Festival highlight on the Lighthouse

DONAGHADEE Community Development Association has launched the annual summer festival starting with a programme of events to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from June 2 to 5.

Alongside a Town Crier and kids entertainment by the very popular Aldo, the opening day sees a performance of ‘Diu Regnare’ from the balcony on the lighthouse.

As the sun sets at 9.09pm ‘Diu Regnare’ will be played on bagpipes from central locations right across the Commonwealth but it is unlikely any other performances will be from a more iconic setting than the performance planned at Donaghadee lighthouse. 

Stepping up to play this specially written piece will be 14 year-old Shaun William Townsley, a member of Cleland Memorial Pipe Band and also Campbell College Pipes and Drums.  Shaun said: “Diu Regnare is quite an intricate piece of music written by Stuart Liddell and it’s a great honour to be given the opportunity to play it and participate in this worldwide event.”  Referring to the height of the lighthouse he joked: “It’s quite a climb to the top of the lighthouse – I hope I have got my breath back in time to play!”  

Events continue on Friday right through to Sunday with music at Lemon’s Wharf including Gregg Donley and Diamond Dave (Friday evening); Donaghadee Fife and Drumming Club and Una Breslin’s Irish dancers, the Community Choir and ‘“This Way Up’ (Saturday afternoon and evening) before finishing on Sunday afternoon with a performance from Newtownards Silver Band followed by The Soda Popz accompanied by Ballroom Blitz.   

Speaking at the launch, John Caldwell, Honorary Secretary of the Association said: “The Platinum Jubilee Celebrations will hopefully get our Summer Festival off to a good start.  The past couple of years have been difficult due the pandemic and now things have eased we are hoping to see the community out and about. Our aim in organising the summer festival is to give everyone a sense of community and at the same time support our local traders by bringing footfall into the town centre.  We are very grateful to everyone who help make the festival possible, our volunteers, organisations putting on events, our sponsors and of course Ards and North Down Borough Council.”

Events have been organised right through the month of June with History talks and tours, Coastal rowing, BMX, a performance of Sam Cree’s “Don’t Tell the Wife”, St Anne’s PS Fair, Lifeboat Day, a Beach Race organised by Knock Motorcycle Club and a display of supercars on the harbour.  Full details a programme available from local shops and also on