Lough Swilly Steamboat Company

The Lough Swilly Steamboat Company provided services between Rathmullan and the pier at Fahan. It was owned by the Lough Swilly Railway Company and was designed as a support service for the Derry-Buncrana line. In the 1900s potatoes formed the bulk of the goods carried, together with agricultural produce, poultry, eggs and textiles. Farm produce was carried further to the English markets particularly Liverpool. John McFarland was the business brain behind the operation but he ran into difficulties in the…

Ballyharry School

There has been a school in Ballyharry since the mid-1800s at a place called Cnoc an Amhraic. A new school was later built along the Culdaff-Carrowmena road. Among the teachers who taught here was Master McBride, father of Judge Sean McBride. Brendan Bonner taught here also. He was an announcer on Raidio na Gaeltachta and also acted as a translator in the Dail. In the mid-1850s an inspector reported that there was only one child in the school who spoke…

Kinnego House overlooking Kinnego Bay

A member of the Nicholson family of Falmore House lived at Kinnego House over looking Kinnego Bay. The family seat was Balloo House, near Bangor. James Steele Nicholson, owner of over 6,000 acres in Inishowen , records his visits to the Glen, as people called it, in the mid-1800s. It is also likely that Bishop Montgomery, father of the Field-Marshall, was a visitor here as he was a keen hunstman and did a lot of hunting in the Kinnego Bay…

Ballyliffin “longhouse”1937

The Ballyliffin longhouse is unusual for north Donegal and is normally associated with east Ulster and in particular north Antrim. The roofing is traditional flax which is common in Inishowen. Windows are typical 6-pane in the front of the house although the side gable seems to have a larger window. With a fireplace at both ends, the kitchen is on the right and the sitting-room and bedroom are on the left. Sleeping accommodation would be available in all three rooms…

Donegal Photographs on Flikr

I have been looking at the new National Library collection of photographs on Flikr. Up to page 30 I found 5 relating to the county – fishermen at Ardara, Bishop McNeely, Lough Derg, CDB nurse on Arranmore and Tory scene. There is no known copyright so I downloaded one as a trial. Unfortunately, I found it blurred when I opened it up to a larger size although I did manage to copy and paste correctly. The NLI normally charges hefty…

Colgan Heritage Weekend plans

In addition to events announced earlier, there will be a carnival parade in Carndonagh on Saturday with the award winning carnival group. Forthcoming fundraising events include a quiz in Simpsons, a coffee morning in April and a charity shop in the last two weeks of April. Donations welcome. Accommodation in the peninsula will be booked out in the last weekend in June with a number of other international events taking place – Golf Open, Yacht Race and International Fiddle Festival.

Donegal Annual 2012

Donegal Annual issue no. 64 –  2012 will be available from November 2012. At this point in time, February 2012,  I have the following submitted: Buncrana’s Tip O’Neill connections; Muckish glass; Ribbonmen in the Finn Valley; A Donegal abduction; Cohens of Ballyshannon; Fishing heritage; St. Isidore ; William O’Doherty MP of Carndonagh and Derry. Five more are in preparation including Modern Architecture in Donegal; Donegal’s Titanic passenger; A history of Fahan buildings and more to follow.    

Desperately seeking William

William O’Doherty’s parents came from Carndonagh and he became an MP in 1900 in the Khaki election. Five years later he collapsed in the House of Parliament AGED 37 and was buried in Carndonagh. I am researching his life but unfortunately he is not related to any of the Doherty/O’Doherty families of Carndonagh. If you can help me locate some of his family connections I would be grateful as I am hoping to find some photographs. He married Margaret Mitchell…

A Social and Cultural Atlas of Donegal, Cork University Press, 2013

A prestigious new publication about Donegal will hit the bookshelves in the spring of 2013 called A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ATLAS OF DONEGAL.  Over sixty well-known writers, historians, academics, poets and musicians have written a total of ninety chapters featuring all aspects of the social and cultural history of the county: archaeology, flora and fauna, heritage, food and diet, agriculture, music, history, new poetry, climate, geology, mapping, wartime, emigration , maritime and a host of other topics. I have been…

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…

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