Frances Spears is one of Donegal’s best-known small business owners. Her business, Mourne Antiques in Letterkenny, is continuing to operate despite tough economic times. Here she takes a break from running her busy shop to tell us all she loves about Donegal.
What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?
Ards Forest Park. It’s incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?
The weather this summer!
Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?
My father, Arthur Spears. Although not a native of Donegal he has taken it to his heart and has a great interest in its history, people and archaeology. He always puts a positive spin on things.
Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?
Packie Bonner. An old hero of mine.
What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?
The great beating of Down in the Ulster Championship.
What was Donegal’s saddest moment?
The recent closures of so many family-run and long-established businesses has been a terrible blow to the county.
What is your favourite Donegal-made product?
Donegal Pens, made by the young McGarvey brothers. They are nicely made, get the Donegal name out there, and are so easy to post as gifts.
Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?
Daniel O’Donnell – he sends a glow of warmth wherever he goes.
Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?
Anyone running a small business and keeping it going at the moment.
Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?
Shay Given, he is a great inspiration to the youth. And of course he’s from Lifford like myself!
What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?
La Fantasia, Letterkenny
Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks?
Your nomination for Donegal’s most stylish person?
Brid Dillon, of Dillons Supermarket.
What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?
‘Come here’, used before any sentence – e.g. Come here, I’m away home; Come here, I’ll see you later; etc.
Will Donegal win the All Ireland this year?
What is your favourite Donegal food?
It used to be Oatfield Chocolate Orange sweets (it always gave me a lift to find them in strange parts of the world), but Filligans Raspberry Jam is just delicious.
Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?
If you had a million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal, what would it be?
It would be great to have Letterkenny invest in a major tourist attraction for the town, possibly something that could link the old and new town with easy accessibility to both. And I would definitely move the Tourist Office back into the town centre. (Think I need more money!)