Local History by Seán Beattie


Colgan Heritage Weekend

The Colgan Heritage Weekend in 2012 will feature Changing Times. This year is the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Irish Folklore Commission’ s National School folklore collection project. In every school throughout the country, senior pupils interviewed older people about a wide range of subjects: customs, cures, habits, weather signs, jokes, schooldays, travel, work, farming, fair days, fairies, animals, farm implements, crops, seasons,etc. Many of the interviewees were born around the time of the Great Famine before much of our folklore disappeared so there were some interesting stories collected. All the manuscripts were forwarded to the Commission’s head office in Dublin. They were bound and can now be seen in UCD. Some of the contributors will be present during the weekend in Carndonagh.

The committee will have all the records from the five schools in the parish. At the moment, there are at least five of the original contributors still alive and we hope to contact them and present them with a copy of their submission which they made at school in 1937. If you have a relation who attended one of the schools in the parish, this will be of interest. Schools in Carndonagh had a great reputation in the 1930s and sometimes pupils cycled from outside villages to Carn to improve their grades or to prepare for public examinations such as the Preparatory Examination for teacher training.

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