Showbiz guru Noel Cunningham is one of Donegal’s most beloved characters.
Noel also works tirelessly to promote Donegal as the breathtaking tourist destination that it is, and has given warm welcomes to countless visitors to our beautiful county in his role as general manager at Harvey’s Point Hotel.
This is Noel’s Donegal…
(1) What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?
Slieve League, one of the most stunning places on Earth. Many of my late relatives did the Turas… walking the Pilgrim Path in the early morning to the summit in prayer, all fasting from the previous night. It is a very spiritual place indeed!
(2) If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?
Our own inactivity at times in not shouting from the rooftops about how special Donegal is and it’s people are!
(3) Who is the one person that you look up to and why?
The Dalai Lama… a man with immense spiritual strength… a man of peace… a man who epitomises tranquility and calm in his measured responses; rare in World Leaders in today’s fractured world.
(4) What’s your happiest memory in Donegal?
Walking to School with Kate and Marie and my cousins Bernie and Attracta.
(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?
The community spirit during our winning run in the All-Ireland… the county was full square behind Jim Mc Guinness and the team! Sport always unites, and the positivity around same sex marriage.
(6) If you found a magic wand that allowed you to grant one wish, what would it be?
To somehow see a true non-combative collective Assembly in Northern Ireland, governing fairly, with the principles of The Good Friday Agreement at its core – an island with no border restrictions and Donegal and an Ulster we all are proud to be part of.
(7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product?
Magee of Donegal Tweed and the same Tweed used by Orwell and Brown in their bow ties and other items, not to mention the wonderful young lads who created Donegal Pens!
(8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?
We are all Ambassadors and should be for our county! I admire people like Tony Mc Fadden from Falcarragh, for the great diaspora work he and his gang do in London. Cormac and Paddy Byrne for their construction business and employment of Irish people, Tim Kelly and Donagh Kelly in the World of International business.
Seamus Byrne; a St John’s Point man for his support of all business and sport with Irish and Donegal connections in Dubai and UAE. Charlotte Temple of Magee of Donegal, attracting international attention from the world of high fashion for our amazing Donegal Tweed.
Harvey’s Point’s Deirdre Mc Glone for her work in Tourism promotion, not forgetting Daniel O’Donnell, his lovely Majella and the legend herself – Margo – all are our gift to the world, and so many others!
(9) What has been the biggest compliment you’ve ever received?
A friend Hugh O’Donnell who when asked where he was from replied Donegal, he got the response “aaah Noel Cunningham country!”
Pat Kenny also announced to the Nation that every county should have a Noel Cunningham… high praise indeed!
(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?
Biased but my cousin Patrick Mc Brearty… Packie Bonner and surfer Easkey Britton!
(11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?
Lakeshore Restaurant at Harvey’s Point and many of the great eateries in our county. Kitty Kelly’s always has a special place in my heart too!
(12) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?
Middling day… even if it’s horrendous!
(13) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?
Probably Brexit and fallout from the same… we are vulnerable in so many sectors especially agriculture, tourism and cross border trade! A big challenge indeed.
(14) What is your favourite food that you associate with Donegal?
Mena’s banana bread from Mc Loone’s Butchers in Killybegs… Fresh line caught mackerel from my friends Michael Callaghan’s Killybegs angling craft, pan fried and enjoyed with crusty bread from Gallagher’s Bakery in Ardara… and a special rustic Chicken Stew made by our Head Chef Chris at Harvey’s Point… all divine!
(15) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?
Truly not …
(16) Do you have a favourite local band?
As St Patrick’s Day approaches, Kilcar Pipe Band – pride of place and tradition rolled into one.
(17) If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?
The return of the Railwa … and a fabulous Cycling Greenway!
(18) Where’s the most unusual place you’ve logged on to Donegal Daily?
Atop of my beloved Slieve League!
(19) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of?
Everything; including Harvey’s Point, Magee Tweed, heather on the hills, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, Clannad, our theatre greats, Oideas Gael in Glencolmkille, our storytellers and poets, Brian Friel – but above all else its young people – our future!
(20) What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
My opportunity in the varied life I lead to promote my beloved Donegal on a national stage!
Noel is hosting an etiquette and politeness workshop titled ‘Modern Day Manners’ at Donegal’s County Museum in Letterkenny on Friday 23 March at 7.30pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking is required for this event. Please contact Donegal County Museum High Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. T 074 9124613. E firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: