Here is a letter written by one of our committee members with suggestions that he has offered about making arrangements.
CEAD MILE FAILTE,
Where should I stay, and how do I make reservations for my accommodations during the 2015 O’Dochartaigh Clann Reunion? Location, availability and cost are going to be important for making this decision. So let’s talk about location first. For those of you not familiar with the Inishowen area, the following might help.
Most activities start either in Carndonagh, or within 15-20
minutes driving time of Carndonagh. The exceptions are:
Day 3 which is in the town of Derry/Londonderry about a 25-30 minute drive to the South East from Carndonagh.
Day 9 which is Tullyarvan Mill near Buncrana, about a 25 minute drive South West from Carndonagh.
Day 10 which is at the Gateway Hotel in Buncrana, about a 30 minute drive South West from Carndonagh.
Here are the starting times and locations for each of the 10 days of the reunion schedule:
Day 1, 6:30pm - Malin Town – opening ceremony is at the Malin
Day 2, 10am - Carndonagh – Bus tour of Inishowen leaves from, and returns to, the parking lot of the SuperValu supermarket in Carndonagh.
Day 2, 7pm – Ballyliffin – you have to drive the genealogy Forum if you wish to attend.
Day3, 12 NOON – Derry City – you have to drive to Derry for a full day of activities including dinner and evening entertainment
Day 4, 1-10pm - Drumaville – The O’Dochartaigh BBQ will be at Culdonagh Manor
Day 5, 9am - Carndonagh – Bus tour of Eastern Ulster leaves from, and returns to, the parking lot of the SuperValu supermarket in Carndonagh.
Day 6, 10am - Drumaville – Guided 90 minute Local Walks will leave from Culdonagh Manor
Day 6, 10am – Malin – Sheepdog Trials
Day 6, 8pm – Carndonagh –“Hoolee in the Kitchen” in Colgan Hall
Day 7, 10am-6pm – Doagh Island Famine Village (you have to drive here. Tours are 90 minute. Come at your convenience between 10am-6pm.
Day 7, 11am-5pm – Culdaff Genealogy Lectures at McGrorys in Culdaff
Day 7, 8-10pm – Culdaff Musical Extravaganza at McGrory’s
Day 8, 10 am - Carndonagh – Bus tour of South East Donegal leaves from, and returns to, the parking lot of the SuperValu supermarket in Carndonagh.
Day 9, 10am – Buncrana, Tullyarvan Mill Irish Cultural Day
Day 10, 9am - Carndonagh – Bus tour to the Ulster American Folk Park leaves from, and returns to, the parking lot of the SuperValu supermarket in Carndonagh.
Day10, 6-11pm – Buncrana, Gateway Hotel – Closing Banquet and American Wake
While the Inishowen Peninsula of Donegal is the location
for most of the activities associated with the reunion, it is also one of the
more remote, rugged and charming areas of Ireland – not as over-run with
tourists as other parts of Ireland. So accommodations are not as plentiful as
other parts of Ireland. However, the internet has made searching for a place to
stay much easier these days. Here are a few sites you may want to click on to
check on locations, availability and prices:
Don’t limit yourself to just these sites. There are many more websites you can visit. Just remember to be cautious and stay with the ones that appear to be legitimate. Availability may be an issue if you don’t book soon. Even though the reunion is months away, they get booked up well in advance. To make sure you get a sense of what you are paying for, look at several comparable offerings on the different websites. I also recommend checking reputable travel guides like Rick Steves, Frommers, etc. to see if they have any recommendations. For example I stayed at “The Saddlers” B&B in Derry that Rick Steves recommended, and found it a good value within walking distance of the Walled City. I found the travel guide books invaluable for finding places to stay and hints about things to see as I travelled to and from the Inishowen as well. Since you have to drive through half of Ireland to get to the Inishowen from either Dublin or Shannon airports you may want to make that an enjoyable part of your Ireland sojourn. And for you first time visitors to Ireland, just to put time and distance in perspective, you can drive from Dublin to Derry in around 3 hours if you just stay on the motorway and drive straight through. But I would not recommend this because there is so much to see along the way.
I hope this answers some of the basic questions folks may have about where to stay while attending the 2015 O’Dochartaigh Reunion.
Bob (Earthquake) Doherty
Of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Dohertys
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