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“Bearla agus Failte (Irish language speakers unwelcome)”

Falcarragh Visitor Centre
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Attraction details
Owner description: At the Falcarragh Visitor Centre, you can immerse yourself in the lives of our rural ancestors from Falcarragh and its surrounding region. The Centre, which contains a Coffee Shop, Craft Shop and Tourist Information Desk, is housed in an ex-R.I.C. barracks. Permanent exhibits of the history and culture of the barracks are on display. The Centre is open all year round.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Bearla agus Failte (Irish language speakers unwelcome)”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

I was attracted to the "Sean-bheaeric" visitor centre because of its clean attractive appearance and the extensive Irish Language signage. Irish culture is a strong selling point for visitors to the Donegal Gaeltacht,though the language is clearly in decline in Falcarragh. (I am an Irish language enthusiast) As my wife was not feeling well we called in for a cup of tea, and deliberately chose the centre because of its apparently strong Irish language promotion . As a notice in Irish on the wall invited visitors to use the language, I spoke to the very pleasant young girl who served me "as Gaeilge"( in Irish.) She was clearly embarrassed and explained to me that she did not have much of the language, however she struggled to use the few words she had, for which I would commend her. The tea and scones we ordered arrived commendably quickly, they were quite tasty and reasonable value.

However what happened when I went to pay was unpardonable. I spoke to the middle-aged lady at the till in Irish which she clearly understood. However she seemed to regard use of the language as at best an embarrassment if not a downright nuisance. She answered me at all times in English. As she turned her back on me I called her back and suggested she take down the notice inviting customers to use Irish as it clearly was not welcome.

I have no doubt that funds from Irish Language Organisations were used to fund the restoration of this building and a cavalier,even hostile attitude to Irish speakers is a poor return on their investment . If the centre is interested in using the language as a selling point it would surely not be difficult to train all staff to use the Irish language terms printed in the menu and on a few basic phrases involved. Above all a sea change in attitude to the language from certain of the staff would be welcome. .After my experience in the cafe I did not use the combined Tourist Information and souvenir shop so I cannot comment on it . I guess I deserved what I got for accessing a building which is essentially a shrine to a repressive force who evicted starving peasants and their families and flung them and their belongings on the roadside.

Visited June 2012
11 Thank cruachlainn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Good food, uninspiring exhibition”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2012

We got a great lunch here at a good price - but the exhibition was just a series of information boards in one room. You would spend maybe 20 mins reading them, but that's about it I'm afraid.

So call in if you need to stop somewhere for a bite to eat, but don't pencil in three hours for the exhibition!!

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Spurano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AntSeanBheairic, Tourism and Marketing Officer at Falcarragh Visitor Centre, responded to this review, June 14, 2012
We regret to hear that you were disappointed with the visual exhibition. Unfortunately it would appear that you were not informed of the audio-visual demonstrations and we apologize for this oversight. The centre has produced two videos which tell the history of the area and the history of policing in the area.
These videos, which last approximately one hour apiece, are actively promoted during the summer months but are available all year round. A staff member is usually at hand to advise of this and ensure you get the most from the experience. There are also temporary exhibitions throughout the year in addition to the permanent exhibition. We are sorry to hear that your experience was disappointing and hope that you return to have a more enjoyable one. We will take your feedback on board to ensure that all visitors get the most from the exhibitions and the resources available.
We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your lunch and if you return please allow us to share the fuller experience of the exhibition with you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
52 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Cosy, tasty and stimulating”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2012

A cosy and welcoming community-run coffee shop with a good savoury and sweet selection, and crafts shop, painting for sale and a small exhibition about the police service from the RIC to the present day Garda - all housed in the old Garda Barracks - Worth a visit.

Visited March 2012
2 Thank PaulKernan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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