Heritage Weekend Donegal: 3 & 4 August 2019

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.

Stage 1 of the walk: Seskinmore/Kiltoorish to Sandfield (approx. 4.5km)
Stage 2 of the walk: Roechrow Road to Killybegs (approx 12.5km)

Participants from Mid Ulster and Donegal Heritage Forum joined members of the public to take part in the walk.

The walk ended at Killybegs harbour led by living history Spanish soldiers who had provided a Medieval Historical 16th century encampment in Ardara during the weekend.A minutes silence was held at St. Catherine’s Well Complex & Armada memorial stone to remember the 1300 who lost their lives at sea. 

On the 4 August 2019 the Heritage group had a tour of Donegal Castle which was the stronghold of the O’Donnell clan, Lords of Tír Conaill and one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries.

The Brooke family owned the castle until the 1670s, before selling it to the Gore dynasty when they moved to County Fermanagh.

The group then visited a Medieval Village at Ballyshannon hosted by the McGinley Clan. The medieval village took place in the playing fields of the Holy Family Primary School, Ballyshannon and included information stands, Local arts basket weaver, potter, Medieval weapons, Classical/Celtic harpist, display of medieval animals and stocks.