I had the pleasure of visiting Leghowney Country Market on the Saturday morning of the Bank Holiday Halloween weekend, where they were celebrating seven years of locally produced food. When we arrived at Leghowney, we followed the waft of the tantalizing smell of rashers to be greeted at the entrance door by the most wonderful sight of a large crowd of people tucking into a feast of food. There was a sea of stalls selling everything from barmbrack to cupcakes to organic meat and vegetables, home-made jam and intricate knitwear. The pumpkin carving competition and toffee apple decorating went down a treat with everyone. There were lots of young children in fancy dress, playing happily around and under the tables.
The hall was beautifully decorated in Halloween theme by our very own Zach and Nuala Gallagher. Credit due to these two ‘Halloween Heroes’ for putting their creative talents to such great use. Events like this don’t just happen. It is the result of hours and hours of work behind the scenes, before, during and after the event.
What struck me most was that this was a remarkable situation of people spending time together, young and not so young, neighbours and visitors alike catching up on news and shared interests. There was a noticeable absence of mobile phones. It was like going back in time and finding a place where people had real conversations with each other. In this world of constant dependence on devices, events like this in Leghowney Hall can help us reconnect with a sense of place and of belonging.
Leghowney Hall is a great success story. It is a story at the heart of a community effort, driven by a determined, hard working and creative few. Leghowney Hall was built by locals for locals and of course the warmest welcome awaits all visitors as well. The Leghowney Country Market is held every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 11am to 1pm and sells locally produced food and crafts. It’s only ten minutes drive from Donegal Town. Pencil in the next date (Saturday 12th November) in your diary and go along for a morning filled with fun, friendship and great locally produced food. Seemingly the ‘Five-Mile-Fry’ is to die for:-)