and is believed to mark the Saints grave. 
Also on site you can view the grave of Agnes Jones (1832 – 64) a nursing pioneer from Fahan Inishowen. Agnes trained alongside Florence Nightingale and worked tirelessly to improve the dreadful conditions that existed in workhouses during the 1850s in Liverpool.

Find Out More

Monday, 19 September 2016

Fitness Meets Food As Brian Cooks For Kings and Kearneys

Article Submitted By No Salt Chef Brian Mc Dermott
Donegal chef Brian McDermott, pictured above, will be a popular figure at the National Ploughing Championships where he will be cooking at the National Dairy Council’s stand. The Ploughing Championships are one of the biggest events of the year in Ireland and takes place from Tuesday September 20th to Thursday September 22nd in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Dropping in to help Brian in the kitchen over the course of the three days will be a number of big names from the world of sport and fitness with Henry Shefflin, Rob and Brian Kearney and Operation Transformation’s Karl Henry all hoping they can lend Brian a helping hand.

National Ploughing Championship, Ireland

Brian will be performing daily cookery demonstrations over the three days and the popular chef is delighted to be back at the event;“The Ploughing Championships are a fantastic three days and I love working with the National Dairy Council who do a fantastic job in educating people on the goodness and quality of our dairy produce,” Brian explained before adding “Dairy is a key ingredient in so many of the dishes closest to my heart. I think it illustrates everything that is good about honest Irish cooking.”

The Inishowen based chef is looking forward to the opportunity of cooking with Henry Shefflin, the Kearneys and Karl Henry; “It will be good to have people just as fit as me in the kitchen,” joked Brian before continuing in a more serious vain; “Getting the guys into the kitchen will be great and I think it shows that dairy is vital and necessary part of a healthy diet.”

Healthy Cooking with Brian Mc Dermott

Brian runs his own cookery school in Moville, Inishowen, Co Donegal where he says local produce is the key to all the cooking that he does and expanding on this theme the RTE and BBC chef stated that the Ploughing Championships will be full of ‘brilliant’ local producers; “As Chefs we have the easy task of simply applying heat and common sense to quality produce. Less should be more with cooking in 2016 as we should allow the ingredients speak for themselves. My cooking is good honest healthy cooking made easy but for me it’s the farmers and producers who do the hard work. Our meat, our dairy, our seafood, our vegetables and rapeseed oils now have us riding high in acclaim for our ingredients and without doubt we have the best producers creating superb produce,” Brian explained before appealing to people to ‘buy Irish.’“We need to ensure we buy Irish produce and support the complete Irish food chain as we are seeing Irish food and produce enjoying world renown.”

Brian Mc Dermott is a regular TV Chef on RTE Today Show as well as other regular TV to include TV 3 live slot next week from the Ploughing 2016. Brian has his own Cookery Slot on BBC Radio Ulster and he is a great communicator across all media platforms. He has a strong active social media presence and a regular contributor to print and online media. Following serious cardiac issues as a 33 year old Chef Brian changed the way he cooked focusing on a Healthy Style of Cooking. He is launching his second cookery Book in Spring 2017.

Brian headlines the majority of national Food Festivals to include Bloom, National Ploughing, Balmoral Show and many more. Brian is also a regular MC at many Food events. Brian runs his own cookery school in Moville Inishowen Co Donegal teaching many clients his clean, healthy ethos of cooking focusing on the ingredients as the champion. Brian spent 6 years working in New Product Chef role with Kerry Group and currently is Food Innovation Centre manager at North West Regional College having just opened a £500K Innovation Centre to support small food producers with development and route to market.

For More Information 
Contact Tel: 086 1722995 email:
Brian on RTE Today Show:

Walking Along The Coast of Malin Head, Inishowen

Denise Henry, Marketing, Inishowen Tourism
Malin Head is Ireland's most Northerly Point situated a short drive from Malin Town pictured above. On route to Malin Town, you will pass over an historic ten-arched bridge which leads to this bright and charming village.

The word Malin itself originates from the Irish word Malainn meaning Braeface or Hillbrow, which hints at the type of geography you will encounter at this stunning location. On approach to Malin Head you will be greeted by an impressive Tower built in 1805 to act as a Signal Tower for the British Admiralty during the Napoleonic Wars. Today it is recognized as signature point along the popular Wild Atlantic Way Route.
In front of the Tower you will notice a large Eire symbol, pictured above, that is marked out by white stones on the landscape. Eire was used during the Second World War to inform fighter pilots on approach to Malin Head that they were in Ireland, a country of neutrality.

The Malin Head Trail

Located at Malin Head is a trail, viewed above, that will take you along a scenic path packed with wonderful views across the Atlantic and Inishowen Landscape. The route itself is graded as a moderate walk spanning a distance between 570-655m. A purpose built path with signage, will lead you along the picturesque headland.

From Malin Head you can view neighboring sites in County Donegal such as Fanad Head Lighthouse. This impressive Lighthouse marks the entrance to Lough Swilly that separates the Fanad Peninsula from the Inishowen Peninsula. On a clear day, the headlands of Horn Head and Dundaff Head, in the wider Co Donegal area can also be seen.

Making your way along the walk some of the sites you can see, weather permitting, include the beautiful Tory Island and to the North East the captivating Inishtrahull Island that you can see above. On a clear day it is possible to see the hills of Western Scotland and the Island of Islay. 

The rock at Malin Head is composed primarily of igneous and metamorphic rock that formed over 400 million years ago. During your walk you will notice a number of these striking rock formations, which includes Hells Hole, a deep chasm in the rugged cliff face with a subterranean cave, pictured above. At Hells Hole and throughout the trail you can see and hear the power of the sea as it crashes against the rugged rocks and coastline.

The Force Is With Malin Head

The captivating nature of the cliff walk and its surrounding scenery is a perfect location to capture the imagination of visitor and local alike. From your visit to Malin Head you can understand why a section of the headland that lies beyond the trail was chosen to shoot a number of scenes of the eagerly anticipated Star Wars Episode VIII due to air on December 15th 2017.

More To Come
Stay tuned for another installment of our walking guide series that provides information on scenic walks around Inishowen.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Nestled by The Coast at Trean House Farmhouse B&B, Inishowen

Denise Henry, Marketing, Inishowen Tourism
Trean House Farmhouse B&B is located in the picturesque townland of Lecamy on the Inishowen Peninsula. During your stay you will be immersed in a truly stunning landscape, comprising of large mature gardens, pictured above, with colourful flowers and fruit trees. The grounds include farm outbuildings and sheep that roam the 125 acres of working farmland. The house itself offers ample space to relax, read a book, spend time in the gardens and rest in spacious, bright, rooms pictured below. On arrival you will be greeted by the family's friendly collie. 

Farming at Trean House

During your stay you will have the opportunity to learn about Joyce and Mervyn Norris's working farm and on request you may be given a tour of the vast farmland surrounding Trean House. If visiting in the springtime you can come face to face with a collection of adorable lambs.Whatever the season there is always something different to engage with at Trean and the surrounding landscape in Inishowen. The family have recently been awarded the “Farmhouse of the year 2016″ by Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide, a guide that selects some of the best places to eat, drink and stay throughout Ireland.

Hidden Gems on Your Doorstep

Amongst the scenic areas close to Trean House is Tremone Bay, located a mere five minute walk from your accommodation. Tremone Bay, pictured above, is an unspoiled gem, nestled behind another popular beach, Kinnagoe Bay, pictured below.
If beach life is too quiet for your interests, you are within short driving distance to a number of coastal towns in Inishowen, like Culdaff and Malin Town. Trean House can act as a base to explore the entire Peninsula, immerse yourself in culture, relax near a beach or enjoy the grounds on location.

Find Out More

Thursday, 8 September 2016

In Touch With The Past at Inishowen Bogwood Sculptures

By Denise Henry, Marketing, Inishowen Tourism
Mary Doherty, pictured above, comes from Bocan in Inishowen, an area steeped in legend and history. Using bogwood, an ancient material found on the landscape, Mary crafts beautiful wooden sculptures. Mary had "always wanted to work with wood" and in 1993 attended a week long course on Bogwood Sculpture at Esker Redemptorist Monastery in Athenry. Following the course, Mary has perfected her craft over the past 22 years. With a growing collection of sculptures, Marys husband Sean, a Joiner and Carpenter, built a studio on the grounds, see below, to display the unique collection of bogwood.
Bogwood originates from forests that once grew in this area 1000s of years ago. The forests consisted of oak, yew and pine and grew where bog land now exists. Over time, the wood has decayed and undergone a process of chemical change which gives the wood its unique colour and texture.

From Raw Wood to Finished Material

The bogwood that is crafted has come to the surface due to turf cutting. Turf is extracted from these bogs and used in Ireland as a fuel source. You can see from the image above that the sculptures on display are of a variety of colours and sizes. Over the years bog oak changes to a striking black, yew to a reddish brown and pine to a golden yellow. Once Mary has located the bogwood it is brought back and stored in an open shelter, pictured below, where it will dry naturally. As you will find out during your visit, the drying process can take between 3 to 5 years.

Crafting a Piece of Bogwood

When dry, Mary begins to remove the dead wood with a mallet and chisel, describing the process as going "with the wood" and "whatever comes from it is completely unique". The wood is then carefully sanded into a chosen form at her workshop, pictured below. The wood is then, over several days, coated with linseed oil. To prevent the wood from becoming dull, Mary finishes off by coating the wood with her own homemade beeswax, inspired by her late mothers recipe. Mary describes the work as "very time consuming but loves working with the piece to see what comes from it”
Click below to learn about Marys first piece of sculpted Bogwood. During your visit you will have the opportunity to see this piece and the different areas the wood is stored and sculpted.

Inishowen Bogwood: In High Demand

With encouragement from friends and family Mary began to exhibit her work at local craft fairs and soon her work was in high demand. To date Mary has exhibited all over the world and has been commissioned, to name but a few, to make pieces for John Hume, a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland and Jean Kennedy Smith, a previous Ambassador for the United States.

Connected to The Past: Shapes in The Wood

Mary has a connection to each piece she creates stating that “When I number the sculpture I give it a name but I don’t share this with my customers because I like them to tell me what they see in the sculpture, as everyone sees them differently”. During your visit you can expect to find curious shapes in each piece adding to the unique nature of the wood carefully crafted by Mary. As a result of the skill and craftsmanship you will see at the Studio, Marys bogwood sculptures has been shipped globally. On a visit to the studio you will leave with a newfound appreciation of her craft and of the ancient landscape from which it is taken.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Mill, Owenkillew River, Buncrana - PhotoWalk

The Old Mill, Buncrana
In 1905, Buncrana was the first town in Co. Donegal to get electricity, generated at Swan's Mill. There is an open public walk along the river and there are falls under the Mill Bridge.

It provided the town, the first in Donegal, with a domestic supply until it was supplanted by the ESB rural electrification scheme in 1954.

Swan Mill generated electricity at the Mill River falls for the Buncrana Electricity Supply Company.

See the map below, for more detail of the walkway around this hidden gem in Inishowen.

Friday, 2 September 2016

International journalists travel from Dubai to see Malin Head & Archaeological breaking news at Carndonagh...

By Heidi Woods- Tourism Development Officer

Highlights of the last few weeks have focused on areas of  special interest here in Inishowen; in terms of modern film making, celebrating our spectacular coastal scenery, natural phenoneoms like the Northern Lights, and our deep and rich historical links to a land of an undiscovered kingdom.
The Lands of Éogain group returned to the Peninsula to continue their work uncovering yet more exciting finds at several locations in Inishowen. The Peninsula’s archeological research into its fascinating historical past is now being revealed through the collaboration of heritage groups throughout Inishowen. The Colgan Hall provided a venue to hear speakers from Ireland, England, and Scotland giving factual information to the community about the connections with Iona, Lindisfarne and Pictish Portahomack. It was an opportunity to share their exciting discoveries from the dig at Cooley Graveyard and the Geophysics survey at Carndonagh; the results of which were eagerly awaited by the audience at the Carndonagh Library  on Thursday 24th of August. As a non euthuasist to be perfectly honest in archaeology  I was sat amongst the well informed experts of this field, however immediately became gripped in the subject area from beginning to end in the talk that ensued that evening. I found myself excited to see that Carndonagh was in fact to be revealed as having the distinct hallmarks of an early monastic site. One of the two geophysics specialists Jack Pennie stated “Although there’s nothing to be seen on the ground, we can clearly see the outlines on the computer images, and if you trace the curve around the Marigold Cross it is bang in the middle of it”. This type of outline is associated with what was explained as a double circular precinct that confirms the origins of an early monastic site.
In the opening speech Max Adams explained why they came to Inishowen as a group in the beginning; to explore the Early Christian period, certain connections, and to make comparisons with other places with their findings. He highlighted that Inishowen was a truly special place for them to work, not just for the great Guinness we get here (everyone laughing) but it was the kind of place that “we archaeologists get really excited about” . Both Max Adams and Colm O’Brien are experts in their subject area but they were able to clearly express to a mixed audience in laymans terms the essential signifcance of how privileged we are to have now four monastic sites in Inishowen dating back in some areas to 500AD. Members of the community are invited to contribute to this development in the future and become actively involved, further meetings will be publicised. To keep up to date and learn more 
On Sunday 21st of August, Failte Ireland’s publicity representative Jane Stokes met up with me at Malin Head to walk the spectacular coastal trail that was associated with the theme they were covering in the Northwest of Ireland; T.V & Film locations in Ireland. The group from Dubai took a bike ride with Blaise Harvey (Cycle Inishowen) from Farren’s Bar, and then the Dubai Media team of journalists were given an opportunity to meet some of the locals. A huge thank you to Hugh Farren of Farren’s Bar for taking time out on a Sunday to give an overview of the hype that accompanied the experiential experiences associated with the filming of Star Wars here in Malin Head. What I feel we do best in Inishowen is that we go above and beyond to meet the visitors/tourism industry needs and that this is a clear representative of all our tourism providers in the Peninsula. It continues to be why people tell us they will return.
Coming soon is another rich cultural event centred in the area of Culdaff. The weekend of Saturday 10th of September sees the First Nations Event come to Ireland. The Inaugural event is centred on adventure sport/health and wellbeing with music and keynote speakers. Themed speeches include: “Duchas- Mapping Our Minds” and “Invasions- Irish Histories & Her Stories”.
This event is based around the shared values of the indigenous people and how these values connect with the culture and origins here in Ireland. There are a group of Maori visitors expected to take part from New Zealand and other various locations. Events are organised in conjunction with Far and Wild (NorthWest’s leading Eco-tourism company) based in Derry and supported by local representatives from Inishowen. Full details are on alternatively on events  or I would encourage anyone with an intrinsic interest in the shared values of our Irish culture to come along and avail of a unique opportunity to learn and connect with our visitors from faraway lands.  

JOB VACANCY: Inishowen Tourism Office are seeking to recruit a Corporate Administrator to join their dynamic, innovative and hardworking team.

Management at Inishowen Tourism are inviting applications for the vacancy which is a part-time position
Job Title: Corporate Administrator
Company: Inishowen Tourism
Contract: Part-Time (19.5 hours/week)
Location: Tourism Office, Railway Road, Buncrana.
Job Responsibilities:
  • The Corporate Administration Assistant will act as a “hub” for all corporate information management and office support and will interact with front-line staff, management and company suppliers providing an efficient and professional corporate service.
  • Manage personnel pay roll system including statutory return.
  • Record keeping and reporting to funders.
  • Experience or qualification in book-keeping, accounting and  office administration would be an advantage.
  • Inishowen Tourism is a not for profit co-operative, working to promote the Inishowen peninsula, by supporting local tourism organisations and to enhance the tourism experience through digital media, social networking and face to face contact.
To apply for this positions:
Please email CV and covering letter to manager[at] by Tuesday 13th September  2016 at 4.00pm.
For all enquiries, please email manager[at]