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A Minute In Donegal With Altan’s MairĂ©ad NĂ­ Mhaonaigh

May 21, 2018

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Welcome to “A Minute In 
” — a BGS feature that turns our favorite artists into hometown reporters. In our latest column, MairĂ©ad NĂ­ Mhaonaigh of the group Altan takes us on a tour of Donegal.

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

I live in North West Donegal, Ireland, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. This is Errigal, the highest peak in the local mountain range of the Derryveagh Mountains.

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
Long ago my people lived in this type of thatched cottage without running water or electricity. They had to pay extra taxes to the English landlords if they had windows. So this preserved windowless cottage dates back to the nineteenth century. The social gatherings was in the kitchens of these homes where people met and sang and played music!

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

The light in County Donegal is unique especially in the late evening or early morning when the sun sends its rays through the clouds and turns the sky pink!

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

People collected the stones in the fields and made boundary walls to plant their crops! The walls were beautifully built by the farmers and leave beautiful structures on the landscape.

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Sheep wander freely in the fields and are allowed to pasture on the farmers’ land! Most of the sheep in County Donegal are black-faced and are able to endure the hard winters we have!

A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

This is the scene which I’m looking at now on The Wild Atlantic Way in North West Donegal, at this moment after spending time and eating dinner with family. Maybe we should go to the nearest pub to have a tune! Where’s my fiddle?


Photo courtesy of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

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A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
A Minute In Donegal With Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh