MY DONEGAL LIFE: Maria McCormick and the day 'Sam' came to school

Donegal singer songwriter Maria McCormick shares her thoughts and memories

Declan Magee


Declan Magee



My Donegal

Maria McCormick

Donegal singer songwriter Maria McCormack launched her new album ‘I Choose to Love’ earlier this month.
Maria was also behind the Happy Camper pop-up food van.
The Churchill native has been song-writing for 20 years. ‘I Choose To Love’ is Maria’s first collection of unique and original songs and was co-produced by Billy Robinson and Pat Crowley in the Grooveshack recording studios in Ramelton.

What's your idea of a perfect day, or perfect weekend out in Donegal?
My perfect weekend would be to kayak from Cruit pier across to Owey Island, paddle into the caves and in and around the stacks. Stay in a wee one room cottage with only candlelight and sing songs with friends till the early hours. In the morning a walk alone to the cliffs.

Who has made the greatest contribution to Donegal in your lifetime?

Daniel O’Donnell.

What's your first Donegal memory?

I remember Mark Crossan and Anthony Molloy coming to Glenswilly NS with the Sam Maguire cup after the ‘92 All-Ireland win.

What's your favourite part of the county and why?

I got to tour Donegal when I was the Happy Camper and I will never forget the failte and thanks I got from the people of Ardara. Even though the heavy rain and wind that was, every single person that I served, thanked me high up and low down for coming to make them pancakes. Great people.

What do you think gives Donegal its unique identity?

The scenery we have in this county to me can’t be matched, especially our beaches. That and our accent are what set us apart.

Do you have a favourite local writer or author?

This question was the easiest answered. My favourite musicians from Donegal are from the Grooveshack recording studio in Ramelton - Billy Robinson, Jonathan Smeaton, Peadar Coll, Declan McClafferty, Laurence Doherty and Racheal McGettigan.
I have learned so much from them especially when I entered into studio last year where with their expertise I now have an incredible album in my hand.

What's the biggest challenge facing the county today?

The government forgetting a lot of the time that we even exist up here.

If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Donegal, what would it be?

I would like to see businesses across the county working together more.
I think we are in need of seeing how working together as a community we can keep tourists in this county by recommending one another instead of trying to keep it all to oneself.