Donegal – the forgotten county


Sir, – Frank McDonald (An Irishman’s Diary) is correct that the American philanthropist Henry McElhinney, who donated Glenveagh Castle to the nation, derived his fortune from the coin-operated gas meter, invented by his Carrigart-born grandfather.

It was Edmund McIlhenny of Louisiana, also the grandson of a Donegal man, who made a fortune from Tabasco sauce.

Successive Irish governments have done their best to continue the export of human capital from Donegal.

The lack of a dual carriageway to Dublin or Belfast entrenches the disadvantage of Ireland’s most northerly county.

The labour force is declining, unemployment is 18 per cent, and 16 per cent of Donegal’s young people have shown their ambition by emigrating in the last five years. – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.