Letterkenny Dry Arch Letterkenny

Leitir Ceanainn which means "hillside of the O'Cannons" is the largest and most populous town in County Donegal. It lies on the River Swilly in east Donegal and has a population of around 20,000. Along with the nearby city of Derry, Letterkenny is considered a regional economic gateway. Letterkenny acts as an urban gateway to the Tír Chonaill Gaeltacht similar to Galway's relationship to the Connemara Gaeltacht.

Letterkenny began as a market town at the start of the 17th century, during the Plantation of Ulster. A castle once stood near where the Cathedral of St Eunan and Columba, Donegal's only Catholic cathedral, stands today. Letterkenny Castle, built in 1625, was located south of Mt Southwell on Castle Street. Donegal's premier third-level institution, the Letterkenny institute of Technology [LYIT] is located in the town, as are St Eunan's College, Loreto College, Highland Radio, An Grianán Theatre, The Regional Cultural Centre and many hubs of industry. The town's Main Street is said to be the longest in Ireland. Donegal County Museum has displays on local history in a 19th-century workhouse building. Southwest of town, the Newmills Corn and Flax Mills have a huge working waterwheel powered by the River Swilly.


Letterkenny Pole Star

Letterkenny was also the original home of Oatfield Sweet Factory, the confectionery manufacturer. Unfortunately, the factory was closed and the building was knocked down in 2014. The town is renowned for its night-life, with enterprises such as Club Voodoo, The Grill, and The Pulse regularly attracting international names. The Aura Complex near O'Donnell Park includes an Olympic-standard swimming pool, the Danny Mc Daid Athletic Track and an arena capable of hosting top-level events.

In 2015 it was awarded the accolade of being judged to be the tidiest town in Ireland.


Useful Links

Guide to Letterkenny

Visiting Donegal

County Donegal - Lonely Planet

An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology

Donegal Skies
Donegal Skies

Accommodation Suggestions
Accommodation List