- 26 Feb 19
Mixing fantastic trad sessions with rock, folk and blues throughout the week, McGinley’s is a gem of a venue, right in the heart of bustling Letterkenny. And it has just been nominated in the IMRO Live Music Venue Awards…
There’s something special about the north-west of Ireland. And we’re not just talking about the jaw-dropping views of the Atlantic Ocean, the friendly people, or the fascinating history that defines the region.
It’s all of that and something more.
Letterkenny is the biggest town in Co. Donegal, with a population of 20,000. It is located on the River Swilly, which flows into Lough Swilly, and is just 35 kms from Derry.
Step into McGinley’s Bar in Letterkenny and you’ll feel at home straight away. A traditional family-run pub, it has been trading in the heart of Letterkenny’s main street since the 19th century. McGinley’s only gets better with age. The beautiful old-style décor in the pub centres on a roaring open fire, and props and trinkets from years gone by help to create a truly unique ambience.
Of course, music is at the heart of what McGinley’s has to offer locals and visitors alike. The bar is one of the best places in Donegal to catch a trad session: they happen every Tuesday and Wednesday.
McGinley’s has also become a haven for rock, folk and blues fans. The brilliant Tanya McCole from Ardara – who has toured with the legendary John Prine and has just released her second album Because Of You – appears every Monday night; John Muldowney Unplugged is on Tuesdays; and there’s a mixture of local groups and cover bands providing the live soundtrack on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights – including Heads Of State, Head Honchos, Davy Kerrigan, Loose Change, The Belisha Beacons, and DD and the Delta Boys among others.
“We pride ourselves on getting the best of local musicians,” says Stephen Elliott. “The bands and artists in Donegal are just fantastic. The standard here is brilliant. They know how to entertain. But the quality of the musicianship and singing is just amazing. It is a real privilege to see what they can do – and people love it. Music is so important to us.”
Meanwhile the heated beer garden is the scene of some great club nights and DJ sets, with students from Letterkenny IT making it a home from home.
McGinley’s has a great cocktail list, as well as an extensive range of signature gins. Encompassing everything from standard-bearers like Hendrick’s and Bombay Sapphire to craft Irish gins from Antrim to Tullamore, McGinley’s offers patrons the very best of what’s available in Ireland, while always maintaining its local flavour.
With sports events on throughout the week, friendly staff working from early to late, and a welcoming atmosphere whether you’re a seasoned local or a first-time visitor, there’s a hundred good reasons why many people consider McGinley’s to be not just the best bar in Letterkenny, but one of the finest bars in the country. Come see for yourself…
McGinley’s Bar, 25-27 Lower Main St, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Tel: (074) 912 1106 / Mcginleysbar.com