Local History by Seán Beattie


Clonmany Gun Running 1914

Thomas McDonagh, 1916 signatory

In April 1914 Thomas McDonagh addressed a large crowd at Cruckaughrim Hill near Ballyliffin and advised his audience to get armed. Five months later in August rumours were rampant that guns were about to arrive in the peninsula. The RIC were aware of the reports and mounted checkpoints where manpower permitted. Everything that moved was searched – carts, schoolbags, even prams. The Irish National Volunteers at Culdaff, Malin, Carndonagh and Buncrana were on alert. Tension was high as Companies A and B of the Carn Volunteers paraded in the Diamond. The drill sergeant was called Hynes. Others present included Shiels, P. Doherty, Hirrel, Lynch, Lanigan and F. Doherty. At this stage, officers had not been formally appointed. The Cheshire Regiment was on alert at the Marconi Wireless Station at Malin Head in fear of an attack. Reports were prevalent of units off Inishtrahull. Meanwhile, the press reported that between 300 and 500 guns were landed at Tullagh Bay. The figures may be an exaggeration but the rural Volunteers were well armed when the time for action arrived. More to follow.


  1. Exciting stuff !!!Can,t wait for next part of the story…..

  2. What’s the sources for this?

  3. Thousands attended that meeting and it aim was popularising the Irish Volunteer Movement.Thomas McDonagh started the meeting by stating that in a district like Inishowen it was Unnecessary to make an appeal for patriotism . I Wonder if you could say the same thing today . Thomas was executed on May 3rd 1916 for his part in the Easter rising and brought a great sadness no where so than Donegal where he delivered a rousing address .

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