County Donegal is Ireland’s most northwesterly county. The principal towns in Donegal include Letterkenny, Buncrana and Donegal Town. Most of the Donegal Gaeltacht is located along the western coast of the county.

Donegal has a strong economy and offers a wide range of business sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, engineering, food processing and of course textiles.

Donegal Gaeltacht Facts

  • County Donegal has a population of 159,192 (Census 2016). Donegal saw a population decline of 1.2 per cent in the 2011-2016 period. Over 33 per cent of the population is under 25-years-old;
  • Letterkenny, the largest town in the county, is home to the Letterkenny Institute of Technology and some leading multinational companies from the international services sector;
  • The Donegal Gaeltacht is located mainly in the west of the county along the coast and is Irelands second largest Gaeltacht;
  • The Donegal Gaeltacht has a population of 23,346 (Census 2016) and represents 23.4 per cent of the total Gaeltacht population;
  • The Donegal Gaeltacht encompasses a geographical area of 1,502km2. This represents 26 per cent of total Gaeltacht land area;
  • The three parishes of Na Rosa, Gaoth Dobhair and Cloich Cheann Fhaola constitute the main centre of population of the Donegal Gaeltacht and with a population of just over 16,000, is considered to be the most rurally populated area in Europe;
  • In 2018, 2,278 people employed in a full time capacity in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in the Donegal Gaeltacht;
  • Dún na nGall, the Irish for Donegal, means ‘fort of the foreigner’, so called for having repealed the numerous viking raids on the county in the 8th and 9th centuries.

Local Industries/Enterprises

Údarás na Gaeltachta have selectively targeted certain areas of industry, in particular those which produce sophisticated and high value added products and services. These offer the best growth potential and the best prospects of generating long term sustainable employment. Economic activities in the Donegal Gaeltacht include information and communications technology, engineering, food processing, audio-visual activities, electronics, marine based natural resources, textiles, internationally traded services, including financial services, call centres and shared service centres.

Transportation systems

National primary roads to Donegal from:

  • Dublin – N2, MI or N3
  • Belfast – M2
  • Galway – N17
  • Sligo – N15
  • Derry – N13

Distances from Bunbeg/Derrybeg to:

  • Donegal Airport 9m/15km
  • Derry Airport 66m/105km
  • Shannon Airport 287m/460km
  • Letterkenny 44m/70km

Air services

Donegal International Airport
Daily services are provided from Dublin and other destinations. Further information:

City of Derry Airport
Flights from Britain and other destinations available. City of Derry Airport is located approximately 126 km from Gaoth Dobhair. More info:

Bus services

Bus Éireann provide a service to Donegal from counties around the country. More info:

Medical Services in County Donegal

  • Letterkenny General Hospital

Education in the Gaeltacht

  • Pre-Schools: 22
  • Primary Schools: 42
  • Secondary Schools: 7

Third Level Education

Training for Industry

SOLAS provide career advice and guidance including information on job and training opportunities as well as temporary employment options.

Recreational Facilities

County Donegal offers everything you could ask for in terms of recreation and amenities. A natural playground for golf, equestrian, walking, angling, fishing, water sports, arts and crafts and cycling enthusiasts.
Further information:

Telecommunications and Modern Services

Advanced telecommunications services are critical for the attraction of direct investment, for the development of indigenous industry and the promotion of the knowledge economy.

The Gaeltacht regions are fully integrated into Eircom’s National Fibre Network with access to all high speed and advanced services. Broadband availability is comparable with all other rural regions in Ireland and the EU with at least 62 per cent of lines being DSL enabled. In addition wireless based broadband services are available in many regions offering competitive options to companies and the community.