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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Donegal County > Gallery of Donegal
County Donegal (Irish: Contae Dhún na nGall. Sometimes unofficially known in Irish as Tír Chonaill) is a county located in the west of the Province of Ulster, in the northwest of Ireland. It is one of three counties in the Province of Ulster that does not form part of Northern Ireland. It is the most northern county in all of Ireland, and is part of the Republic of Ireland. County Donegal is the fourth largest county in Ireland and the largest county in Ulster. The name 'Donegal' comes from the Irish, meaning 'The Fort of the Foreigners'. The county was named after the former administrative centre of Donegal Town, the old stronghold of the O'Donnell royal family in the south of the county. When first created, it was sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnell (Irish: Tír Chonaill), after both the old original Tír Chonaill kingdom and the Tyrconnell earldom that succeeded it. Calling the whole county Tír Chonaill is technically incorrect as the Inishowen Peninsula (Irish: Inis Eoghain) is historically distinct from Tír Chonaill.

Uniquely, Donegal shares a border with only one county in the Republic of Ireland, County Leitrim in north Connacht. The rest of its land border is shared with Northern Ireland (the counties of Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh). This apparent isolation has led to Donegal people and their customs being considered distinct from the rest of the state and has been used to market the county with the slogan Up here it's different. Much of the county is seen as being a stronghold of the Irish language and Gaelic games within Ireland. The people of County Donegal are famous for their accent (or more correctly accents), which is very much an Ulster accent. Despite Lifford being the County Town (and there also being a Donegal town), the largest town is Letterkenny.

County Donegal has always had a very strong and close relationship with the City of Derry, the unofficial regional 'capital' of the North-West of Ireland. Before circa 1600, Derry was considered part of the Inishowen Peninsula. Derry has acted for centuries as the main economic and transport hub and seaport for both County Donegal and West Tyrone. This was especially so before the rapid growth and development of nearby Letterkenny from the late 1960s. Huge numbers of people from County Donegal work - and often live - in Derry. Likewise, many natives of Derry City also work - and often live - in County Donegal. In addition, large numbers of young Donegal people attend secondary schools in Derry and/or study at the city's third-level institutions, especially Magee College (part of the University of Ulster) and North West Regional College (popularly known as Derry Tech). Both Donegal County Council and Derry City Council co-operate closely with each other on many projects and initiatives.

Donegal Town
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Place: Ulster
People: 146,956
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 4,841 km²
GPS: -8, 54.916667