T: 074 91 27056 (Letterkenny)/ 074 97 25432 (Donegal Town)  E: info@dldc.org


Donegal Local Development CLG (DLDC) as Implementing Partner to the Donegal LCDC, are always delighted to support communities in a range of ways through the LEADER Programme. LEADER can help in many ways including assisting to put plans around your ideas, providing funding for studies as well as enabling capital funding for projects.

One such LEADER supported project enabled Francis and Deirdre Connolly to realise their vision and develop a Glamping Site on their farm in Ardara, Co. Donegal.

When they approached DLDC in 2018, they were directed to the LEADER Team which implements the Programme on behalf of the Donegal Local Community Development Committee (LCDC). They worked closely with Rural Development Manager Frank Kelly and LEADER Project Officer Laura Martin to submit an application for the development of “Owenea River Rest”. In January 2019, Francis and Deirdre were awarded €97,744.71 towards the development of the project. 

According to Frank Kelly, DLDC are delighted to be associated with the Owenea River Rest Tourism project and were pleased to assist in enabling LEADER funding get approved for this new rural tourism business. In delivering LEADER, the approach is always to prioritise projects which assist in diversifying the Rural Economy, and in turn, generate economic activity while helping to sustain and create employment in rural areas. He added that “this project is a very good example of how LEADER funding can improve and benefit a local area like Ardara by attracting more people to visit and which in turn will have a positive knock on effect in the local area. 

The project was funded under the theme Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation, under the sub-theme of Rural Tourism. As a Farm Diversification Project, Francis was able to avail of a voluntary labour contribution as a farmer which is of great benefit to projects like this one.

The 2-acre site has now successfully been converted into a Holiday Park with four individually designed luxury self-contained cabins (Moonrise Lodge, Mountain View, Sunset Haven and River Rest) complete with bathrooms, kitchens and living areas. One of the cabins is also wheelchair accessible. This site also has three spaces for Campervans and it will also house a kids play area, barbeque facilities and car parking. The Glamping Site is based in Tullycleave a very popular tourist location, close to Ardara and Portnoo and offers so much history, heritage, adventure and scenery, you’ll never fit it all in one visit! The 2-acre site allows for the visitors to have plenty of space/privacy and also have access to a wide variety of attractions locally.

To find out more:

  • https://oweneariverrest.com/ – Visit their website 
  • Owenea River Rest – Like them on Facebook 
  • oweanea_river_rest – Follow them Instagram 

Keep an eye out for updates when restrictions are lifted for a quiet getaway in a beautiful rural Donegal location with plenty of walks, historical sites and beaches to see!

LEADER is a rural development programme co-funded by the EU which operates a locally-led, bottom-up, approach to meeting the needs of local communities and businesses. The programme supports private enterprises and community groups in rural areas. LEADER forms part of Ireland’s multi-annual Rural Development Programme which is co-financed by the EU and is part of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). Find out more about the LEADER Programme and the supports it offers on the DLDC website www.dldc.org

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