Peadar O’Donnell Festival

Peadar O’Donnell Weekend, Dungloe, Co Donegal

Peadar O’Donnell Weekend – This cultural literary weekend is held annually in the Rosses area of West Donegal during the second last weekend of October. The weekend celebrates the life and times of Peadar O’Donnell – the socialist, republican, writer, and trade unionist who was born in Meenmore, Dungloe in 1893. Peadar was known as a great friend and companion of the migratory worker. He was a writer who saw his pen as a weapon in the revolutionary process.

The Peadar O Donnell Weekend has now become a fixed date in the calendars of many people interested in politics, writing and the arts, with various events being held including:-

  • Guest speakers on politics and local history,
  • International food night,
  • Boat trip to the Islands,
  • Film, art exhibition, drama,
  • Workshops
  • Book Fair
  • Historical and archeological tours of the area
  • Traditional music sessions


Contact Details for Peadar O’Donnell Weekend



Peadar O Donnell

Peadar O’Donnell was a major radical figure in the history of twentieth century Ireland. He attended St Patrick’s College, Dublin, where he trained as a teacher. He then taught on Arranmore Island before spending some time in Scotland.

O’Donnell joined the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence. He was imprisoned in Mountjoy and went on hunger-strike for 41 days. In 1924 he became a member of the Executive and Army Council of the IRA. His attempts at persuading the IRA to become a socialist organization ended in failure.

O’Donnell published his first novel, Storm in 1925. This was followed by Islanders (1928), Adrigool (1929), The Knife (1930) and On the Edge of the Stream (1934)O’Donnell remained active in politics and helped establish the Workers’ Revolutionary Party and edited its newspaper, The Workers’ Voice. He was also a founder member of the Republican Congress.

On the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War O’Donnell urged the formation of volunteer regiments to support the Popular Front government. O’Donnell and Frank Ryan established the Connolly Column (named after James Connolly) and in December 1936, Ryan and eighty volunteers left Dublin for Spain.

After the Second World War O’Donnell edited the Irish literary journel, The Bell (1946-54). As editor of the Bell he encouraged writers to engage with social and political realities, while he continued to agitate and campaign on behalf of emigrants, the small farm countryside and other marginalised sections of Irish society.

Other books by O’Donnell include The Big Windows (1955) and Proud Island (1975). O’Donnell also published two volumes of autobiography, The Gates Flew Open (1932) and There Will be Another Day (1963).

Peadar O’Donnell died in 1986


Holiday homes in the Dungloe Area


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