The much-anticipated Donegal Connect returns from the 22nd to the 25th of September, with an aim to harness diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism in counties along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The festival is part of the Global Irish Festival Series, a Fáilte Ireland and Department of Foreign Affairs initiative, and has a number of county wide collaborative events and projects to take place in September.
It focuses on ‘re-connecting’ with Donegal Diaspora to encourage a return home to explore why Donegal is a great place to live, work, invest, study and do business in.
The festival offers visitors a diverse itinerary of food, genealogy, business, arts and culture. Highlights include the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards and a spectacular carnival showcase against the stunning backdrop of the Inishowen peninsula, which will take place in Swan Park, Buncrana.
Cllr Liam Blaney, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council said: “We look forward to welcoming the Donegal diaspora back later this month to enjoy the amazing programme of events planned for Donegal Connect.
“We are delighted to be offering not only a wonderful visitor experience but also the opportunity to work remotely and to connect with communities right across Donegal.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said that the festival is a great opportunity to showcase the culture and heritage of Donegal and to provide visitors with a unique reason to visit.
“The Global Irish Festival Series will enable local communities to deepen their connections with visitors from around the world, increasing footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and generating revenue,” she said.
Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, said: “Those with a connection to Donegal, will have a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with home and to rediscover the vibrancy of the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Speaking about the Global Irish Festival Series, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, said: “The festivals and events supported through the series will help drive tourism to specific locations, including regional areas outside of current hotspots, creating new economic benefits for local communities.”
As a precursor to Donegal Connect, #LoveDonegal will take place on Thursday September 8th. The annual day of appreciation for all things Donegal, this year focuses on the theme of art and creativity.
Whether at home or abroad, the people of Donegal are encouraged to get involved by and use the hashtag #LoveDonegal across social media.