Donegal Town , County Donegal

From the Middle Ages to the 17th century the town was the seat of the O’Donnells , Princes of Tir Chonaill. Following the Flight of the Earls in 1607 the town was ‘planted’ by Sir Basil Brooke. The ruins of Donegal Castle , near The Diamond , include the square tower of the Castle built by Red Hugh O’Donnell in 1505. Brooke added the turret and other Jacobean features , and also built the adjoining mansion. On the seashore South of the town are the remains of a Franciscan Abbey founded by Red Hugh O’Donnell and his mother Nuala O’Conor in 1474. Both are buried here.

Following the English conquest of Donegal in the early 17th century , the community wandered from one place of refuge to another , before settling at Bundrowes , near Bundoran , where the Four Masters who had collected all known documents of Irish history , compiled their celebrated Annals between 1630 and 1636. The first entry recalls a visit by Noah’s granddaughter to Ireland! An obelisk commemorating the Four Masters stands in The Diamond. Near the pier is a large anchor , believed to date from the time French troops arrived to aid the 1798 Rebellion.

The town is a perfect base for exploring the Blue Stack mountains and is a must see on your tours of Ireland.