The North West of Ireland has, possibly, the strongest connection with the 'old world' vision of Ireland. 25% of all the Irish speaking world live in County Donegal. It's the region, along with the West, that was most affected by mass emigration during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many towns and villages were left deserted by their youth and, consequently, left without any inhabitants. Abandoned stone settlements can still be seen dotted along the countryside. From these grim surroundings, the people that remained harvested a culture aimed at keeping the traditions of Irish music and art alive and well.
While not the birthplace of the W.B Yeats, globally recognised as one of the 20th-century's most important literary figures, County Sligo held a special place in his heart. Having spent his childhood holidays here he fell in love with the area. He is buried in the town of Drumcliffe, County Sligo, and his grave has since become a pilgrimage for his fans.
The majority of art galleries of the Northwest are home to works by local artists. During the summer months it is also common to find exhibitions and installations on tour, both of local, Irish and international artists.
There are not many noteworthy music venues in the Northwest. If you are traveling in the area and would like to experience some live music, your safest option is to head for Letterkenny, County Donegal. Here you'll find An Grianán Theatre and Club Voodoo. An Grianán Theatre is a purpose-built theatre hosting stage plays, comedy acts, live bands and orchestras. Club Voodoo is a bar and nightclub that occasionally hosts live music.