Doagh Famine Village is an incredibly unique eco-tourism attraction on the Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal. Established in 1997 by Pat Doherty, LEADER helped to promote this amazing attraction by contributing marketing finance for signage and brochures.

The tour of the Doagh Famine Village takes you on a journey through the history of Ireland from the famine in the 1840s up to the present day. It’s a fascinating experience featuring life-size displays, interactive exhibits, secret passageways, haunted rooms and a dramatic eviction scene.

Pat created the Village out of a desire to be based at home in Inishowen rather than in Dublin. The venture started small. Every year, something new was added on based on customers’ questions e.g. “how could there be a famine when Ireland is surrounded by the sea?” The exhibits also reflect on history from different religious viewpoints.



The Doagh Famine Village is very environmentally-friendly. The team avoids using electricity when possible. Some of the roof is made of perspex, so no light is needed. They use low wattage bulbs and save the water off the roof of the new building for re-use.

Pat is passionate about sharing the story of the famine: “I’ve always been interested in history. You’ve got to like what you’re at or you’ll not survive at it. If you want to set up a business, go for it. If it doesn’t work out, look to see what’s wrong and find a way to fix it. Don’t give up!”

Doagh Famine Village is very popular among Northern Irish, American and British visitors, as well as school groups. A lot of French tourists come here in the summer.

Pat has great plans for expansion: he intends to build an events centre and a coffee shop. His dream is to grow the Doagh Famine Village into a sustainable eco-tourism business.