IT’S three years since a website to promote the history, landscape and natural beauty of Gweedore first went live.
‘Wild Atlantic Gweedore’ was established to keep the diaspora connected and encourage people across the globe to visit Gweedore and enjoy all that west Donegal has to offer.
Over the last few weeks the number of people visiting the site has grown considerably as the lockdown restricts people’s ability to visit the parish.
Some have commented that the pictures on the site each day motivate them and keep them in touch with a home they can’t visit or a special place they remember and wish to return to in better times.
The man who has taken on the task of showcasing the parish and encouraging people to visit and discover its history and landscape is John Joe McGinley.
A native of Edinburgh, John Joe lives in Glassagh with his wife Eileen (Coyle) and their four boys.
“I took redundancy after working for thirty years and decided to get out of the rat race,” he explained on his decision to up sticks and move to Donegal with his family in 2014.
“Because of my skill set in marketing and social media I decided to set up Wild Atlantic Gweedore the website, Facebook page and twitter account. It was a hobby that has grown arms and legs,” he said.
“I’ve a big interest in writing and studied for a diploma is journalism in my spare time. I still write a lot for a lot of financial magazines like Financial Advice and Money Marketing. My story of Father McFadden the fighting priest of Gweedore was published In Irish Voice the newspaper for the Irish in Scotland while my blogs have been picked up by Ireland’s Own and the Irish Central website,” he added.
Mr McGinley, who is also a moderator of the Gweedore parish Facebook page, said they work well together showcasing different angles of the parish.
“One thing I have noticed over the last few weeks is that the beauty of Donegal and the parish of Gweedore reaches across not only the island of Ireland but across the globe. Members of our diaspora and those with no connections to Donegal but who have fallen in love with Gweedore in past visits are missing the parish.
“This is a non-profit website and a labour of love and designed to pay back into my community. It is our aim to eventually have a version of the website in “As Gaeilge”.
“My next project is to create a suite of videos that will outline the exciting things Gweedore has to offer from singles to couple to families. From walkers, to culture buffs to those interested in our flora and fauna
“Gweedore has a lot to offer, but sadly the parish has not recovered from the last recession and given the impending financial crisis of Covid when it is appropriate and safe the parish will need an increase in tourism to begin to fightback. Until then Wild Atlantic Gweedore encourages people to remain at home, stay safe and enjoy Gweedore online,” he said.
The social media urls are:
Face book Wildatlanticgweedore