We’re based in the village of Carrick, at the foot of Sliabh Liag in Donegal’s South West Gaeltacht area – a part of Ireland with some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland. The area is well known for its hospitality, and travellers always speak about the warm welcome they receive here. It’s a part of Ireland where the Gaelic language and local customs and traditions are cherished. Traditonal Irish music is alive and well in this region, and in the local pubs and concert venues you’ll hear old and young play lovely local tunes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Séamus Gallagher set up Ireland by Bike in the winter of 2009 and our first season was in 2010. Séamus comes from Kiltyclogher in County Leitrim. He moved here in 1986 when he came to work as a metalwork teacher in the local school. Some years later, he worked as a tiler in our locality and in surrounding parishes, however his heart was always in the outdoors. Séamus is a runner and a cyclist, and over the years he has probably run or cycled on every road and hill in this part of Donegal.
I’m Nora Gallagher (married to Seamus) and I come from just down the road, (in Teelin). Since I was a child I’ve loved walking and climbing up the hills, and since I first learned to cycle on an old bike belonging to my brother, I’ve been hooked. Over the years Séamus has encouraged me to spend a lot more time out in the wild and lovely parts of our parish of Glencolmcille and the surrounding parishes of Kilcar and Ardara. I’m sure it was this lifestyle that inspired him to set up the business – so that our family could spend a lot of time out and about in nature and also share our experience with others.
In our first year, we started off with just 6 bikes and we welcomed fourteen clients. Those first people gave us fabulous feedback. Thanks to their encouragement, we continued to expand the business, welcoming more and more guests every year for an Ireland by Bike experience.
Our sons, Dominic and Brian, are now involved in the business on a part-time basis. During our busy season, we are fortunate to have the services of Cormac (as a bike mechanic) and Bríd (who helps with our customer services.) It warms our hearts to see so many people come back to tour with us again and again. Some people like to do exactly the same tour they did before, while others like to try out all of our different tours.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our tours were cancelled for the 2020 season. Unfortunately, businesses the world over have had the same experience this year. As we had extra time on our hands this summer, we decided to do something we’ve been thinking of doing since we started using e-bikes for our tours 7 years ago, i.e., sell electric bikes under the Donegal E-Bikes name.
Our bike tour clients are forever telling us how great the electric bikes are and how happy they were that they chose to use them for their cycling holiday – especially when they were tackling the many hills of Donegal! Using an e-bike instead of an ordinary hybrid bike means that people can spend the whole day cycling and really exploring a wide area without being totally shattered at the end of it.
We also offer a professional BIKE REPAIR SERVICE and a very popular BIKE RENTAL SERVICE.
CONTACT US if you’d like more info. We’d love to hear from you!