Donegal (Don-eh-gawl'; ' fort of the stranger'), a seaport in the south of Donegal county, at the Eske's mouth, on a shallow creek of Donegal Bay (a valuable fishing-ground, especially for herrings), 157 miles NW. of Dublin. It has ruins of a castle and of a Franciscan monastery (1474), and near it is a chalybeate spa. Pop. 1213.


Donegal, a maritime county of Ulster, washed by the Atlantic on the north and west. Its greatest length is 84 miles, its greatest breadth, 41; area, 1870 sq. m. The bold and rugged coastline (166 miles long) is indented by many deep bays and loughs, and fringed with numerous islands. The surface generally is mountainous, moory, and boggy, with many small lakes and rivers; here is excellent fishing. The highest hill, Erigal, rises 2462 feet, and several others exceed 2000 feet. The largest stream is the Foyle, running 16 miles north-east into Lough Foyle. Lough Derg is the largest lake. Beautiful granites, unsurpassed freestone, and white marble are utilised. The climate in most parts is moist, raw, and boisterous. There are manufactures of woollens, worsted stockings, worked muslins, and kelp, and extensive fisheries. Pop. (1841) 296,448; (1901) 173,625 - 76 per cent. Catholics. Donegal sends four members to parliament. The towns are small, the chief being Lifford, the county town, Ballyshannon, Letter-kenny, Rathmelton, and Donegal. Till 1612, when James I. planted Ulster with English and Scotch settlers, the south part of Donegal was called Tyrconnel, and belonged to the O'Donnels. Donegal has many ruins and traces of forts, religious houses, and castles, and of the palace of the North Irish kings on a hill near Lough Swilly. Near Derry is the coronation-stone of the ancient Irish kings. Tory Isle, towards the entrance to Lough Swilly, contains the remains of seven churches, two stone crosses, and a round tower.