The Gallen Family celebrated in style last night for the grand opening of the new Fara Óg’s bar at An Chúirt Hotel Gweedore.

I was delighted to join the party and spend some time in beautiful West Donegal.

Enjoying my first stay at An Chúirt

Fara Óg’s is one of the first major projects by the Gallen Family since they purchased An Chúirt last year. The hotel is situated in one of the most breathtaking locations in Donegal, and the new bar adds to the many reasons to stay.

Ballybofey Hoteliers Tommy and Bridget Gallen and their children have been adding their own style and touches to An Chúirt since the purchase. They’ve certainly made their mark on the former Railway Bar, which is almost unrecognisable now, with modern styles with a taste of tradition. There are plenty of nods to the West Donegal Gaeltacht community, if you browse the many photos and memorabilia on the walls.

The Gallen Family, from left – Karol, Laura, Bridget, Tommy, Rosemarie, Christopher and Nicole
Staff and family of the Gallen Hotel Group

Fara Óg’s will be the perfect place to party this Christmas, or to chill out after a day exploring Donegal. The cocktail menu suits all tastes, and a bar food menu will be launching on Friday 19th November.

Friends, family and staff gathered last night to toast to the new Fara Óg’s and enjoy live music from the entertaining Beefsteaks band.

Bernie Anderson, who chose the name of Fara Óg’s, pictured with Dominic Conway

Among the special guests was Bernie Anderson, a Ballybofey woman who won a social media contest to choose the new name of the bar. From over 250 entries, Fara Óg’s was the clear winner.

There has been much interest in the meaning behind the name since it was announced earlier this week. A few generations ago, Fara was the nickname given to Tommy’s branch of the Gallen family.  With Gallen being such a popular name in Tommy’s local area it was common for each family to be given a nickname to tell the different families apart.  Fara Ógs seemed the perfect way to continue the Fara name while paying homage to the new bar’s Gaeltacht location. 

I was lucky to sample all the best parts of a stay at An Chúirt – dining in the Duck Restaurant, snoozing in a spacious lake view room, and enjoying the sunrise over breakfast. No matter the weather, the views from this historic hotel and surrounds never fail to amaze.

The Gallen family would like to thank all Gweedore locals for their support so far, not to mention the numbers from the Finn Valley area that have travelled to support them since opening. They also wish to thank all those who helped get Fara Óg’s open, especially the workmen who worked around the clock to get the doors open just in time!

Tommy Gallen and manager Francis Breslin at the new Fara Og’s
Leah Gallen, Nicole Gallen, Anne Gallen Campbell, Laura Gallen and Donnacha Gallen
Kirsten Byrnes and Ronan O’Donnell enjoying the new Fara Óg’s bar
Tommy Gallen and manager Francis Breslin at the new Fara Og’s
Darren O’Leary, Joe Dunnion and John Harkin
Cara and Rachel Greene with Orla Crossan
Dearbhla, Mary and Eilish celebrating the new bar launch
Christopher Gallen, Harry Kelly, Karol Gallen, Rose Duffy and Laura Gallen

They Gallens are very much excited for the festive season ahead. With gigs including Mack Fleetwood, Conal Gallen (another Fara), The Kilkennys, Abba Sensations & a Rod Stewart Tribute there is much to look forward to at An Chúirt.

There are a few tables remaining on their festive party night this December 11th with an overnight stay, breakfast, 4-course meal, drinks reception and dancing to live band sailor bill for just €89pps. For more information contact the team on 074-9532900. 

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Donegal Has It All: My view of a cloud-capped Errigal on the way home this morning