Meet our food champions...

Mary McGettigan

We have things that are normal to us but amazing to others. People don’t think they have something special, but if you can get them talking about it, they realise that they do.

Mary McGettigan

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Mary McGettigan

Image of Mary McGettiganCreating a food community for everyone | Donegal Town

Mary McGettigan’s pride for Donegal Town is electric and it drives all of her activities. Couple this pride with a passion for food and a belief in Donegal’s food tourism potential, and you get a powerhouse; a driving force of Donegal’s food community.

While not from a food background or profession herself, Mary’s husband is a butcher and owner of Michael McGettigan & Son butcher in Donegal town. Married since age 20, Mary has spent most of her life in the business.

Mary has always been heavily involved in the local business community and has been a director of Donegal Town Community Chamber for 17 years. During a time when Donegal had been hit hard by recession, Mary visited Taste of Dublin to collect an award for their sausages. She was inspired to set-up a food festival to attract people to her home town and A Taste of Donegal was born.

2015 is the event's seventh year running; in year one it attracted in 7,000 visitors, by year six, attendance was at 25,000 and 120 stallholders took part. The event has also spawned a seasonal sibling, ‘A little Taste of Christmas in Donegal Town’.

What is perhaps the most special about the Donegal Food Festival is the massive cross-community support. Mary’s infectious enthusiasm, can-do attitude, and down to earth approach has ensured that the festival has the full support of the town, is run on an entirely volunteer basis. Mary herself is a volunteer, and involves local community groups encompassing sports, school children, young people and the elderly. “The whole town takes great pride in the festival, everyone owns it”.