Culture Night 2016 in Donegal

Loads happening this Friday all across the county

Culture Night in Donegal

Canon Tommy Doherty's films of life in Donegal in the 1930s-1960s will be shown at the County Museum

It’s that time of year again, when our cultural venues invite you to experience some of the wonderfully diverse cultural festivities available on your own doorstep.

Culture Night, which takes place this Friday, September 16, provides a terrific opportunity for families to sample aspects of Irish culture and heritage.

This will be Letterkenny’s eighth time to take part. Along with participating towns and cities across the country, the town will see an evening of accessible, free of charge, family-friendly events.

Among those taking part are: Donegal County Museum, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny Town Park, Letterkenny University Hospital Arts Committee, Donegal ETB Music Education Partnership, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny Freemasons, Donegal Intercultural Platform, Donegal Travellers Project, The Artworks, Central Library, Donegal County Council heritage office, St. Eunan’s Cathedral, Conwal Parish Church, Create-A-Link Art Studio, ArtCo Gallery, The Swell Festival, Donegal Youth Service @ The LOFT and the Cathedral Quarter Group.

Free brochures have been widely distributed throughout the county or view the whole programme, county by county, at

Culture Night events are free but some venues may require advance booking. Check venue listings for details.

County Museum offerings

Donegal County Museum reflects the diversity of the county wide programme in its own offerings for Culture Night.

You can “Meet the Matron of the Workhouse” at 7pm and 8.30pm. She’ll decide if you can gain admittance and will inform you of the rules and regulations. Types of behavior which were particularly frowned upon included “cards or other games of chance”, pretending to be sick and visiting areas of the Workhouse, “other than that to which they belong!”

From 6.30 to 9.30pm enjoy the Cannon Tommy Doherty Film Show, presented in association with the Raphoe Diocesan Archives and Mr Tommy Francis.

From the 1930’s to the 1960’s, Archdeacon (Canon) Tommy Doherty, of the parishes of Dungloe and Dunfanaghy, filmed life in Donegal. He amassed a unique record of people, places and events in the county. This selection of his film material includes many people and places in Letterkenny from weddings and fair days to the Cathedral and the Port.

Come along and see if you recognise anyone: you might even spot yourself on the silver screen! We would be delighted if anyone could name and note themselves, or any people or places that they recognise for historical purposes. This film lasts approximately one hour.

There’s also an East Donegal Ulster-Scots Heritage Exhibition, 6-10pm. Some of the themes covered by the exhibition include the Donegal Ulster Scots Diaspora, East Donegal and Colonial America, the Ulster Scots Literary Tradition, the Donegal origins of the Presbyterian Church, Highland warriors in Donegal and much more. The exhibition is on loan from the Ulster-Scots Agency.

Get your dancing shoes on for a Night of Traditional Music, Song and Dance, in conjunction with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Letterkenny, 8-10pm, featuring a performance by the branch’s Senior Grúpa Ceoil.

Finally, the County Donegal in 1916: Our Story Exhibition also continues. Included in the exhibition are witness statements, letters written by Patrick Pearse and Roger Casement, as well as the infamous Niall Mac Giolla Bhríde name plate.

A free activity booklet is available for children. The exhibition was part funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, through its Ireland 1916-2016 Commemorative Programme.