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13 Aug 2022

Returning home to the vets, walks and the call of Muckish

James O'Donnell returned home to business as usual

Returning home to the vets, walks and the call of Muckish

Iggy enjoys dog friendly hotels

We disembarked the ferry at 01:30 and drove straight to Monaghan Town service station following our 7-week tour of Britain. There we caught up on a few hours sleep and in the morning we headed straight to Old Church Veterinary Hospital in Ballyshannon to recommence Iggy's physio and laser treatment.

On the road up to Falcarragh, we made a couple of business stops and took a stroll in Ballyconnell Woods and then had an early night.

It was quite literally straight back at it as the next morning I was up at 06:30 for a 12-hour marshaling stint on the Miner's Path, Muckish Mountain for the Seven Sisters Skyline Race.


A couple of days later, I contacted Chris Ashmore, managing editor of the Donegal Democrat and at www.donegallive.ie, to see if I could increase the agreed page that would have covered our trip to the Isle of Skye. He very kindly did and that allowed me to share the story of our extended tour around Scotland, down through England, across to Wales and finally the ferry to Dublin.


This was an amazing and memorable journey, meeting family, old friends and making new friends too. We visited so many places and our van, ‘Gallivant,’ was a regular talking point, which allowed me to highlight the 6 Wild Atlantic Way-based businesses that support us. Five are in Donegal and the sixth is the dog friendly, Sligo Southern Hotel. They have renewed their contract with Iggy for another year.


Last week we met with Silkie Irish Whiskey marketing manager, Dee Byrne, and we're delighted to announce this week, a new 12-month deal. Huge thanks to James and Moira Doherty (owners) for a third year of support. As an independent photographer, promoting Donegal and Ireland and particularly dog friendly businesses for almost 10 years now this help is crucial to keep the James and Iggy story going, which now of course includes Frida.
In a few weeks, I will travel to the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the largest Irish Festival in the world, in Wisconsin, USA. I was invited by the committee to exhibit at a stall, so I'm currently working on a collection of forty-one works. A hobby turned profession inspired by a border collie called Iggy.


The support from the US has been immense, including those who buy our calendars, supported our MKE Fest fundraiser and especially Elliott Erwitt, Patricia Caulfield, Fiona Molloy, Charles Bennett Grubb, Tom Fox and the now sadly deceased Samuel S Holmes. Special thanks to the MKE Fest committee and a thanks in advance to Michelle Maxwell who will be assisting me throughout my time in Wisconsin. Not forgetting everyone else from all corners of the globe, for your support all the way too.

James O'Donnell is a photographer who lives in Falcarragh with his two dogs Iggy and Frida. You can find many more of his stories on Facebook and Instagram - James_odonnell photography.

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