Noel Cunningham has become a household name across Donegal and Ireland. The flamboyant TV3 showbiz reporter and host at Kitty Kelly’s restaurant is impossible to dislike. Here he tells us what he loves about Donegal.
What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?
Sliabh League … this stunning marine cliff is simply spectacular for climbing and spiritual as well.. It is all the more special in that in bygone days our relatives trudged up that Mountain .. doing a pilgrimage .. a turas .. whilst fasting. All those recited prayers on the Pilgrims Path adds to the unique spirit of the wonderful Mountain
If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?
I would re-introduce the railway !
Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why?
Sr Magdalene for her wonderful work with those who have or are in recovery from cancer … and I am full of admiration for all she has done .. especially the Solas Cancer Centre in Donegal Town … what a woman !
Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?
What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?
Probably Anthony Molloy famously noting that Sam was for the Hills of Donegal!
What was Donegal’s saddest moment?
I think the multiple deaths as a result of the car crash a few years ago when one older Man and all those young people died in Inishowen …. utter devastation for so many and the residual anger guilt pain and suffering of all the Family and Friends left behind is almost too un-bearable to think of.
What is your favourite Donegal-made product?
Magee of Donegal and their wonderful Tweed
Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?
There are a number of them … However I will choose Clannad .. They helped make Irish music sexy and universal.They set the bar very high and brought the haunting melodies inspired by the wilds of Donegal to a world audience .. and good news thay are off again touring !
Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?
I believe Sir Gerry Robinson (he has close Donegal connections) deserves the nod !
Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?
Gosh .. difficult one …I will look forward … I want to applaud Miss Easkey Britten in surfing and Chloe Magee for her Olympic participation .. both young women making a name for themselves.
What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?
Kitty Kellys …
Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks?
Your nomination for Donegal’s most stylish person?
Me Me Me …
What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?
It’s a scitter of a day !
Will Donegal win the All Ireland this year?
They have an amazing chance !
What is your favourite Donegal food?
Freshly caught Mackeral … pan fried and served with new potatoes and a mild mustard sauce ..
Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?
We don’t insist on letting the World know that we are only down the road now from Dublin!
If you had a million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal, what would it be?
Again .. the Railway … bring it back !