Thousands of visitors flock to Amelia’s Flight of Hope

THOUSANDS of visitors flocked to the Mullan Hope Centre in Moville to remember Amelia Mullan on what would have been her 10th birthday.

Amelia’s Flight of Hope took place between October 4 and October 8, attracting thousands of visitors to the Mullan Hope Centre.

Loganair and City of Derry Airport were proud to support The Mullan Hope Centre, with prize flights for the Amelia Flight of Hope Festival.


Little Amelia died alongside her brother Tomás and her father John in a tragic accident in August 2020 when the family’s car slipped into Lough Foyle. Amelia’s mother, Geraldine was the sole survivor of the tragedy.

Geraldine founded the Mullan Hope of Centre as a non profit voluntary organisation to support the local community that has rallied around her since their accident.

Amelia’s Flight of Hope celebrated the achievements of Amelia Earhart, who saw no boundaries, and who 91 years ago this year, flew across the Atlantic landing not far from the centre in Ballyarnett, Derry. Earhart showed that anything was possible if you follow your dreams, and that dreams know no boundaries – had things been different, that’s what Geraldine would have been telling her beautiful little girl Amelia.

Amelia Earhart saw her first plane when she was just 10 years old, she took her first plane ride aged 23 in 1920 and said ‘as soon as we left the ground I knew I had to fly’.

A year later she took her first flying lesson on January 3, 1921, working odd jobs in her spare time to pay for them and received her national licence the following year and her international licence two years later.

Amelia had worked as a nurse, an engineer, and as a fashion designer and was aviation editor for Cosmopolitan magazine.

In 1930 she set the women’s world flying speed record of 181.18 miles per hour. In 1932 she was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, flying from Newfoundland, Canada and landing in Ballyarnett, Derry.


Visitors to the Flight of Hope event enjoyed costumed re-enactments of Amelia Earhart who shared tales of her adventures with young and old alike.

Over 450 children from different schools in Inishowen and Derry visited on Thursday and Friday for the Stem Flight challenge in conjunction with the Nerve Centre and the Fab Lab, Spraoi agus Spórt.

The event was officially launched by the Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Patricia Logue, Inishowen’s Mayor Terry Crossan and local councillor Martin Farren.

The four day event included green screen flying, 1920’s costumed selfies, a restored plane, workshops on the science of flight, inspirational talks and reflections.

There was a programme of live music including swing, jazz and choral performances with the debut performance of a beautiful choral piece penned in memory of little Amelia Mullan and sung by the Inishowen Gateway Singers.

A highlight of the event on the final day Sunday (Amelia’s actual birthday) was a flyby organised by Eglington Flying Club, joined by Sligo Acrobatic Flying club who wrote the letter and numbers A10 in the sky enthralling visitors below.

The event presented lots of opportunities to learn more about the life and achievements of Amelia Earhart through exhibitions by the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association.

Her original luggage was even on display.

Young and old enjoyed arts and crafts activities, film screenings, refreshments and fabulous home baking.

The event was designed to raise much needed funds for the `RNLI and included a raffle supported by local attractions, restaurants, producers and businesses.

The top prize was two return flights with Loganair from City of Derry Airport with complimentary access to Amelia Earhart Lounge and complimentary parking at City of Derry Airport.

Winner of the top prize was John Bonner from Glengad, who said: “It is such a surprise and a great honour to win your top prize.”

Steve Frazer, Managing Director at City of Derry Airport, stated: “It’s an honour for us to support the Mullan Hope Centre and the Amelia Flight of Hope Festival, which has brought so much hope to many and shared the story of Amelia Earhart.

“The success of the event is a testament to the tireless work from Gerladine Mullan in keeping her family’s memory alive and raising vital funds for the RNLI not to mention the amazing supportive community we have here in the Northwest. Well done to Geraldine and everyone involved.

“The aim of Amelia’s flight of Hope was to inspire visitors to Dare to Dream, to believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and to give and spread hope, the four days hopefully did all of that and so much more as in Amelia Earhart’s own words ‘What do dreams know of boundaries’.”

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