Cist Graves of Trabreaga, Malin

Seán Beattie Sixty years ago this September coming (1961), a group of Council workers were working in a quarry set in a dune landscape, 200 yards behind Lagg Presbyterian church. The quarry can still be seen today from the church grounds. Working with shovels, they came across 3 rectangular box-like stone structures covered by a large flagstone. On opening the first, they found a male skeleton lying in a crouched position; a second slab was raised to reveal a female…

The Church of the Sacred Heart, Carndonagh, Co Donegal 1945-2020: 75 Years of Modern Worship

– Seán Beattie Built in the Romanesque style of Wicklow granite, the Church dominates the landscape of the plain of Maghtochair, an ancient sub-kingdom of the peninsula of Inishowen. Some 1,500 years ago, St Patrick founded a monastery here which became part of the town name. Evidence of Christian worship has been continuous since then, with the Donagh Cross, the Marigold Stone, Mass Rock and the pillar stones standing as emblems of the faith. The ClergyIt was against this background…

Culdaff – the Tomb of the Unknown Sailor

Seán Beattie On 9 January 1918, the Beagle class destroyer, the RACOON, went down off Inishtrahull island, having ran foul of rocks off the treacherous Garvan Islands. The minesweeper ventured into Inishtrahull Sound, between the mainland and the island on its way to engage in patrol duties in Lough Swilly, having sailed from Liverpool. She was well armed, with quick firing 12-pounder guns and torpedo tubes. Of the crew of 95, 17 were buried at Rathmullan and others were interred…

Glengad and the White House

It was the great Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill who said that all politics is local. For the population of Wilmington, Delaware, USA, it is a moment of truth, as it was here that the President-elect, Joe Biden took his first steps into the political arena following a Council election in 1970.  A descendant of an Inishowen family also became involved in politics in Wilmington, a town of 70,000 people, about this time. His name was William “Bill” McLaughlin,…

Some Hallowe’en Customs in Inishowen

– Seán Beattie Hallowe’en was an important marker in the year. Adults and children respected the advent of winter and the change in the year was noted in several ways. Children dressed up in over-sized clothes belonging to the parents or grandparents and visited every house in the neighbourhood. As such visits were anticipated, most houses had a good supply of apples, nuts and breads ready for distribution. The apples came from the local orchard and every village had its…

Northburg (Greencastle) and a Family Feud

In 1555/6, Calvagh O’Donnell was engaged in bitter warfare with his father Manus O’Donnell over the Lordship of Donegal. It is often said that no dispute is as bitter as an internal family battle and the consequences of this particular personal squabble had long-lasting consequences. Backed by a team of “enforcers”, Calvagh sailed to Scotland to get assistance form Archibald, Fourth Earl of Argyle. It was known that he had a nice selection of modern artillery which could be acquired…

Inishtrahull Revisited 2020

This summer there has been a revival of interest in the island, thanks to the service provided by the yacht AMAZING GRACE and INISHOWEN BOATING.  The arrival of a pod of dolphins along the sea route has been an added attraction. In the records relating to the island, there are no reports of the presence of dolphins although seals have been around for many years in the vicinity of the island. Nicholas Worthington of the Inishowen Initiative is preparing an…

New look website

Welcome to my redesigned website. It provides easier access to my previous posts which can be searched under “placename” or “topic”. I will shortly add a bibliography of all my historical research which has been published in 21 articles in Donegal Annual, the Journal of County Donegal Historical Society. My first contribution was on the Great Famine and the Inishowen workhouse in Carndonagh in 1980. It strikes me that the research process has changed greatly over the past 40 years.…

Donegal Annual 2020 Now Available

The Donegal Annual 2020 is now available. Get your copy in your local bookshop, via my online store, or visit donegalhistory.com to place an order. Table of Contents Cenél nÉoghain in Patrician Hagiography – Dr. Thomas Charles-Edwards Two Ballyshannon Philanthropists and their Legacy – Anthony Begley Donegal and the Victoria Cross – Richard Doherty Kate McCarry: Letterkenny’s First Woman Urban Councillor – Dr. Angela Byrne Viking Impact in the Inishowen Peninsula – Darren McGettigan Rev. Edward Glackin 1806-1896: Famine Relief…

Culdaff Village 100 years ago

Download a PDF of Culdaff Census 1901-1911 I have uploaded the 1901 and 1911 Census for Culdaff village which shows how life in the village has changed over 100 years ago. Many names are still there. Following the very popular Facebook page OUR CULDAFF, set up by Jennifer Doherty, would readers please upload any old photos of family, friends or relations who lived in the village in 1911? Here is a summary of the occupations in 1911 – 3 shoemakers,…

%d bloggers like this: