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My Donegal… with travel agent Deirdre Grant

first_img(7) What is your favourite Donegal-made product? Paintings by Ros Harvey. She paints from her studio in Malin Head and she captures the beauty of Donegal in a way that is both unique and beautiful. (8) Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why? It has to be Daniel O Donnell. He represents all that is good and decent in Donegal people. I have to say that Noel Cunningham does a great job at National Level.(9) Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion? I can’t be sure in terms of wealth but Deirdre Mc Glone in Harveys Point Hotel is very successful and like Daniel she represents all that is good and decent in the people of Donegal. Deirdre is a lady and treats people with respect. She is certainly one of my favourite business people.(10) Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time? It would have to be Packie Bonner, however people like Colm Mc Fadden and Michael Murphy have done us proud on many an occasion.(11) What is your favourite Donegal restaurant? For ambience it has to be any of the venues in Harvey’s Point, however I have eaten lunch in Mc Grory’s of Culdaff recently and the food was superb. In fact I decided that their cod and chips was better than in Roly’s Bistro in Ballsbridge, and that is saying something!(12) Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks? Golden Eagles. They are majestic to see in flight. (13) What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression? I have a friend who lives in Bristol and he told me the other morning that he was hanging out the clothes because there was a ‘quare druth’ Only someone in Donegal would understand that he was telling me that drying conditions were good! (14) What is the biggest challenge facing the people of Donegal today? At a commercial level it has to be Brexit. At a human level it has to be the high Suicide Rate. We have been quick to abandon our faith but with nothing to replace it people have nowhere to turn in times of trouble. We are a spiritual people and we need something to ground us. I think that without faith of some sort our young people face a very challenging future. (15) What is your favourite Donegal food? Fresh Vegetables from the Ballyholey Farm Shop. There is nothing quite like the purple broccoli and the sweet potatoes.(16) Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people? I love the people of Donegal.  Perhaps we have lost a sense of our true identity by watching way too much stuff on social media. I would love that we could be true to ourselves and not afraid to stand up for what we believe in.  Saying that you still attend church, believe in family, God and the goodness of people is not a popular stance these days, but these are my beliefs and I am proud of them.(17) Do you have a favourite local band? I don’t go out a lot locally so I don’t hear a lot of local bands but my niece had told me about a band called Hillbilly Redneck just a couple of weeks ago and I invited them to play at the Flood Aid for Inishowen concert and they just blew me away!! I am absolutely hooked and can’t wait to go and hear them live when I am not under the pressure that I was under at the concert. Top musicians getting together for the love of music. What’s not to love?(18) If you had a million euro to improve something in Donegal what would it be? With Climate change a real factor I would probably widen the mouth of the Swilly to try to stop future flooding and look at other flood defences around the county. Perhaps the council will do that as a matter of urgency because I think our weather is going to continue to become more volatile. Mind you it will take more than a million to fix it all. If the saying that ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ holds true, then I think we need to be proactive rather than reactive.Flood Aid Stars(19) What has been the most rewarding part about organising Flood Aid this summer? The good will of everyone who got involved. All the entertainers giving of their services free of charge and the fantastic atmosphere in the Aura Leisure Center. It was something special and it was the people who were there and who helped in any way that made it possible. That event brought out the best in the people of Donegal and Irish people in general.  Ireland is full of people who are kind, have big hearts and who care deeply. Those qualities have made us who we are, and the same qualities have earned us respect worldwide. I hope we never lose it.(20) Is there anything about Donegal that you are very proud of? I am proud of our people. I am proud of where we come from and I hope we can pass that on to our children and instill in them a love of Christian values and morals and respect. Let’s not lose what has made the Irish great, both at home and abroad.Would you like to share your Donegal? Email [email protected] to take part in the interview series.My Donegal… with travel agent Deirdre Grant was last modified: September 8th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:deirdre grantflood aidMY DONEGAL Businesswoman Deirdre Grant has had a busy few weeks bringing the Donegal community together to organise Flood Aid for Inishowen. The hugely-successful Irish Country concert saw a wonderful group of stars coming together and raised over €30,000 for the Red Cross Inishowen Appeal.Deirdre and the stars of Flood Aid 2017Deirdre, from Letterkenny, has been a travel agent for almost 40 years. She ran her own business for 22 years but now works from home for Dublin based travel company Joe Walsh Tours.Deirdre is a happily married mum of two teenage girls. She is a great country music fan and has travelled to the home of country many times. “I love Country music and have been taking country music groups to the United States for the past twenty four years. I have worked with most of the best known country singers in Ireland, taking their fans on tours to Tennessee and further afield. I love Tennessee and never get tired of visiting Nashville,” she said.Deirdre also holds a strong passion for philosophy and belief in the goodness of people:“I am a firm believer in standing up in what I believe in. I am a student in the School of Practical Philosophy and would recommend it to everyone. Philosophy means ‘Love of Wisdom’ and I am always searching for the deeper meaning to life. Life is lived at such a fast and sometimes superficial level these days that people lose a sense of identity and are not grounded.“There is a deep spirituality in the Irish that can not be ignored and there are enough good people to make things better. I am optimistic,” she said.This is Deirdre’s Donegal…My Donegal….(1) Where is your favourite place in Donegal and why? I have many favourite places in Donegal but I guess Tramore Beach in Downings has to be my favourite. Especially on a day when there is no one else around and you can walk for miles on golden sand and just enjoy the spectacular beauty.(2 )If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be? I would not change anything about our county. I would change the law and make it an offense for any child under 16 to have a phone with internet access, a tablet or laptop or computer. We are destroying our youth and denying them the joy of youth by giving them free reign on social media. It really makes me sad.(3) Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why? Advertisement It has to be Daniel. When I visit Nashville and see his C.D’s there on the shelf on sale with the biggest stars in Country Music I realise just what a huge international star he is. Yet when he is at home he is just the same as he always has been, a really nice man with a huge heart.(4) Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner? I was at the World Cup in the United States in 1994 and for that reason Packie will always be a hero of mine, but Daniel has been a friend for many years and he holds a special place in my heart.  They are both true gentlemen and both have done Donegal proud.(5) What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years? I guess bringing the Sam Maguire home. And also people having the guts to vote NO when there have been referendums on issues that mattered. People went out and voted from the heart, rather than to be popular and go with the crowd. (6) What has been the biggest compliment you’ve ever received? I am not great at receiving compliments however when I organised the Flood Aid for Inishowen concert Daniel O Donnell’s manager, Kieran Cavanagh worried that it was not possible to do what I was attempting in the six days that I had to do it, then he told me I had played a blinder and, yes, I was delighted with that compliment. last_img

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