PEACE IV Cross Border Shared Heritage Communities Programme

The purpose of the programme is the provision of the research, management and facilitation of a bespoke programme to 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 December 2020.

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

The aim of engaging groups 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).

The research will include the links between the sites for visitors both local and tourists to enable them to move from one area to another along a trail.

2. Development of cross border trail in booklet and interactive app: 
The research will be captured in both a leaflet and interactive app and will integrate the cross border heritage connectionThe booklet and 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 and three Donegal visits.
Each visit includes 3 – 4 visiting groups with 3 – 4 local groups participating in 2 day study visits with overnight stay for visiting group.  Visits include two heritage site visits two workshops. Participants 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 & Workshops

1st Visit: Mid Ulster Heritage Site Visit 13 & 14 Sep 2018
(Tullyhogue Fort, Hill O’Neill)

2nd Visit: Donegal Heritage Site Visit 19 & 20 Oct 2018
(Doe Castle, Doon Rock, Kilmacrennan Friary)

3rd Visit: Mid Ulster 22 & 23 March 2019
(Castlecaufield, Benburb & Caledon)

4th Visit: Donegal 17 & 18 May 2019
(Innishowen Grainan of Aileach)

5th Visit: Donegal 16 & 17 August 2019
(Sledrin, Lough Fad, Fahan Heritage Train, Inishowen Heritage launch and Medieval Banquet)

6th Visit Mid Ulster 13 & 14 September 2019 

Feedback of the benefits of participating in the Programme from members of Heritage Forum in Mid Ulster and Donegal 

Heritage Weekends

Mid Ulster 13 September 2018 Programme launch & Medieval Banquet
Mid Ulster: 13 & 14 September 2019:
13 Sept: Schools lantern parade on Tullahoge Fort
14 Sept: Medieval village at Hill of the O’Neill.
Free guided tours of Tullahoge Fort during the week
Donegal: 3 & 4 August 2019
3 Aug: Spanish Armada walk Kiltoorish to Killybegs
4 Aug: Donegal Castle and Medieval village, Ballyshannon
Donegal 16 & 17 August 2019
16 Aug: Launch of Inishowen Heritage Trail & Forum Banquet
17 Aug: Fahan Heritage Walk 

Additional Events

Primary School visits and workshops 17, 20 and 21 June 2019
Visit: to Tullaogue Fort, Hill of the O’Neill 

Living history workshop to explore food, celebrations, rituals, feasts and fights of the Medieval period and the crowning of the O’Neill 
Medieval Art workshop to explore the symbols and colours represented within medieval shields to ward off enemy and create their own medieval shields for parade at Tullaghoge Fort on the 13 September 2019.


Report on the launch of the Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project and the first visits to Mid Ulster in September 2018 and Donegal in October 2018.

PDF Newsletter Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project: Launch and study visits in Mid Ulster and Donegal

Electronic Newsletter: Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Porject: Launch and study visits in Mid Ulster and Donegal




This newsletter reports on the second Mid Ulster visit in March 2019 when the group visited Castlecaufield, Benburb and Caledon.

PDF Newsletter: Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project: Study visit March 2019

Electronic Newsletter: Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project: Study Visit March 2019





Study visit to Innishowen, Donegal 17 & 18 May 2019 when the Heritage Groups visited O’Doherty’s Keep, Candonagh Cross, Cloncha Church and Cross, Burt Castle and Grainan of Aileach. On Saturday 18 May 2019 a showcase event was held in Buncrana where each group share the are of heritage they were particularly interested in through presentations, displays and video recordings.

PDF Newsletter: Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project Study Visit 17 & 18 May 2019 Donegal


Electronic Newsletter: Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project: Study Visit 17 & 18 May 2019 Donegal




This was the first Heritage Weekend event to take place in Donegal on the 3 & 4 August 2019. Our host on the 3 August 2019 was Donegal GAP Heritage and History Group who organised a walk in the footsteps of the Spanish Armada to remember the 1300 crew who lost their lives in 1588 when the Spanish ships, the la Duquesa Santa Ana & La Girona sank off Loughros More Peninsula. The group then visited a Medieval Village at Ballyshannon hosted by the McGinley Clan. 


PDF Newsletter: Peace IV Cross Border Heritage Project: Heritage Weekend 3 & 4 August 2019 – Donegal