Local Facilities

Do you have your own building?Yes. When we started our courses in 1984, we used the local school. However, as demand was growing, we organised funding and built our own small campus in 1991. ‘Foras Cultúir Uladh’ (The Ulster Cultural Centre) has its own classrooms, library, computer suite with free broadband for course participants, offices and exhibition area. We also have a restaurant ‘An Chistin’, which is franchised to a local family and provides meals during the year. We have our own book shop specialising in Irish language learning courses, music CDs, books, cards, etc.

What is Gleann Cholm Cille like?We obviously think that it is the most beautiful place on earth and many others think likewise! It is a valley with Donegal hills on three sides and opening into the wild Atlantic Ocean. It is relatively small and practically everything is within walking distance from everything else.

What else is there to do?There is an excellent Folk Museum, with reconstructed houses showing how people lived here over the centuries. There are excellent beaches (you must always be cautious, due to irregular currents). The area is highly regarded for its excellent scenic and challenging walks, particularly on Sliabh Liag. There is excellent sea, lake and river angling; our nearest golf course is in Portnoo (18 miles). The pubs are typical of the Donegal region and offer a wide range of music, particularly traditional Irish music. There are some excellent local restaurants offering fresh local seafood and traditional dishes. Other local attractions include live sheepdog demonstrations and the Sliabh Liag Distillery.

Are there local shops?Yes. There is a grocery store in the village, open daily until 10pm and offering a wide range of foods. There is an excellent vegetarian/organic foods shop in Donegal Town, called Simple Simon. It is right on the Diamond—just ask a local!

Where is the nearest bank?The nearest Bank is in Killybegs—fifteen miles away. There is a bank machine (ATM) available in the local village, however, and almost all shops/restaurants/etc. accept Visa or MasterCard.

Is there a launderette?Yes. This facility is close to Oideas Gael and offers prompt service.

Are there local medical services?Yes. There is a local doctor attending the medical centre regularly. Our nearest pharmacy is in Killybegs and we can arrange for the collection of medication.

Can I use the Internet while at Oideas Gael?Yes. We have a Wi-Fi network in Foras Cultúir Uladh which students may use for free, or you can use a public-access computer.

What is the weather like?You cannot predict Irish weather! June, July and August are usually dry and summery with probable light showers. It may be cold today and warm tomorrow. It may be showery in the morning with beautiful sunshine in the afternoon. Who cares?

What is the best type of clothing to bring?Always be prepared for light showers in summer. If you are participating in any course that may involve outdoor activity, such as walking, archaeology, environment or painting, be sure to bring along strong walking shoes and waterproof outdoor wear.