Donegal Connect ended with an explosion of light and laughter with a fireworks finale in Inishowen on Sunday night.
The LUXE performance, featuring Inishowen trio The Henry Girls, packed 400 people into Fort Dunree at the Eastern mouth of Lough Swilly.
“It’s been an amazing 10 days,” says County Cathaoirleach Cllr Nicholas Crossan. “We achieved what we set out to do – to showcase the best of what our county has to offer in talent, skills, expertise, hospitality, creativity and innovation.”
More than 12,500 attended over 70 Donegal Connect events from September 27th to 6th October, he told the Donegal Connect closing reception on Sunday evening.
“It’s an astounding figure, which seems to pretty much sum up Donegal Connect 2019 – astounding! At the opening event just over a week ago, I announced we’d reached worldwide audiences of more than 50 million people to date…. over 33 million of which came from the #LoveDonegal day campaign alone.”
“But over the course of these events, we reached a further 13m… bringing our final total to over 66 million of a global audience.”
“That’s a huge boost to our county and to our efforts to reach out to our Donegal Diaspora across the world next year,” says Joanne Kilmartin, Donegal Diaspora officer with Donegal County Council. “It’s not just that we reached so many people, it’s that we have been able to get our message across: That Donegal is a great place to visit, to work, to start a business, to move your business to, to invest, or to retire….”
“The engagement we’ve had from our Donegal Diaspora during networking and workshop events, by email and by phone all indicate that this message is being heard and that people are responding.”
Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development with the Council says one of the most important factors is that “we’ve done all this together…When I say together, I’m talking firstly about the close and hardworking public-private sector committee who led this project. Public partners, led by the County Council, included Donegal LEO, Donegal Tourism, Údarás na Gaeltachta and LYIT. Our private sector partners included Pramerica, Randox, Abbotts and the IDA. I’m talking about Fáilte Ireland who provided funding and support through the Global Irish Festival Series.”
“But when I say together, I also mean EVERYONE: those who Tweeted and posted to Facebook or Instagram…those who told friends and relatives about Donegal Connect and our events….the local, national and international media who supported us and all of those who LOVE DONEGAL as much as we do…”
“Donegal Connect has made a huge contribution towards attracting more visitors to the county,” Joan Crawford, Wild Atlantic Way Programme Manager with Fáilte Ireland told the closing event reception.
“#LoveDonegal Day alone created an enormous interest in the beauty and attractions of the county and raised our profile across the globe. It gave ordinary people, locals and visitors alike, a chance to share what they loved about Donegal. Tours of the county and the range of cultural events on offer during Donegal Connect also highlighted what we have to offer.”
Joan congratulated everyone involved and said Fáilte Ireland had been delighted to support and play their part in such a successful project.
Donegal Connect is a Donegal County Council initiative in association with the Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Donegal Diaspora, Donegal Tourism, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Údarás na Gaeltachta, IDA Ireland, Donegal Food Coast, Pramerica, Abbots Diabetes Care, Randox and Donegal Global Irish. Donegal Connect is part funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Global Irish Festival series.Tags: