By Diarmaid Doherty
THE dust may have just settled on another Donegal International Rally but for one regular visitor to the event, thoughts are already turning to the 2024 rally.
Carlow’s Derek Cummins has been coming to Donegal for the June event for as long as he can remember.
The Leighlinbridge native leads up the Carlow Stages Rally Marshalls team who bring their valuable experience to countless rallies around Ireland every year.
MAIN PIC: Derek with Joe and Eibhlín at Conway’s Bar
They also regularly attend the mini-stages and Harvest Rally events in Donegal each year, but Derek reckons the Donegal International Rally is the one he looks forward to most.
Back in Carlow after what he says was another “brilliant weekend”, he has sent a message of thanks back to the town of Ramelton and the owners of various local accommodation spots who looked after the Carlow group on the weekend before last.
“We have been staying in Ramelton for a number of years now and the people there are always so welcoming,” he said.
“Getting accommodation on rally weekend is never easy, so we really do appreciate getting somewhere to stay.”
Derek Cummins (front left) with his team of marshals at the Donegal Rally. Picture: Brian McDaid
Derek stays each year with Anne Campbell who runs Ardeen Country House.
“Anne has been brilliant,” he said.
“She keeps rooms every year for us and she serves us an excellent breakfast every morning, no matter what time we’re up at.”
Other members of the Carlow crew stayed this year at Crammond House in Ramelton where they were so well looked after by proprietors Christine and Drew while Joe and Eibhlín at Conway’s Bar also provided welcome accommodation this year.
Derek Cummins with Anne Campbell of Ardeen Country House in Ramelton
“We spent the first day of the rally down at Laghey and Ballintra,” Derek said.
“It was the start of what was a great weekend again. The weather was great and the atmosphere was just brilliant over the three days.”