The Three Parishes
Gweedore is part of the Gaeltacht region in north west County Donegal. It boasts beautiful views of the coast, particularly Bloody Foreland (Bloody Foreland or “Cnoc Fola” (The Hill of Blood) derives its name from the evening sun which illuminates the rocks along this section of the coast to a rich red hue) and is surprisingly populated for its remoteness. In the past, poor planning and overdevelopment means that there is a plethora of houses which takes away from the beauty of the scenery. It is located in the heart of the Gaeltacht and Irish is the predominant language of the area.
Gweedore is known for being a cradle of the culture of Ireland, with old Irish customs, traditional music, theatre, Gaelic games and the Irish language playing a central and pivotal role in the lives of the local people. This, along with its scenery and many beaches, has made the area a popular tourist destination, especially with visitors from Northern Ireland. Gweedore and the neighbouring districts of Cloughaneely and the Rosses are collectively known locally as "the three parishes", they form a social and cultural region distinct from the rest of the county, with Gweedore serving as the main centre for socialising and industry
The predominant spoken language of the district is Irish, but English can be widely heard as well.
Image: On the beach, County Donegal
Gweedore is close to Mount Errigal, the tallest mountain in County Donegal, which overshadows the picturesque Dunlewey Lough. It is surrounded by the deep glens and lakes of the Poisoned Glen, and further on, Glenveagh National Park and castle, the largest national park in Ireland. Bád Eddie ("Eddie's Boat"), the Cara na Mara ("Friend of the Sea"), is the wreck of a ship which ran ashore on Magherclogher beach due to rough seas.
The Gweedore coastline consists of long sandy beaches and rugged cliffs with small islands, including Gola Island and Tory Island.
Gweedore is famed for its traditional Irish music scene, which is prevalent in local taverns, especially at Hiúdaí Beag's Tavern in Bunbeg. Gweedore has produced a number of well-known musicians. Clannad were formed in 1972, and have since gone on to sell over 15 million records. Lead singer Moya Brennan has also enjoyed a successful solo career, providing musical scores for several Hollywood films. Gweedore's most successful musician is Enya, born as Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, she first appeared on stage in Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair as a member of Clannad, before going on to become one of the world's biggest-selling artists, with sales exceeding 80 million.