Tag Archives: donegal

Fire-damaged Caiseal Mara Hotel on Foyle Street in Moville, Co Donegal


Gardai launched an investigation into an arson attack at a Donegal hotel which was due to be used as a direct provision centre for 100 asylum seekers in the coming days.

The fire happened at the Caiseal Mara Hotel on Foyle Street in Moville at around 4.30am on Sunday morning – hours before Fáilte Inishowen was to hold a public information meeting at the Methodist Hall in the town.

It’s been reported one man, in his 50s, was injured in the fire and he was taken to Letterkenny Hospital for treatment.

This isn’t the first time such a fire took place at a hotel earmarked for a direct provision centre.

In April 2000, there was an arson attack at the Vee Valley Hotel in Clogheen, Co Tipperary which was scheduled to start accommodating 30 to 40 asylum seekers at the time.

Following the fire, it was reported in The Irish Times that Clogheen’s residents, at a public meeting of about 400, voted to hold a picket outside the hotel and to negotiate for just 10 asylum seekers to be allowed stay in the hotel.

Three years later, the trial of a man charged over the fire in Clogheen collapsed.

At the time, the Irish Independent reported:

“The trial of a painter who allegedly threatened to burn down a hotel where it was planned asylum seekers would be housed, and hang the previous owners of the building, collapsed yesterday at Clonmel Circuit Criminal Court.

Noel Grey (45), single, who lives in a caravan in Clogheen village, Co Tipperary had pleaded not guilty to three counts of arson and damaging property on April 25, 2000.

A total of €33,000 worth of damage had been done to the Vee Valley Hotel, Clogheen, Co Tipperary.

The court heard that Mr Grey had threatened to burn the hotel and had been protesting outside as he was opposed to it housing asylum seekers.

However, the two-day trial collapsed following 90 minutes of legal argument regarding the non-availability of certain exhibits.

Judge Yvonne Murphy discharged the jury. A re-trial is not expected.”


The Fáilte Inishowen meeting at the Methodist Hall went ahead yesterday with hundreds reportedly in attendance.

Fáilte Inishowen writes:

“We in Fáilte Inishowen and Inishowen Together awoke yesterday to dark, alarming news of the arson attack on the Caiseal Mara hotel in Moville.

“A family were in there, in their beds – perhaps whoever sent fire through the windows did not think of that.

“Whatever it was that the perpetrator or perpetrators thought they were achieving, they have failed. A hateful and cowardly act, done alone in the dark was resoundingly answered in much brighter hours that followed in Moville, by the hundreds of people who gathered at our community meeting to affirm our support, solidarity and welcome for the asylum seekers who will be arriving in the town in the coming weeks.

“The meeting, which packed out the Methodist Hall, sought to illuminate the realities of the Direct Provision system and to offer ideas and advice on how the community can prepare in order to do our best by the new Moville residents. Its key speakers – who very kindly travelled from Dublin to be with us – were activist Lucky Khambule of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, and artist and researcher Vukasin Nedeljkovic of Asylum Archive.

“Lucky and Vukasin also gave great examples of the effectiveness of simple kindness that they have encountered.

“Both Lucky and Vukasin have experienced what it is to have “your life placed on hold” as an asylum seeker in Direct Provision in Ireland. Having heard their insights into the dismal system by which our State fails to offer a genuine welcome or real home to people escaping dire circumstances, we can see that having open hearts is not enough. We will also need watchful eyes to hold the Government to account. We need to ensure the best provision, while appealing for an end to Direct Provision and the introduction of an immediate right to work without restriction

“Contributions also came from local clergy – Methodist reverend Alison Gallagher and Catholic priest Fr Pat O’Hagan PP – who presented a united stand of the town’s religious communities in solidarity with the refugees, and pledged their time, space and help.

“Several gardai attended, and Sergeant Goretti Sheridan spoke at the outset to assure the people of Moville that the force was doing its level best to get to the bottom of the incident of arson that had taken place in the early hours.

“Speakers from Fáilte Inishowen and Inishowen Together included Tracy Cullen-Sheehan, Caroline Maguire; Siobhán Shiels and Therese McKenna.

“Many people throughout the room stood to speak about how they would like their organisations to contribute to welcoming the asylum seekers to Moville.

“These included the local librarian, the town’s educators from pre-school to secondary level, the Inishowen Development Partnership, the Moville and District Family Resource Centre, Moville Men’s Shed, mental health advocates, among many others.

“Politicians and activists in attendance who vouched their warm support included Thomas Pringle TD; civil rights campaigners Eamon McCann and Goretti Horgan; and local councillor Martin Farren.

“A significant number of supporters had travelled from Derry – with organisations such as Derry Well Woman committing their input and expertise; and Eamon McCann noting, amid Brexit talks, the sad fact that there is already a hard border for refugees in Ireland and that those arriving in Moville may not visit or even travel through the North.

“At the end of the meeting, more than 50 people queued to give their contact details and volunteer their time and individual talents to help in welcoming the new residents to Moville.

“The strength of feeling and warmth in the room was incredible. The atmosphere was respectful and hopeful.

“The dark and alarming act that happened hours before has galvanised the community of Moville to show what we are really made of; that this is a beautiful town of compassion and openness.”

Anyone who wishes to get involved in Failte Inishowen can email failteinishowen@gmail.com

Previously: A Warm Welcome

Pic: Greg Hughes

Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville, Co Donegal

This Sunday.

At the Methodist Hall on the Main Street of Moville, Co Donegal.

At 3pm.

Fáilte Inishowen will be hosting a public information meeting about the arrival of asylum seekers to Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville.

Tracey Cullen Sheehan, of Fáilte Inishowen, writes:

“Fáilte Inishowen is pleased to announce the first event in its campaign to ensure that all of the asylum seekers arriving in the coming weeks are warmly welcomed and strongly supported in settling in to this vibrant community by the sea.

“All are welcome to attend, and representatives from health, education and social agencies in the area will be in attendance to offer their perspectives and to take questions from the floor.

“Invited speakers who have come through the discredited system of Direct Provision will focus on how best local people might show solidarity and friendship to those who are arriving.

Vukasin Nedeljkovic is an artist and researcher from Serbia whose excellent multidisciplinary project, Asylum Archive, documents his own experience of Direct Provision.

“Having sought asylum in Ireland in 2007, Vukasin was put into the Direct Provision system and, faced with the stress of life waiting to for his asylum application to be processed, began his excellent project ‘as a coping mechanism’.

“Vukasin’s recently-published Asylum Archive book tells a story of weight and importance that too few people have heard about — we will be petitioning Donegal County Library to include a copy in every branch.

“South African activist Lucky Khambule [him off the telly!] has called Ireland home for the last five years.

“He lived in Direct Provision for three years and this experience drove him to co-found MASI, the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland — in pursuit of justice, dignity, social equality and the right to work for people seeking asylum as they had been banned from doing so since Direct Provision was enacted.

Caroline Radcliffe from Moville is experienced in the field of human rights and will speak of her time working with asylum seekers in the hostel that existed in the early 2000s in Moville.”

Fáilte Inishowen (Facebook)

Iain Miller writes:

Have a wee look at this short film, shot in Donegal last week . It was shot in a sea cave underneath Owey Island in western Donegal.

The sun enters the cave at the correct angle to create a Blue Lagoon effect and the result is a surreal infinity pool which feels light you are swimming and suspended in light.

The Cave Of Light (Iain Miller, Unique Ascent)


Derryveagh Mountains, County Donegal

Climber Iain Miller writes:

Shot the day after [Storm] Emma left Donegal, this is an 80m high ice cascade with a near vertical section at about 40m.

Ice climbing in Donegal is such a rare sport with 2010 being the last winter that weather stayed cold enough to allow ice to form and build thickness to allow climbing.

In the distant shot (pic 2) I am arrowed to get a sense of scale of the ice cascade…

All the places ice in the county has been climbed in the past is in the free winter guide to Donegal…

Unique Ascent

Barry Whyte tweetz:

An example of the sheer destruction and damage the heavy rain caused overnight. This is the main Quigley’s Point to Muff Road in Donegal.

Meanwhile, at Derry Airport…

Barry Whyte tweetz:

City of Derry Airport was also hit by flooding overnight, as a result all flights have been cancelled #Derry #NorthWestFloods

Meanwhile in Drumahoe, Derry…

Barry Whyte tweetz:

Institutes F.Cs Riverside Stadium was also hit by the unprecedented heavy rain last night #Derry #NorthWestFloods

Roads damaged, flooding across parts of northwest after heavy rain (RTE)

Thanks Ronan McCann



Ballyliffin beach Co. Donegal yesterday morning

(Thanks Luke Brennan)


The (new) Central Bank, Dublin yesterday.

Ferg tweetz:

Found the pot of gold..


Graveyard DirtDonegal doom

What you may need to know…

01. Donegal trio Graveyard Dirt are venerable veterans of weighty riffage, as first seen on 1995 demo tape Of Romance and Fire.

02. Reuniting in 2007 after disbanding years previously, the band got straight to work on debut E.P. Shadows of Old Ghosts.

03. Streaming above is the band’s most recent effort, 2015 extended-player My Scourge, My Plague. Available for download solo, or in a discounted bundle with the band’s other digital re-releases.

04. Headlining Galway’s Walpurgis Night VI on Bank Holiday Sunday April 30th, at the Loft Venue, alongside a roll-call of immensely hefty bands, among them TOME, Owlcrusher, Soothsayer, and Genuflection (the artists formerly known as RITES).

Thoughts: Time-honoured and battle-tested doom-metal, seemingly unwearied by the passing of time.

Graveyard Dirt in the Irish Metal Archive


Beithíochreleasing a new full-length

What you may need to know…

01. A one-man project from the north-west, Beithíoch (“the beast”) plies an atmospheric take on black metal with doomy undertones, and pauses for breath of eerie ambience.

02. Emerging in 2008 with debut full length Aisling Dhorcha, Beithíoch’s explorations have moved further and further into heavier territory, while retaining a pensive air.

03. Streaming above is most recent album Ghosts of a World Long Forgotten, released last week digitally and on CD via Irish metal label HI ARC TOW.

04. In lieu of live activity anytime soon, Beithíoch’s discography to date is available in a digital bundle at the project’s Bandcamp, with certain albums available for free at the label’s website.

VERDICT: A focused, fleshed-out work that balances aggression, heft and atmosphere.


Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 11.36.36


A time-lapse video of the Aurora Borealis and Milkyway caught in Donegal on August 24 and August 29 respectively.

Music by Dexter Britain.

By Noel Keating