Danny Curran (and wife Sandra!) are the people behind the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary in Raphoe. True champions of forgotten animals, together they care for more than 70 unwanted donkeys. This is Danny’s My Donegal.
What is your favourite place in Donegal and why?
Inch Wildlife Reserve. A beautiful place to enjoy a walk and observe the wildlife.
Who is the one person in a Donegal that you look up to and why?
A young boy from Raphoe called Jack Beattie who is an honorary sergeant with ‘Little Blue Heroes’, a charity initiative for children undergoing long-term medical treatment. Jack has a big personality and greets everyone with a big smile despite his own difficulties.
What is your happiest Christmas memory in Donegal?
The first Christmas that Santa visited our house in Raphoe after our daughter was born.
If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it would be?
The weather! I don’t mind a bit of rain but a bit more sunshine would make us all happier!
What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?
When Donegal was named the ‘coolest place on the planet’ by the National Geographic in 2017.
We already knew this but someone had to tell the world!
If you found a magic wand that allowed you to grant one wish for Donegal, what would it be?
I would love to be able to improve tourist facilities as we have many untapped gems in the county that people don’t know about.
What is your favourite Donegal made product?
Ballyholey Farm potatoes. Farmer John says that they are the best so they must be!
Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?
The late Patsy Dan Rodgers – King of Tory. He was devoted to promoting his island home and his native language. He personally greeted visitors to the island and performed ambassadorial duties abroad. He was one of a kind.
What is your earliest memory associated with Donegal?
Coming on holidays to Gortahork from Glasgow every summer to stay at my Granny’s house and helping my uncles with the sheep on the farm.
What is the biggest compliment that you have ever received?
The day that my wife agreed to marry me!
Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?
Chloe Magee. The Raphoe woman has represented Ireland in badminton in three consecutive Olympic Games, in Beijing, London & Rio. Chloe’s determination and focus proves that someone from a small town can reach the world stage.
What is your favourite Donegal restaurant/bar?
Friel’s hotel in Raphoe. You can’t beat John Friel’s hospitality and famous smile! A home from home.
What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?
‘What’s the craic?’
What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today?
The Mica crisis.
What is your favourite food that you associate with Donegal?
Sam Spudz crisps. I wish that you could still get them today.
Is there any that really annoys you about Donegal and it’s people?
No. Sure we are all perfect!
Who is your favourite Donegal entrepreneur?
It would have to be the late Sir Gerry Robinson. A true gentleman who was always willing to share his wisdom and advice. His passing is a great loss to the county.
If you had a hundred million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be?
As an animal lover I would like to be able to improve all the animal welfare facilities in the county and make Donegal a model for other counties nationally in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals. Also, to be able to set up a school programme to educate the younger generation to care for and have empathy for animals as sentient beings.
Where is the most unusual place that you have logged onto Donegal Daily?
Steering a canal boat over the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Llangollen, Wales!
I logged in and to my surprise there was an article about Donegal Donkey Sanctuary!
Nomination for the best dressed Donegal person:
Hair stylist Patrick Gildea. I once met him wearing a tinfoil boiler suit on the Main St. in Letterkenny and I have never forgotten it!
Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of?
Donegal people always stick together and look out for each other when working in other countries around the world.
What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Taking abandoned and abused donkeys into the sanctuary and watching the light come back into their eyes with loving care and attention. Then to see them move off to their forever homes knowing that they will never know hardship again.