10 Reasons to come to Loinneog Lúnasa in Gaoth Dobhair

Loinneog Lúnasa is a Gathering Festival in Gaoth Dobhair in Northwest Donegal.

If you needed a reason to come, here’s 10!

According to festival committee member Cathal Ó Gallachóir, Loinneog Lúnasa is more than a celebration of the locality’s rich cultural heritage. “We wanted to create a festival that would not only celebrate our tradition, but also nurture and encourage musicians and singers to carry the tradition forward. This is why we have organised workshops, recitals and concerts with the best of Irish music. Loinneog Lúnasa is proud to promote such a rich tapestry of local talent”.


1. Loinneog Lúnasa 2013 is a key Gathering Event for the Gaeltacht, sponsored by Udaras Na Gaeltachta, Tionscnamh Lugh, Foras na Gaelige and Donegal Gathering.

2. There will be a special gathering of uilleann pipers who will participate in a series of events organised in conjunction with Na Píobairí Uilleann. Pipers will travel from near and far to attend performances and workshops with Gay McKeon, Tommy Keane, Emmet Gill and Sean Óg Potts. Full tionól info below.

3. Moya Brennan, internationally famed singer with Clannad, will return to her home stage for a concert in Leo’s Tavern, where she will perform along with her talented young family in what promises to be a musical night to remember.

4. Maighréad and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, former members of legendary folk group Skara Brae, are teaming up with harpist Laoise Kelly for an intimate performance as Gaeilge in Hiúdaí Beag’s pub. (renowned for having the best traditional Irish music sessions in the country!)

5. With the recent appearance of Gaoth Dobhair in the shortlist of best places to visit in Ireland in a recent Irish Times poll and the announcement that Donegal has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag beach awards of any county in the country, there is no better time to visit the thriving Gaeltacht area in the furthest North West of the island.

6. As part of the revival of the Curach, there will be a curach racing exhibition by Gaoth Dobhair Cumann na gCurach which can be viewed from the pier at Machaire Gáthlan. (Cé Khitty Archie achan Mháirt agus Déardaoin 7.00in agus achan Dómhnach 4.00in outside of the festival)

7. The Glass Album Exhibition will feature at An Gailearí Gaoth Dobhair, with new work by a number of leading contemporary artists including Walead Beshty, Matt Collishaw and Eoghan Mc Tigue. The work is inspired by the 19th century archive photographs by Derry Photographer James Glass relating to the famous 1889 “Land War” murder trial of the priest Fr. Mc Fadden from Gaoth Dobhair.

8. An Crann Óg, young and vibrant traditional Irish music group will open the festival with a lively performance at Teach Mhicí – the oldest family run business in the parish, where Mairead and Frankie Kennedy had their wedding reception, and where Phil Coulter once played “The town I loved so well” on the hotel piano. (you will get the best pint of Guinness here!)

9. There will be a special showing of the documentary film “An Piobaire Mór” in association with An Acadamh's television skills course. Tarlach Mac Suibhne was born in Donegal and buried in Machaire Gáthlan. He attracted international popularity when he went to play at the World Exhibition in Chicago and won the world championship in piping.

10. There will be workshops in Sean Nos dancing, with Jacqui Bradley and interpretation of songs and aers with Doiminic Mac Giolla Bhride sean nos singer and composer and Caoimhín O' Fearghail as well as the best ceilis and set dancing displays at Teach Jack Glassagh.

And if you’re peckish after all that, you will find the Best seafood chowder in the Gaeltacht at Sean Ógs, local seafood is their speciality, and special it is!

Bígí linn ag Loinneog Lúnasa 2013.