Killybegs is an important fishing port at the southern coast of Donegal. It is an event, to see the arrival of the trawlers and how they offload the catch.
Killybegs in Irish is ‘Na Cealla Beaga’ which means little cells due to its association with an early monastic settlement there is evidence of as many as twenty ring forts, most of them near the shore. The town was named in early Christian times, the name Na Cealla Beaga referring to a group of monastic cells.
Killybegs existence as a fishing port is not recent. When the O’Donnell chieftains were known as the “best lord(s) of fish in Ireland” in the sixteenth century, Killybegs was the chief port of Tír Chonaill.
The 6th Century was a lively time in Killybegs. According to the Annals of the Four Masters, the town was ransacked by the notorious Irish pirates the O’Malley’s in 1513 while its men folk were off fighting.
Fishing provided much employment in the past and is still a chief source employment. Another major employer in Killybegs, was Donegal Carpets. At its peak the hand knotted carpet factory employed as many as 80 workers the majority were women. Carpets were made here for Buckingham Palace, the White House, Aras an Uachtarain, and many other prestigious buildings around the world.