Donegal - Adventure, culture, its a wonderful tincture

Moira Ní Ghallachóir - mngVentures Ltd

Moira Ní Ghallachóir - mngVentures Ltd

I love this business I have created, I love the directions it is taking and I love the impact it's having locally. Just last weekend we hosted 53 international students for UCD ISS with Rock agus Roam. They experienced world class rock climbing, sea kayaking, hiking, learnt a bit of Irish, went to an 'authentic' traditional Irish music sessions, and stayed in cosy local guest houses. A simple idea, but wildly unique given our indigenous culture, remote location and you cannot have this experience without mngVentures. The students had a fabulous time, and many said "this was the Ireland they had dreamed about before coming to study here". Its all about the hidden gems, that experience of the local culture and the mind blowing locations. You choose your best and we do the rest. Donegal is a magical place, alive with stories with 'thin places' places that are older than stone henge, and so undiscovered. 

Irelands oldest and tallest ringed cross lives here. Ray Cross, Falcarragh Co. Donegal - Image by Jennifer Sayers

Irelands oldest and tallest ringed cross lives here. Ray Cross, Falcarragh Co. Donegal - Image by Jennifer Sayers

As well as that I just finalized an itinerary for an extended American family visiting Ireland next July. They want an authentic experience, nothing commercial, the real deal. Their itinerary begins when I welcome them at Donegal airport, they will stay here in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking region) for 3 days, then onto to a handpicked spot in Ardara town, Donegal and onto Belfast city. Everything is planned, activities to transport, dining and handpicked evening entertainment, all they have to do is show up and go with the flow. This is what I really love to do, to make people’s dream holiday in Ireland come true. It’s clear from all the visits I’ve made to the states this year that Ireland is on everyone’s bucket list and they want the dream, they want to meet locals and sample the culture. The beauty of what we offer here in Donegal is that "uniqueness" is everywhere, but visitors they need our help to find the hidden gems in Ireland. I am so passionate about this, I am even writing a book about it. 

In this globalised age, authentic experiences founded on tradition and sense of place are more valuable than ever. What makes mngVentures distinctive is that this venture harnesses Ireland’s cultural and natural heritage as living resources. Rooted in the community, it is the essence of a green business, contributing greatly to ecological stewardship.
— - Finbarr Bradley, educator and co-author of The Irish Edge [Orpen Press, 2013]
Kayakers on the Atlantic with our Donegal islands in the back ground. 

Kayakers on the Atlantic with our Donegal islands in the back ground. 

Adventure is everywhere in the Northwest of Ireland, opportunity is everywhere and I love love love it. If your thinking of starting a business, trust your instincts, "if it feels good, damn it, just do it" (Homer) and if it feels really scary - definitely do it (me).  When I started mngVentures Ltd I just wanted to make a difference, use my creativity, energy and skills to attract more people to this outstandingly beautiful corner of Ireland and give a much-needed boost the local economy. I've done this with no real funding but with fire in my belly. Fast forward three years and its going from strength to strength having hosted well over 1200 guests via Rock agus Roam and working with up to 15 local businesses to make that happen. Creating customised itineraries for families and more recently a superbly inspiring location for international business retreats. And the weather has been with us every step of the way. Not one day did we have to cancel. If I had of listened to advice and guidance, instead I trusted my instincts they never let me down. Irish weather gets bad press but I can honestly say the weather is great, not sure about the down the country, but here in the Northwest the weather’s mighty.. 

September/ October sunsets and sunrise around Gweedore are nothing short of spectacular. mngVentures

September/ October sunsets and sunrise around Gweedore are nothing short of spectacular. mngVentures

John Cannon - landlord of the Gweedore Bar, Falcarragh, Donegal - Whiskey Collector, entertainer and messer - and part of the Whiskey Pilgrimage with mng.

John Cannon - landlord of the Gweedore Bar, Falcarragh, Donegal - Whiskey Collector, entertainer and messer - and part of the Whiskey Pilgrimage with mng.

Just last week I got a referral from an American I met earlier this year at a conference in Orlando, who loves what mng is doing so he introduced me to this really cool bar that sponsor a trip to Ireland every year, I was double delighted. When I looked at the website of this place, I saw that they had just launched a “Whiskey Passport” – isn’t it too much of a coincidence that I just launched a “Whiskey Pilgrimage”? This experience is totally inspired by all the Americans I have met, our conversation always comes round to Whiskey (I blame them) – and stories. The Whiskey Pilgrimage is about all those off the beaten track bars and sampling the top shelf and being entertained by local stories, by local characters who have been collecting whiskey for years and years. Can you imagine the craic? Couple this with exhilarating outdoor adventure in this and locally sourced food and I’m thinking who needs a distillery right? I say come to the most authentic corner of Ireland and drink whiskey and hear stories with the locals, this experience is for the savvy conscious traveler, who knows that getting off the beaten track is where its at! This is perfect for a short winter stay. Fly into Donegal and LET THE SPIRIT GUIDE YOU from there on (and me)

 

Start planning your vacation in Ireland with me – schedule time to talk with me by clicking here and I would be delighted to meet your needs and give you the holiday you have dreamed of.  

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Check out this video below - me talking gaeilge, please note the giant hands, they are huge, its true.