Step into the past on a free guided tour of Donegal Town

STEP back in time this Saturday with a free guided tour of the history and heritage of Donegal Town.

To celebrate National Heritage Week, Niamh Coughlan, founder of Donegal Town Walking Tours is offering a free guided tour of Donegal Town on Saturday at 12pm.

Niamh always had an interest in tourism and history.


However, after completing a degree in tourism management she never pursued it further.

In 2018, Niamh then went on to do a tour guide course in ATU Letterkenny where she graduated as a fully qualified and experienced tour guide.

From there, Niamh began to conduct scheduled walking tours around the history and heritage of Donegal Town in the summer.

What makes Niamh’s walking tours special is that they are done in full costume.

Niamh’s 1780s Italian round gown made from curtains.

“I feel like dressing up brings a bit of life to the walking tour and it makes it real, for kids especially.

“I make my own historical costumes using second hand clothes and old curtains and I learn how to piece them together from watching YouTube tutorials.


“I never grew out of loving to dress up and I dress up any opportunity I get.

“I’ve gone to the Armagh Georgian Festival’s 18th century banquet on my own just so I could dress up and it turned out I was the only one in costume,” she joked.

Last year, Niamh won €750 in an upcycle competition for her 18th century ‘Robe a la Francais’ gown in the style of Marie Antoinette that she made from bed sheets and curtains.

Niamh’s competition winning ‘Robe a la Francais’.

“The upcycle competition was run by the ReDiscovery Centre in Dublin.

“I found the competition online and won the popular vote segment last November,” she said.

Niamh even attended the awards ceremony in Dublin in her frock.

For Saturday’s tour Niamh will be dressing up as a farmer’s wife off to the Donegal Town Market to sell eggs.

“I think costume and living history is a fantastic way to interpret the past,” she said.

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