Downings, Co. Donegal
Downings (Irish: Na Dúnaibh) is a pleasant resort 5km (3 miles) from Carrigart in County Donegal. Na Dunaibh The name is ambiguous and could refer to either the wealth of Hill forts in the area , or as a hibernicisation of the English to describe the sandy dunes connecting the peninsula to the mainland. Downings is in one of the most eastern areas in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area).
Downings commands a superb view of the Ards Peninsula and has a good sandy beach. The handwoven tweed for which Donegal is famous may be inspected by visitors at the McNutts factory.
Downings used to be a significant fishing port with a substantial Herring fleet. Today however, the local economy survives on tourism, and only three Crab boats make a traditional living from the sea. Situated as it is, in one of the safest anchorages on the North west coast, Sheephaven Bay (whose name is derived from Ship-Haven), Downings has started to cater for International game fishermen, the North west of Ireland being on the migration route of the Bluefin Tuna and other game species.
The dunes that connect the Rosguill peninsula to the mainland are also home to the Rosapenna Links course designed by Old Tom Morris, and although the original hotel and clubhouse that was patronised by the likes of John Wayne and Errol Flynn burnt down in the sixties, the new buildings seek to emulate the charm.
Downings is the start and finish of the world famous Atlantic Drive, one of the most dramatic and glorious scenic routes in Ireland.