Carndonagh B&B hosts Rory and
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
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
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
Riversdale Country House in
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.