It looks like Donegal, which is in Ulster province, is all set to join Northern Ireland. Donegal County Council has formally applied to leave the Republic and join Northern Ireland.

The council’s frustration with central Government continuously giving Donegal nothing has united all sides on the Council. The bust up over the budget was the final straw.

Government departments’ intransigence over the Carnagarve Sewage Plant was another factor.

When Donegal joins Northern Ireland it will then be formally and legally known as Ulster.


The important dates are:-

31st March – Formal notice to quit the Republic to join Northern Ireland.

10th April – Donegal Referendum on the Council motion to join Northern Ireland

1st January 2015 – Official date for joining Northern Ireland


A bi-product would be that Northern Ireland’s 1.8m population would be joined by Donegal’s 300,000 mainly Catholic population, which would make Catholics the majority in the north for the first time ever.

It is likely that Martin McGuinness would become First Minister of Northern Ireland.

The idea was first mooted by Padraig MacLochlainn as he saw how difficult it was to get anyone in the Dail to take any notice of Donegal.

He said that the Irish Development Agency had not made one visit to Donegal in the past year and had not brought a single job here.

No Railway

Also, despite Donegal being the only county without a railway, the Government would not commit a single penny for the Foyle Ferry, even though the railway is subsidised in all other counties.

It made it worse when the Government refused to come to the aid of the Swilly Bus company which has been operating in Donegal for 150 years.

Said Padraig “If it happened in Dublin the Government would have taken steps to save it”.


The Northern Ireland Assembly has promised to fund the ferry and to promote tourism in Donegal. They have also promised to save he Swilly Bus service.

They also intend to extend the Business and Science Parks in Derry to Inishowen as far as Moville and that should bring a significant increase in top jobs in the area.

Said Councillor Martin Farren “The offer from the North was just too good to refuse. Derry used to be considered to be part of Inishowen anyway, so it is a kind of homecoming”.


Said Mary McCauley, who will be standing in the Council elections in May, “This is a great opportunity for Donegal to be part of a vibrant North instead of being a county at the back of the beyond as far as Dublin is concerned”.

Said Padraig MacLochlainn “It could just be temporary, as Sinn Fein intends to hold a referendum in 2018 in the North about Northern Ireland rejoining the Republic of Ireland and the Donegal voters could tip the balance here”.