Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Programme

The purpose of the programme is the provision of the research, management and facilitation of a bespoke programme that will engage and develop sustained linkages through shared heritage between Mid Ulster District Council and Donegal County Council and groups within these areas.

The shared heritage will focus on The O’Neill and clans of Ancient Ulster with significance for Mid Ulster and Donegal.

The programme presents an opportunity for joint working between both Councils and local interest groups.

The relevant areas are places of shared significant heritage; with the close links between the Ancient Clans leading to the ‘flight’ of the Earls which took place from Rathmullan, Co Donegal; with the ‘Earls’, themselves coming from both Donegal and Dungannon. This event is important in our shared heritage and, along with the subsequent Plantation of Ulster, had a huge significance in the history and development of the areas.

The programme is not only focused on bringing people together from across the border but also people from different community and religious backgrounds; with the aim of seeking to make a positive contribution to building a cohesive society and developing sustainable cross border contacts.

This project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)

The timeline for the delivery of the Programme is to commence June 2018 and complete May 2020.

The programme is open to all groups that have an interest in participating throughout the duration of delivery.

The aim of engaging groups of interest in both areas is to identify O’Neill and Ancient Clans heritage linkages, gather local information and knowledge and develop sustained community linkages between Donegal and Mid Ulster.

For further information please contact the project coordinator:

Heather McLaughlin
Tel: +44 (0) 2885549606


1. Research into heritage of the O’Neill and clans: Research will focus on the Ancient clans of Ulster (O’Neill and O’Donnell) sites and their linkages (including exploring wider linkages to the Plantation at relevant sites); up to 14 sites will be identified in cooperation with Councils including (but not all) sites at Hill of The O’Neill, Tullaghogue Fort and then linking across the border to Donegal and sites including Rathmullan and An Griananan Aileach (other smaller sites to be identified as part of the research that are of interest).

2. Development of a booklet and interactive app: The booklet an app will capture the cross border heritage sites identified in the research to create a cross border trail of heritage sites of the Ancient clans of Ulster (O’Neill and O’Donnell).

3. Facilitation/ connection of local interest groups in Mid Ulster & Donegal This will include the facilitation of workshops and discussions between the cross border groups. (100 people: 25 participants in Council Area – 10 history/interest groups participating from Mid Ulster and 10 history/interest groups from Donegal) across the 6 study visits (including heritage weekends).

4. Heritage Weekends: Heritage Weekends Mid Ulster x 2 First Heritage weekend 13 & 14 Sept 2018 Heritage Event Donegal x 2 Heritage event in Mid Ulster to be over 2-3 days and Donegal over 1-2 day to be linked to existing heritage event/activity. Mid Ulster heritage weekend to include a formal launch with evening celebration for up to 100 people at Hill of The O’Neill. Date: 13 Sept 2018

5. Study Visits and workshops: Three Mid Ulster Visits: 3 – 4 visiting groups with 3 – 4 local groups participating in 2 day study visits with overnight stay for visiting group. 2 heritage site visits 2 workshops. \First Study visit during Heritage weekend 13 & 14 Sept 2018

Three Donegal Visits: 3 – 4 visiting groups with 3 – 4 local groups participating in 2 day study visits with overnight stay for visiting group. 2 heritage site visits 2 workshops. First Donegal visit proposed Oct 2018.

Participants must commit to at least 26hrs contact time during visits.

The offical launch of the programme took place on the 13 September 2018 with a medieval banquet at The Hill of the O’Neil, Dungannon.

Study Visits to Heritage Sites connected to the Ancient Clans
Mid Ulster Heritage Site Visit 13 & 14 Sep 2018 (Tullyhogue Fort, Hill O’Neill)
Donegal Heritage Site Visit 19 & 20 Oct 2018 (Doe Castle, Doon Rock, Kilmacrennan Friary)
Mid Ulster 22 & 23 March 2019 (Benburb, Caledon etc)
Donegal 17 & 18 May 2019 (Innishowen Grainan of Aileach)
5th visit Mid Ulster to be agreed (March 2020)
6th visit Donegal (South Donegal, Donegal Castle etc)
May 2020

Heritage Weekends:
Mid Ulster 13 Sept Programme launch and Medieval Banquet
Mid Ulster: Tullyhogue Fort October 2019
Donegal to be agreed 17 & 18 May 2019
Donegal: Grainan of Aileach May 2020

Donegal and Mid Ulster History Forum Members

PDF Newsletter Peace IV Crossborder Heritage Project