Killybegs Heritage Centre
Area: Killybegs. In Irish, Na Cealla Beaga - the little churches.
Besides being Ireland's premier fishing port, Killybegs is a great area beside the sea and is brilliant for water sports like surfing, canoeing, windsurfing, diving, kite-surfing and also water skiing. A new dive centre just opened last year and diving is available for over 16s but for 12 and over swimming pool diving is available. At the dive centre there is a professional dive shop and the centre is fully certified with SDI (Scuba Diving International).
The hidden gem in this town is not the local politician Thomas Pringle, who against the odds chucked out the deputy prime minister, Mary Coughlan, from the neighbouring parish in the recent election! No, the gem is the Martime and Heritage Centre in town. Three good reasons to visit it?
1. Stand in the actual Carpet Factory which once designed, dyed and thread wool by hand-knotters, and produced world-class Donegal Carpets that can still be seen in such places as Dublin Castle, The Oval Room at the White House, the Vatican, Buckingham Palace, stately homes, and foreign embassies throughout the globe.
2. See the largest hand-knotted loom in the world, view live demonstrations of how hand-knotting is done, and also have the opportunity to test your own skills at the loom.
3. View the largest fishing fleet in Ireland in its natural harbour, the home-place of the Atlantic Dawn, which was one of the largest fishing vessels in country; step into the boots of a fisherman via the Bridge Simulator replica of a boat wheelhouse, and experience the virtual reality of the ocean.
The Carpet Factory, Killybegs, Co. Donegal.