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Carndonagh B&B hosts Rory and Erica McIlroy 13.07.18

by Linda McGrory

AN Inishowen guesthouse hit by the freak flood last year got a Major boost after it was booked out for an entire week by top golfer Rory McIlroy.
Golf's four-time Major champion hosted the recent Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in County Donegal and chose Riversdale Country House as his base with wife Erica for the week-long event.
The guesthouse is set on a working farm in Carndonagh, a 10-minute drive from the championship links course in Ballyliffin.
It is owned and run by husband and wife Sharon and Wilson Moore and was a finalist in the Irish B&B of the Year Awards in 2017.
The McIlroys booked the classy six-bedroom accommodation last year, many months in advance of the top sporting event.
Riversdale offers its guests peace and quiet and most importantly, for its recent high-profile guests, the privacy afforded by a long driveway and rolling countryside for miles around.
Riversdale Country House owner, Sharon Moore, with guests Rory and Erica McIlroy and four of her five children, from left, Holly, Bethany, Aimee and Jack. Soaking up all the attention is the Moores’ Bernese mountain dog Jessie.
Scores of farm animals mill around the property including pot-bellied pigs, donkeys grazing in the paddocks and ducks and geese cooling off in the pond.
And it appears the family’s female Bernese mountain dog, Jessie, was also a huge hit with the McIlroys, who catered for themselves during their low-key stay.
The Moores’ family farm, like many others, was hit when a freak summer flood deluged Ireland’s most northerly peninsula last August.
Several thousands of euro in damage was caused to the driveway and surrounding fields and some animals had to be shepherded to safety. Luckily, no damage was done to the beautiful B&B itself.
Local rumours had abounded that McIlroy had paid thousands of euro to book the entire guesthouse and another farm property for his staff for seven nights.
Riversdale Country House in Carndonagh.
Mother-of-five Sharon, conscious of the couples’ privacy, was strictly tight-lipped about the transaction. She said she had also heard different figures, but none of them were correct.
“It was brilliant, a fine experience to have them here,” she said yesterday as business returned to normal. “Rory and Erica were absolutely lovely guests. It was a privilege to have them stay with us and they had a super time,” she added.
The tournament which attracted some 100,000 visitors to the area, finished last Sunday with a stunning play-off victory for Scotsman Russell Knox on a score of -14. Tournament host McIlroy (29) had to settle for tied 28th on a score of -2.
But the McIlroys clearly had an enjoyable stay down on the Donegal farm.
They happily posed for keepsake photos and lavished the family with souvenirs upon departure including signed baseball hats, golf gloves, official programmes and Rory’s Ballyliffin course guide.
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