Doagh Island Famine Village

Doagh Island Famine Village

Doagh Island Famine Village – In brief, the Famine Village is an outdoor museum that tells the story of life in the area from the Famine back in the 1840s, through the 1900s to the present day. Different to any other tourist attraction in Ireland the Famine Village depicts life in Ireland as it was, uncommercialised, interdenominational interspersed with humorous anecdotes of Irish life.

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t: +353 (0) 74 93 78078
7 days a week from 10am until 6pm

We have a wide array of actual size attractions including original dwellings which were still inhabited little more than 20 years ago.


The Irish Wake

This traditional send-off for the dead still continues in this northerly part of Donegal. Rather than sending our dead to a funeral home, the remains of our loved ones are kept in the home until it is time for burial. The custom of waking the dead has a rich history. Many of our familiar sayings come from the occasion and many similarities can be found in England, France and other European countries.


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.


Location Map :: Doagh Island Famine Village

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Orange Hall

Religion has 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. Many of the display items have been donated by the people of Whiterock, Belfast.


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.


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.


Additional Information

The attraction is designed to suit Irish weather and is predominantly under cover.

Trip Advisor Review

“This outdoor museum is on Doagh Island on the Inishowen peninsula in Co Donegal. The drive to the attraction is spectacular as is the headland on which the museum is situated. Its is a one street museum which depicts life from that particular area righ back to the times of the famine.

It is a very well thought out tour with some interesting and humorous insights into local life while giving a good insight into the problems faced by the people. Well worth a visit for the scenic drive alone but this little attraction is unique and thoroughly enjoyable.”


YouTube Video :: Owner, Pat Doherty, talks about the village



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