Reeling in Bundoran – 2019

Bundoran 2019 was another busy year for the town as we welcomed Ryan Tubridy, introduced two new festivals and were advised to think before we flushed! As usual we remind you that these blogs do not claim to be a comprehensive retrospect of the town – just a sharing of some memories and key events of the town over the past 10 years as we near the end of another decade. We hope you enjoy.

Searching for a Star

Sea Sessions were on the hunt early in the new year for the unsigned act that would play the main stage in June. Two semi finals took place in the Chasin Bull over two Fridays with the finalist chosen the following Friday.

Spotlight on Cathal

RTE’s Operation Transformation came knocking on the door of local man Cathal Gallagher. Here’s the moment he found out he was going to be one of the leaders…

Brochures on the double

On Tuesday 15th January we launched not one but two new brochures! Our main Discover Bundoran 48 page visitor guide and also a smaller brochure for the Fairy Bridges and Wishing Chair. You can watch the launch here

The cover photo was taken by local photographer John Carver on Tullan Strand.

Bundoran new season

Raising the flag

On January 30th the Green Flag which had been awarded to Magh Ene College in 2018 was raised at an official ceremony.

A lifetime of service

On February 7th the Donegal Vintners held their annual dinner dance at a packed Great Northern Hotel and honoured Patricia Brennan and her late sister Nan for their long time service to the pub trade in Bundoran. Read more here

Vintners - Great Northern Bundoran - 7th February 2019 - photo Conor Conlon CMP Productions
Raising a glass to Patricia at the Donegal Vintners Dinner Dance – photo Conor Conlon CMP Productions

Fighting Words

On February 11th, author Roddy Doyle came to Bundoran Community Library to recruit new volunteers for Fighting Words North West

Later in February saw the Grand Finale of Operation Transformation. Cathal recorded the most significant weight loss of any of this year’s team leaders losing 3st 10lb! He made quite the entrance too!


Surf Capital

In March we were delighted to see local surfer Noah Lane make the cover of the internationally renowned Carve Surfing Magazine!


Cara #9

The 9th annual Cara Bundoran Run took place on Saturday 9th March with an unprecedented crowd taking part.

We broadcast live on Facebook from the top of Roguey as the runners came around to the final stretch before the finish line.



On March 12th, Storm Gareth hit the country. While most of us were indoors, both Eileen Magnier (RTE News) and Paul Quinn (Virgin Media One) were broadcasting live from the pier.

RTE’s Eileen Magnier live at 6 and 9pm

Meanwhile, on the same night, the Salty Fox who were opened just one year, picked up the Best Cafe in Donegal award at the Irish Restaurant Awards!

St Patrick’s Day

Lots of fun and colour once again for St Patrick’s Day – check out the highlights below.

Check out the images here

St Patrick’s Day Bundoran Images

Think Before You Flush.

Yes that is a giant cotton bud. Cotton buds are one of the many things that are not supposed to be flushed down the toilet but are on a regular basis. Bundoran became Donegal’s first Think Before You Flush community in 2019 and the 14th such community in the country. Bundoran Tidy Towns along with Discover Bundoran introduced the initiative on World Water Day (March 22nd) with the help of many businesses in town to encourage everyone to think before they flush anything other than toilet roll (and poo and pee!) down the toilet. Read more here and here

Gone purple

We were asked if we would light up the Tourist Office in purple to highlight Epilepsy Purple Day – we were more than happy to do so!

Easter SUNday…

A hot few days over the Easter break. Main Beach is pictured here on Easter Monday April 22nd.

The Thrupenny pool on Easter Monday 2019.

Bundoran 2019
The Thrupenny pool on Easter Monday 2019.

Diving Board

Just before the May Bank Holiday weekend, the new diving board was installed as well as a new ladder. Our thanks to Donegal County Council for their work on this!

Darkness Into Light

On the 11th of May around 1000 people got out of their beds in Bundoran and surrounding areas to complete the town’s second annual Darkness Into Light walk. RTE News were there to cover it – the only walk in the country that was covered by them that night.

The Hurdy Gurdys

RTE’s Ryan Tubridy is a big fan of tradition – particularly the seaside. All he wanted to do after his broadcast in Donegal Town was to go on the Hurdy Gurdys in Bundoran. So … we made it happen. Thanks to Michelle and Josh at Bundoran Adventure Park for helping with this!

Bundoran 2019
Ryan takes a spin on the teacups at Bundoran Adventure Park – pic Conor Conlon CMP Productions

Never again!!!!

Ryan Tubridy in Bundoran

Walking History

Also in June we launched our weekly walking tour.

Sea Sessions

The annual party by the beach happened!

Sadly Sigrid pulled out of the event but she is top of the list for Sea Sessions 2020 which you can read about here

Racing Returns

Racing returned to Finner on July 13th with a fun afternoon out!


Big Week by the Beach launched.

Bundoran’s newest festival “Big Week by the Beach” was launched together with the revived Bundoran Bay Swim. Read more here

Fairy Bridges 4 in a row!

The Fairy Bridges received its 4th “Certificate of Excellence” in a row from TripAdvisor – one more and we enter the Hall of Fame! Fingers crossed for 2020!

Our annual Street Party and Car Show took place over the weekend of 20th and 21st July.

Watch the highlights below

Head for Heights?

The “Altitude” made an appearance at Bundoran Adventure Park for a brief period during July. We decided to take this photo from the ground.

Big Week

Bundoran’s first “Big Week by the Beach” got underway on August 14th with a live broadcast from iRadio with special guest Met Eireann’s Joanna Donnelly.

Bundoran Tourism Officer Shane Smyth also joined Dave and Fionnuala on the air:


Big Week highlights

Bay Swim

The Bundoran Bay Swim was resurrected following a gap of a number of years. Sadly conditions on the day meant that the full route couldn’t be completed. A marker was placed at the Peak which swimmers made their way to.

Food, glorious food.

Our brand new food and drink festival, Bia Bundoran happened in September and was a celebration of the wide range of food and drink available in the town and surrounds.

The festival was officially launched by Chef Brian McDermott.

Off with his head!

Halloween rolled round quick enough and the headless man was one of our prize winners at the annual pumpkin carving competition

Ireland V Scotland

Team Ireland took on Team Scotland in the 3rd annual Celtic Cup Surf Comp on the weekend of 9th/10th November.  Team Ireland made it a hat trick but the Scots weren’t too far behind! Read more here.


bundoran 2019
Team Ireland and Team Scotland together with the event organisers at the prize giving ceremony at the Great Northern Hotel.

Local charity wins big

A huge year for local charity “Liquid Therapy” who won the National Lottery’s Good Cause of the Year award in November. A homecoming event was held at the Salty Fox on Sunday November 24th to celebrate the win. Read more here.

bundoran 2019
At the homecoming event in the Salty Fox L-R Shane Smyth, Cllr Micheal McMahon, Tom Losey (Liquid Therapy), Clr Barry Sweeny and Paul Bradley (National Lottery).

There was a surprise element to the day as well – watch below!

Bundoran wins!

As a result of introducing Think Before You Flush, Bundoran was announced as Think Before You Flush Community of the Year at the Clean Coasts Award ceremony in Dublin on December 3rd. The award was accepted on behalf of the community by Cllr Micheal McMahon. Read more here

bundoran 2019
Pictured with the award Elizabeth McIntyre (Allingham Arms), Diarmaid Doherty (Bank House), Shane Smyth (Bundoran Tourism Officer), Cllr Micheal McMahon, Gina Witherow (Donegal English Language School) and Aine McIntyre (Allingham Arms)

Christmas Day Swim

Another record crowd for the swim on Christmas Day! Lots of money raised for Ozanam House/St Vincent De Paul!

Check out the rest of our decades blogs here:

Reeling in Bundoran 2010

Reeling in Bundoran 2011

Reeling in Bundoran 2012

Reeling in Bundoran 2013

Reeling in Bundoran 2014

Reeling in Bundoran 2015

Reeling in Bundoran 2016

Reeling in Bundoran 2017

Reeling in Bundoran 2018

Don’t forget to check us out on Instagram here

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