We’re reeling in Bundoran for 2023 as it’s once again time to look back on things that happened in the town over the past 12 months! As usual we remind you that this is just a snapshot of the year – the highlights – and doesn’t claim to be a comprehensive review – but we do our best to include as much as we can!
We started off a bit wintry in January with some snowfall by the middle of the month
There was also quite the bit of excitement around town and in the locality as film crews were in place to film the new RTE/Hulu TV series – Obituary. Lots of locals had the opportunity to work on it – the series would then air in September – scan down for the link to watch it!
Thanks to local man and 3rd Assistant Director on Obituary – Conor Flannery for these great images!
Bundoran featured on the small screen on February 1st as RTE/TG4’s Mary Kennedy came to speak to actress Caroline Harvey about “Moving West”.
To mark our first ever St Brigid’s Day bank holiday, the inaugural Féile na mBan took place with the ladies well and truly in charge. The festival was a mix of culture, arts, music and performance and took place over the first weekend in February. Plans are well underway for the 2024 iteration and we’re really looking forward to it!
Later that month (27th Feb), south Donegal was treated to a rare display of the Northern Lights. The picture below was taken from Main Beach!
The second annual Bundoran 10 run took place over the first weekend in March and was once again won by Clare man Jake O’Regan from St John’s Athletic Club in the county. He’ll be back next March to try for the 3 in a row! Will he be beaten? Do you have what it takes to topple his time of 49’27? Registrations are open now for the 2024 event which takes place on Saturday March 2nd with the 5k event on the Friday evening (1st March). Check out some of the images from this year’s event below:
Once again the town filled up for St Patrick’s Day on Friday March 17th. Thousands of people lined the street for the parade with participants from near and far including a marching brass band from our Douzelage partner town of Sesimbra, Portugal. The Zanabatuta band also played a gig later that evening.
Check out a recording of our live broadcast of the parade with commentary from Bundoran Tourism Officer, Shane Smyth.
Easter came round fairly quickly after that and Waterworld got back to opening for its first full season since 2019.
It was a big year for the Clancy family on the Main Street as April saw the official opening of their brand new Olympic Arcade (on the site of the former Barbecue restaurant). The official opening was performed by the Reverend Canon Munster and the tape was cut by the queen of Main Street herself, Patricia Brennan. Watch the ceremony below.
In May, following their efforts in last year’s Bundoran 10, 2 crew from Bundoran RNLI along with colleagues from Arranmore and Lough Swilly Lifeboat stations scaled Errigal mountain in a fundraiser for the 3 stations. Oh yes, they were wearing their full RNLI kit too!!
Bundoran was also once again awarded with the Blue Flag at Main Beach
June saw a scorcher for pretty much the entire month – Bundoran (Finner) hit 26.4 degrees on the 14th of the month.
However with the hot weather, there came plenty of thunder and lightning. Check out these images:
Sea Sessions made a move to Tullan Strand and welcomed artists like Kasabian, Becky Hill and the Coronas as well as many thousands of music fans over the festival weekend! Tickets are now on sale for the 2024 event which happens from June 21st to 23rd and there’s already a bunch of headline acts announced! Check out the aftermovie from this year below.
Summer was a busy time in town and one of the many events that took place was the annual RNLI & Emergency Services Open Day – check out some of the photos below!
In Mid-September Bundoran once more played host to the Irish Surf Nationals where the top surfers in the country descended on the town to battle it out for the title of Irish Surfing Champion 2023. The competition was eventually won by incumbent champion, Sligo’s Gearóid McDaid.
By the end of September we were all over the TV!! From the filming earlier in the year, the 6 part dark comedy “Obituary” made its debut on RTÉ (and soon to follow on Hulu and Disney Plus). Check out the trailer below and below that the link to watch all 6 episodes on the RTÉ Player (please note that this may not be viewable in all areas).
The end of September (27th) also brought the first of the season’s named storms “Agnes”.
We were all over the tellybox in September as Channel 4 show “Julia Bradbury’s Ireland” paid the town a visit where the host took a surf lesson with Bundoran Surf Co and showed off some of our stunning scenery!
World Matchmaking Festival
The World Matchmaking Festival landed in the Allingham Arms for 10 days and nights in September/October delighting audiences with lots of dancing and matchmaking!
We weren’t done appearing on TV by mid-October as Katie Hannon and the Records Show came to town to talk about tourism with Brian McEniff of the Holyrood and Great Northern Hotels.
Named storm #2 of the 2023/2024 season – Babet, arrived on October 18th.
Once again, at Halloween, our annual family friendly event took place in the Atlantic Apartotel. Sadly for the first time ever we were forced to cancel the pumpkin parade as the weather just didn’t play ball with us. However everyone enjoyed the afternoon and we got some great images from our photographer Phil McKinney! Check them out below.
November brought not one but two named storms – Ciarán (1-2 Nov) and Debi (13 Nov). The last time we had a Debi, it was a hurricane and it was in 1961 – read about how Bundoran was affected here.
There was also some decent walking during the month with our photographers capturing some beautiful moons, sunrises and sunsets!
The Holyrood Hotel lead the Christmas charge in the town with a fabulous display of 6 beautiful trees outside the front door. A superb festive from Seanie, Audrey and team!
Two more named storms made landfall in December – Storm Elin on Saturday December 9th and Storm Fergus a day later on December 10th! While Bundoran pretty much escaped the wrath of Fergus, our friends in Leitrim Village just an hour down the road weren’t as lucky.
On December 7th the annual Ozanam House Christmas party had a surprise guest who was escorted by our local Gardai!
On December 11th, the long awaited first sod was turned on the new 42 unit social housing development, Gort na Gréine at Drumacrin at the East End of Bundoran. Performing the honours were Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Martin Harley accompanied by Chair of Donegal Municipal District, Cllr Tom Conaghan, Cllr Niamh Kennedy, Cllr Barry Sweeney and Cllr Micheal McMahon.