There are exciting times ahead for a group of four business people from a variety of sectors in Northern Ireland who have come together to acquire and operate Corcreggan Mill, a well-established B&B and glamping business based in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal.
Ciaran Sheehan of Clarendon Executive, Siubhan O’Connor from PwC, Adrian McLaughlin, former general manager of the Merchant Hotel and his wife Alison, have big plans for Corcreggan Mill and see the potential to put their own stamp on this well-known collection of eclectic and unique accommodation options.
Since purchasing Corcreggan Mill back in 1089, Brendan Rohan, a retired Commandant from the Irish Defence Forces, has transformed itfrom the site of a dilapidated mill, to a quirky and fun place to stay for those touring the Wild Atlantic Way.
The venue opened in 1990 with an emphasis on the tasteful and authentic renovation of the old, stone buildings on the 5-acre site, to provide an authentic holiday experience for all guests. The 18th century Mill House was totally rebuilt during the 90s from its three remaining walls and fitted with antique finishes to preserve its old-world charm.
Siubhan O’Connor said: “I’ve long had close links with this part of Donegal, going right back to our family holidays as children and I have continued to holiday with my own children in the area many times in recent years. It therefore wasn’t hard to see the amazing potential of Corcreggan Mill and the diversity of options it offers visitors to this part of Ireland. Brendan has created something very special on this site and you can feel the magic as you walk around, so we were delighted to have the opportunity to purchase the business. We look forward to raising its profile as a special and unique holiday destination.”
Adrian McLaughlin said: “We believe that Corcreggan Mill has room to add to the service previously on offer. Guests can expect to enjoy fantastic pizzas cooked in our wood fired stove and a selection of wine available in the newly revamped Wine Loft. We also recognize the importance of the food and beverage offerings and will be providing a new vegan friendly “country style” kitchen in the B&B. In doing that, we are keen to support local employment and source only from local suppliers. And you can’t get more local than our self-service on-site chicken coup where glampers can source their morning eggs. We will also be creating step by step recipe cards for our glamping kitchen which we hope will encourage families to cook together.
“Also in the pipeline are some new campfire locations with sheltered, comfortable areas for our guests to sit and enjoy being close to nature – and away from technology! Ambient outside lighting will allow for a chilled-out atmosphere and adding pathways to the glamping tents will improve the presentation and overall experience of the glamping area.”
Ciaran Sheehan describes the move as a “long term investment” which will build on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way and the significant growth in holiday makers who are seeking more experiential holiday options.
Ciaran said: “While we have already started adding to what is currently on offer, we also want to bring the original mill back into use by exploring ways in which this historical building could become a vital community and cultural amenity. We are currently working with a number of industry experts on how this can be achieved in a way that adds to the wider development of the greater Dunfanaghy and Falcarragh areas. We are keen to ensure that the facility is eco-friendly and ethical in its operations so we will be exploring ways to the minimise our carbon footprint by generating our own energy and utilising the stream which runs through the site.”
The new team also want to inject some authentic Irish culture into the experience at Corcreggan Mill and as a fluent Gaeilgeoir and trad fiddle-player, Siubhán O’Connor is keen to ensure that Corcreggan is a hub of bi-lingualism and traditional music.
She added: “My own name stems from nearby Rann na Feirste and having been raised through the medium of Irish back home in County Louth, I am keen to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where visitors feel comfortable speaking, or even learning ‘cúpla focail’. I also come from a well-known family of traditional singers and musicians so there will be plenty of traditional music and song echoing through the stone walls of the Mill House.”
Former owner Brendan said: “I am delighted to be handing over the baton of Corcreggan Mill to such a creative and capable team of professionals. I have poured my heart and soul into this amazing little corner of Donegal and am excited to be handing over the reins and seeing what the next chapter of the Corcreggan story will bring. The guys have asked me to continue to do a weekly walking tour of the locality for the guests of Corcreggan Mill which I am delighted to do – but retirement awaits and I am most excited about my upcoming visit to Spain, to complete the Camino walk and raise funds for Cancer Care West, and to spending more quality time with my wife Marina. I’m relieved that the right people, with the best possible mix of business acumen, genuine Irish hospitality and a deep love for the property, for the language and for the local area, have finally arrived to bring what had been my dream, to fruition as only they can.”
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