The name Donegal comes from the Irish `Dun na nGall' meaning fort of the foreigner. It is Ireland's most northerly county.
Donegal is famous for its scenery, with majestic mountain ranges, hidden glens, beautiful lakes and a wonderful indented
coastline, featuring some of Europe's finest beaches.
Blanket bogs, now rare in the world, cover . One of Donegal's major attractions is Glenveagh National Park, with 25,000
hectares of unspoilt countryside. This land has been occupied by humans for over 9,000 years and is renowned for its history
and archaeology. Pre-Christian farmers left tomb monuments which still dot the county, while evidence of Viking settlements
can be seen in Raphoe and Donegal town.
The Norman's arrived in the 12th Century and relics of them remain, notable on the Inishowen Peninsula.
Christianity had a profound influence in Donegal and many early Christian monuments can be seen today. These include churches
and religious sites commemorating St. Colmcille, the Donegal man who converted Scotland to Christianity. To the south, Lough
Derg is a famous pilgrimage site, while Donegal town has a Franciscan monastery dating from the early 17th century. Letterkenny,
Donegal's ecclesiastical and administrative headquarters is home to St. Eunan's Cathedral.
Surrounded by mountains and sea, Donegal preserved its Gaelic culture and language for longer than most places. Today,
that language and culture remain strong in its extensive Gaeltacht area stretching from Fanad Head to Slieve League. Fishing
and tweed production are Donegal's major industries, with exports worldwide.