Donegal’s rugged wild mountain landscape, remote location on the north Atlantic, and physical separation from the rest of the Irish Republic has led the people of Donegal to maintain a strong cultural identity that’s encapsulated in a county slogan, “Up here it’s different”.There’s something very special about the north-west of Ireland. The roaring Atlantic waves, the mountain air, the clear bright starry skies, beautiful beaches and glowing turf fires blend together to create a special brew that defines the region.It is all of these things and more. Just add some toe tapping music, Irish stout, tales of fairylore and a glass of Irish Whiskey for a great experience.
Trading since the 19th century McGinleys Bar is a wonderful traditional style bar with an open peat fire. Prior to the pandemic, it was one of the longest established music venues in Letterkenny. It has traditional music on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and a mixture of classic rock, folk and blues music at the weekends.At the start of the week, the bar is a cosy place for a quiet drink in front of an open turf fire. There’s also a heated beer garden for smokers, which some might prefer for a post-pandemic drink.
The 19th century old-style décor and a couple of roaring open turf fires create a cosy, homely atmosphere. Full of nooks and crannies, with antiques and trinkets from bygone ages. Top class pints of Guinness and bottled Bulmers with ice, and like many other traditional bars, many different levels within the pub.
Very often the music doesn’t start until around 10.30 to 10.45pm and before that the musicians are annoyingly tuning their instruments and testing the microphones. This can go on for an hour or so, and they seem to be unaware that they can set up and tune their instruments before the audience arrive or when the pub is empty.
Questions to ponder after a couple of top pints of Guinness…So who exactly holds the following records?
- Biggest number of socks put on one foot in 30 seconds. …
- Tallest toilet paper tower ever made in 30 seconds. …
- Fastest time to arrange the letters of the alphabet from a can of alphabet spaghetti. …
- Most Smarties eaten in 60 seconds blindfolded using only chopsticks. …
- Quickest time to eat a 12-inch pizza using a knife and fork.
Where to find McGinley’s
The bar can be found at the lower end of Letterkenny’s main street. Letterkenny is the biggest town in County Donegal, with a population of around 20,000. It’s situated on the River Swilly, which flows to Lough Swilly, and is just 22 miles from the city of Derry.McGinley’s Bar, 25-27 Lower Main St, Letterkenny, Co. DonegalTelephone: (074) 912 1106