Inishowen a hive of activity ahead of hosting the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Tee time.... Giant Golf Ball installations have been installed at key locations across the peninsula, including this one in the Greencastle area. (Picture by Brendan Diver)
Tee time.... Giant Golf Ball installations have been installed at key locations across the peninsula, including this one in the Greencastle area. (Picture by Brendan Diver)

Inishowen has been a hive of activity over recent weeks in preparation for the County Donegal peninsula and the wider north west hosting the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open next week.

Almost every major route into the stunning peninsula and every towns and villages across the region has seen works taking place to ensure the areas are looking their best and the expected influx of visitors and locals have a great experience during the tournament.

Busy painting lines on the night shift in Carndonagh is Kenny Johnson and Aaron O'Kane from White Mountain contractors (Picture by Brendan Diver)

Busy painting lines on the night shift in Carndonagh is Kenny Johnson and Aaron O'Kane from White Mountain contractors (Picture by Brendan Diver)

There is now just over one week to go before thousands of golfing fans descend on Ballyliffin for the first ever Irish Open to be hosted in Ballyliffin Golf Club

Newly elected Cathaoirleach of Inishowen Municipal District Councillor Martin Farren has seen first-hand the tremendous work that is being done by people all across the peninsula.

He said: “This is a very exciting time for everyone in Inishowen and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for millions of people across the globe to see our beautiful corner of the world.

“It is great to see such strong community spirit and this event is really bringing everyone in Inishowen together. We are all working towards one common goal and that is to have Inishowen looking its best. We have tidy towns groups, businesses and homeowners painting and decorating premises, planting flowers and making sure that everything is in pristine condition.”

Gardeners adding a splash of colour at the beautiful seaside town of Buncrana ahead of visitors arriving for the Irish Open. (Picture by Brendan Diver)

Gardeners adding a splash of colour at the beautiful seaside town of Buncrana ahead of visitors arriving for the Irish Open. (Picture by Brendan Diver)

“I also have to acknowledge the brilliant work done by our own staff in Donegal County Council. Road works have been completed, the landscaping at strategic points in the peninsula looks stunning and our litter management team has been working tirelessly with local groups”.

Over 80 applications have been received for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Best Dressed Shopfront competition where the lucky winners will win €1,500 and have the opportunity to be treated to full corporate hospitality in the Dubai Duty Free’s own private pavilion on the 18th Green at Ballyliffin Golf Club on Thursday July 5.

The response to this competition has been phenomenal- so much so that the organisers have extended the entry deadline to tomorrow, Wednesday June 27 at 12 noon. So anyone looking to enter this competition still has an opportunity to do so.

“We are delighted with this response” says Fiona Doherty from Donegal County Council. “It really highlights the excitement that is building across the peninsula for this event. Everyone wants to get in on the act and show their support for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin. We have specially branded buntings and flags, courtesy of Dubai Duty Free and they are being distributed to businesses and premises as we speak. It really will be a wonderful spectacle and I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.”

Those driving through Inishowen over the last week will not have missed the gigantic golf balls located at specific locations around the peninsula including the mini green at the entrance to Buncrana as well as the Dubai Duty Free lamp post banners.

Seamus Hopkins, Senior Executive Engineer with the Council’s Roads Office in Inishowen explains: “The Buncana town gardener George McDermott and his team must be commended for this great work. This landscaping is top class and it really adds to the ambiance and the sense of occasion. We have to thank Failte Ireland for their support including financial support for this initiative.”

He added: “The Area Roads teams have been flat out for the last few months getting our road works programme complete in time for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“We are all local people so this is very special for us and we want to make sure that those visiting Inishowen will take with them wonderful, positive memories of their time here. We have had an extremely busy year here in Inishowen but it will all be worth it. We completed works at some of the most scenic spots including at Fort Dunree and at Mamore Gap and I have to say the setting at Mamore Gap is just breathtaking and is certainly a road worth taking”.

With up to 100,000 visitors expected in Ballyliffin for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, An Garda Síochána is advising local residents to consider any impending travel plans they may have scheduled from the 4 – 8 July. They are asking motorists to expect delays and leave plenty of time for journeys during what is expected to be a very busy time on the roads.

Residents are being advised to listen to local media broadcasts and news bulletins for the latest and up to date traffic flow information. Travel plans and alerts will be provided @AnGardaSiochana on Facebook and @GardaTraffic on Twitter and AA Road watch.

Lough Foyle ferry operators are putting on an additional vessel over the course of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and this will see extra sailings from Magilligan to Greencastle over the course of the event.

Colr Farren also acknowledged the work being done by John Farren and his team at Ballyliffin Golf Club. “Without John and his team we would not have this wonderful opportunity to host this prestigious event. I think it is important to acknowledge their sterling work in securing and hosting this event,” he said.

“We are fortunate to have a world class facility such as Ballyliffin Golf Club on our doorstep and we now have an opportunity to share this stunning setting with a global audience and this has been no easy feat and thanks must go to John Farren and his very able team at Ballyliffin Golf Club.”