Ard an Ratha (Ardara)

At the head of a lovely ocean inlet, the unpretentious, old-fashioned hamlet of Ard an Rátha (Ardara) is built around the L-shaped intersection of its two main streets. (If you come from Glencolumbkille, expect a scenic drive full of hairpin curves and steep hills as you cross over Glengesh Pass.) For centuries, great cloth fairs were held on the first of every month; cottage workers in the surrounding countryside still provide Ard an Rátha (and County Donegal) with high-quality, handwoven cloths and hand knits. The village was thrust into the spotlight on St. Patrick’s Day 2012 when it set a record for the most St. Patricks gathered in one place. A total of 229 such saints turned up with their crosiers, including visiting saint clones from Europe.

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