Local History by Seán Beattie


Clonmany Heritage Walk

Margaret Farren has a firm grip on Clonmany history.

Clonmany celebrated Heritage Week with a history walk through the village. The sun shone down and 30 of us were enthralled by Marius Harkin’s knowledge of his native place. The tree growing in front of the Hall is a Laburnum, the only survivor of 4 planted many years ago. Marius spoke at length about the work of Fr. Hugh Gallagher in bringing movies to the hall. Fr. Gallagher had spend time in San Diego, California and brought his ideas with him. I knew him well and travelled on the continent with him twice and his Super 8 camera. At the Garda barracks – which opens one hour per day on 3 days only –  we examined photos of the Inniskillings marching to the war and an RIC sergeant giving the salute. After Mass meetings were held in front of the barracks and Michael Davitt addressed a meeting at this spot in 1900.Marius described Gallans as an hotel ahead of its time  -visitors had the use of a boat on the Meentiagh Lakes for fishing. The Austrian Jewish refugee, Ludwig Schenkel, dined there and a photo of the dining room can be seen in my book DONEGAL IN OLD PHOTOS  taken in 1958. The history of the village is well outlined in wall plaques. The Market House, built by the Loughreys, is in fine condition after its restoration. I came away thinking that the Festival Committee should commission a pageant to bring the history of the village to life, starting with none other that that celebrated tourist, Colmcille.

The University of Sunderland is carrying out an archaeological survey of Cloncha, Carrowmore and Goorey Fort. More details later.

John Nee gave two talks today in Greencastle on the Monneydaragh Spitfire and the Liberator that crashed in the Foyle. He had the original Spitfire bullets on display. Watch Dig WW2 on BBC this week for more information. (August 26-29 2012).

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