Inishowen counts down to the start of the Irish Open

Buncrana Town Gardener George McDermott and with his Seamus McLaughlin and Dean McDermott getting Buncrana ready for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

WITH just over one week to go before thousands of golfing fans descend on Ballyliffin for the first ever Dubai Duty Free Irish Open communities right across the Inishowen Peninsula have been working round the clock to get their own towns and villages looking their very best for this special occasion.

Newly elected Cathaoirleach of Inishowen Municipal District Cllr Martin Farren has seen first-hand the tremendous work that is being done by people all across the peninsula saying “this is a very exciting time for everyone in Inishowen and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for millions of people across the globe to see our beautiful corner of the world”.


It is great to see such strong community spirit and this event is really bringing everyone in Inishowen together. We are all working towards one common goal and that is to have Inishowen looking its best. We have tidy towns groups, businesses and homeowners painting and decorating premises, planting flowers and making sure that everything is in pristine condition.”

I also have to acknowledge the brilliant work done by our own staff in Donegal County Council. Road works have been completed, the landscaping at strategic points in the peninsula looks stunning and our litter management team has been working tirelessly with local groups”.

Over 80 applications have been received for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Best Dressed Shopfront competition where the lucky winners will win €1,500 and have the opportunity to be treated to full corporate hospitality in the Dubai Duty Free’s own private pavilion on the 18th green at Ballyliffin Golf Club on Thursday 5th July.

The response to this competition has been phenomenal so much so that the organisers have extended the entry deadline to Wednesday 27 June at 12 noon.  So anyone looking to enter this competition still has an opportunity to do so.

Robbie Cunningham from Tullys Bar Carndonagh busy painting


Fiona Doherty from Donegal County Council said: “We are delighted with this response. It really highlights the excitement that is building across the peninsula for this event.  Everyone wants to get in on the act and show their support for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin.  We have specially branded buntings and flags, courtesy of Dubai Duty Free and they are being distributed to businesses and premises as we speak.  It really will be a wonderful spectacle and I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.”


 Those driving through Inishowen over the last week will not have missed the gigantic golf balls located at specific locations around the peninsula including the mini green at the entrance to Buncrana as well as the Dubai Duty Free lamp post banners.

 Seamus Hopkins, Senior Executive Engineer with the Council’s Roads Office in Inishowen explains “the Buncana town gardener George McDermott and his team must be commended for this great work. This landscaping is top class and it really adds to the ambiance and the sense of occasion. We have to thank Failte Ireland for their support including financial support for this initiative.”

He added: “the Area Roads teams have been flat out for the last few months getting our road works programme complete in time for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. We are all local people so this is very special for us and we want to make sure that those visiting Inishowen will take with them wonderful, positive memories of their time here. We have had an extremely busy year here in Inishowen but it will all be worth it. We completed works at some of the most scenic spots including at Fort Dunree and at Mamore Gap and I have to say the setting at Mamore Gap is just breathtaking and is certainly a road worth taking”.

Busy painting lines on the night shift in Carndonagh is Kenny Johnson and Aaron O’Kane from White Mountain contractors

With up to 100,000 visitors expected in Ballyliffin for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, An Garda Síochána is advising local residents to consider any impending travel plans they may have scheduled from the 4 – 8 July. They are asking motorists to expect delays and leave plenty of time for journeys during what is expected to be a very busy time on the roads.

Residents are being advised to listen to local media broadcasts and news bulletins for the latest and up to date traffic flow information. Travel plans and alerts will be provided @AnGardaSiochana on Facebook and @GardaTraffic on Twitter and AA Road watch.

Lough Foyle ferry operators are putting on an additional vessel over the course of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and this will see extra sailings from Magilligan to Greencastle over the course of the event.

Cllr Martin Farren also acknowledged the work being done by John Farren and his team at Ballyliffin Golf Club. “Without John and his team we would not have this wonderful opportunity to host this prestigious event. I think it is important to acknowledge their sterling work in securing and hosting this event. We are fortunate to have a world class facility such as Ballyliffin Golf Club on our doorstep and we now have an opportunity to share this stunning setting with a global audience and this has been no easy feat and thanks must go to John Farren and his very able team at Ballyliffin Golf Club.”



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