North, but south
Even though it’s not part of Northern Ireland, Donegal is Ireland’s northernmost county. Likewise, although it’s part of the Republic of Ireland, it is also part of the Province of Ulster. The same political position applies to County Cavan and County Monaghan.
Like most Irish counties, Donegal is overwhelmingly rural, and most towns are small. Much of the coastline is cliffs and rocks, although there are some spectacular beaches, mainly in the Gweedore region, which also has a reputation as a centre for Irish traditional music. Clannad and Enya, both internationally-famous musical acts, are from Gweedore.
County Donegal has the largest Irish-speaking community (Gaeltacht) in Ireland, as you’ll notice from the road signs. The town of Donegal isn’t actually the county town, as that title has been awarded to Lifford, its administrative centre. Donegal is good for shopping, and seeking out the area’s most famous export – Donegal tweed.
Letterkenny is the largest town in the county, and is the only one with a Cathedral, the Catholic Cathedral of St. Eunan and St Columba – built in the late 19th century.