Donegal County Council

Thousands of children in Donegal were laughing, dancing and listening during Wainfest 2017

Celebrating 21 years of Wainfest, this arts and books festival is a week long festival in October of drama, storytelling, music, dance, theatre, film, reading and science for children. Wainfest provides a great opportunity to promote interest in children’s reading and to create an awareness of the value of reading. 

This festival is well established as a major focus for Donegal County Council’s Cultural Services which comprises Libraries, Arts, Museums and Archives and Heritage Services. Over 100 activities took place in libraries, the Regional Cultural Centre, the Museum and a range of other venues. 

This partnership approach with local businesses is another great dimension for the festival. Donegal County Council are committed to promoting sustainable economic development and job creation.

The Senior Librarian with Donegal Library Services describes literacy is an important life-skill which encourages learning and social and economic participation.  In fact reading for pleasure has been found to be more important in children's successes than education and social class.  Wainfest is a major element of the Council’s Right to Read Plan.  

"Books, reading and literacy are highly profiled in Wainfest and I am delighted that we are able to bring authors of Shane Hegarty's calibre to Donegal as part of the Wainfest programme.  Shane is an Irish children's author who has written the very successful Darkmouth series and rumours have it that one of his books is to be made into a Hollywood movie.  So it is great for the children of Donegal to have the opportunity to meet their hero."

Donna added "I am proud of the fact that we have organised 119 events across 34 venues and that thousands of children will be laughing, dancing, listening, making and learning during the 8 days of Wainfest.  We have expanded the programme to include 31 family events so that mums and dads can experience the magic that is Wainfest.  Unleash the Magic is our theme this year and that's what we plan to do with our stimulating, entertaining and diverse programme." 

For more information on Wainfest visit