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Letterkenny Accommodation - Doagh Famine Village

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Doagh Island Famine Village
The Famine Village at Doagh Island in North Inishowen is an outdoor museum that tells the story of life in the area from the time of the Irish Famine back in the 1840s, through the 1900s and right up to the present day.

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Unlike any other tourist attraction in Ireland the Famine Village depicts life in Ireland as it actually was -  uncommercialised, interdenominational and interspersed with humorous anecdotes of Irish life.

Visitor Attractions
The Centre has a wide array of  attractions including original dwellings which were still inhabited little more than 20 years ago.

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The Irish Wake
This traditional send-off for the dead still continues in this northerly part of Donegal. Rather than sending the dead to a funeral home, the remains of departed loved ones are kept in the home until it is time for the burial. The custom of waking the dead has a rich history. Many of our familiar sayings come from the occasion
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Rural life, food and cures told in a humorous way
Traditional life in Doagh has changed greatly. The centre has been built around the home of the owner, the place where he lived until 1983. By this time it was not fashionable to live in a traditional thatched cottage and the family left it in favour of a new house. In this building the subsistence way of life on Doagh Island is outlined.

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Orange Hall
Religion has always played a major part in Irish history. In the late eighteenth century many people from the Established Church felt under threat from Irish rebels and so they set up an organisation to help protect themselves. They named their organisation the Orange Order after their hero William of Orange. An Orange Hall was built to give some insight into this tradition. .
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Presbyterian Meeting House
The Presbyterian Church suffered persecution and began to meet up in such places as barns and forges. They called their informal places of worship ‘Meeting Houses’. The new, updated Meeting House will be opening in 2009.
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Mass Rock and Hedge School
Catholics too faced persecution and took to the outdoors to practice their faith. Mass rocks are still to be found scattered throughout the countryside as a reminder of a time when Mass was said in secret. The story of the itinerant teacher is also told.

The Republican Safe House
This is the latest addition to the Famine Village and the idea for it came from long term republican prisoner Eddie Gallagher. A safe house was a place of refuge by those running from the authorities. It was a place with secret passage ways where the escapee could hide. Each room in the safe house tells part of the story of the road to peace in Northern Ireland. When you reach the end you will meet Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams sitting side by side!

The Travelling Community
This building describes some of the living conditions of travellers in Ireland and also their rich history and traditions

Overall the Doagh Visitor Centre provides a great variety of exhibitions telling the story of Famine, Fear and Eviction. It is also a place where the customs, traditions and history of the people of Inishowen are preserved in a permanent way. The Centre features Resident Singers, Musicians and Dancers during June, July and August.

Doagh Famine Village,
Doagh Island,
County Donegal.

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