What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Donegal?
The thing I look forward to most when I get home to Donegal is a chance to go for a walk in somewhere like Glenveagh or Ards Friary with my family or friends. I really miss the beach when I'm in Belfast so any chance to get some sea air also is brilliant. A night with friends in McGinleys, Warehouse or The Cottage is always a highlight of a weekend at home too.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Donegal in your lifetime - and why?
I think Máiréad Ní Mhaonaigh has achieved amazing things for Donegal. Not only in a personal capacity as a world-renowned musician but as a brilliant ambassador for Dún na nGall. She is never afraid to speak up for this county and especially the Gaeltacht. She highlights both the positives and the issues we face as a county. She is a brilliant ambassador for Donegal all around the world and someone who never forgets her roots.
What's your first Donegal memory?
I remember walking through Moville as a child. We lived there briefly and I really enjoyed living so close to the sea.
What do you think gives Donegal its unique identity?
I think the landscape of Donegal is unrivalled. With our mountains, glens, sea, bogs, rivers and fields there is nowhere as beautiful in Ireland. Not that I'm biased!
Do you have a favourite local writer or author?
Some of my favourite Donegal authors include Michelle Nic Pháidín and her brilliantly written novels and my Irish and history teacher from school, Prionsais Mac A Bhaird. It was a privilege to have him as a teacher. I think it was only after we left Coláiste Ailigh however that we realised just how big an honour that was. He is a critically acclaimed author and his newest release 'Tairngreacht' is a book I am very excited to read!
What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?
Brexit is an obvious answer and something which is becoming more and more of a reality. Bánú na tuaithe or rural depopulation is also a huge threat to the sustainability of future generations. Donegal has huge issues because of a lack of infrastructure and high unemployment rates. Why would young people be encouraged to stay in Donegal when we are so disregarded politically, socially and economically?
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