Donegal's premier third-level institution, the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), is located in the town, as are Saint Eunan's College, Highland Radio, and the only Hindu temple in the Republic of Ireland.
Although the O'Cannons were the last ruling chieftains in Tír Conaill, no evidence of forts or castles belonging to the clan exists in or around the Letterkenny district (leading to speculation on a possible derivation of the name Letterkenny: from the Irish 'Leitir Ceann-Fhoinn', meaning 'Fairheaded Hillside').
The O'Cannons are allegedly descended from Conn of the Hundred Battles and Niall of the Nine Hostages, two of Ireland's most famous Kings.
The O'Cannons have been described as 'Ancient Princes of Tír Connaill' and 'Valiant Chiefs'.
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is the largest and most populous urban settlement in County Donegal.
Its English name is derived from the Irish name Leitir Ceanainn, meaning "Hillside of the O'Cannons" – the O'Cannons being the last of the ancient chieftains of Tír Conaill.
With a population of 19,588, The modern urban centre of Letterkenny began as a market town at the start of the 17th century, during the Plantation of Ulster.
An ancient castle once stood near where the Cathedral of St. Columba, Donegal's only Roman Catholic cathedral, stands today.
Letterkenny Castle, built in 1625, was located south of Mt Southwell on Castle Street.