Blue Plaque unveiled in honour of Jack Crawford (Carndonagh), 1847-1917

Jack Crawford’s story is stranger than fiction – the story of a boy who was born in Carn in 1847 in poor circumstances during the Great Famine and who went on to achieve fame as Chief Scout or reconnaissance officer of the US army. When he died in New York 100 years ago, his name was a household word. His parents were Scottish so the Ulster Scots connection is very strong. He was baptised in Hillhead Presbyterian Church on 4…

Carndonagh’s Most Artistic Building-1896

CARNDONAGH’S  “most artistic building” It was built by James Gallagher and Sons in 1896 at the top of Chapel St. in Carn. Gallaghers were based in Moville and the property was ownedby the Harkin brothers. It earned its title because of its cornices, mouldings, 2 plate glass windows, pilasters by Fairmans of Derry, fancy woven lattice work, and ironwork. The report went on to describe Carn as a “thriving little town”. The architect was J. Nolan. The building was 56…

Banking on the past in Carndonagh

Exactly 150 years ago this year, the people of Carndonagh and district were enjoying an upsurge in prosperity. The Great Famine was 20 years behind them and the rural economy was making good progress. In the picture above, the dominant building on the left is the Northern Banking Company, the first commercial bank to open in the town. Post Office Savings Banks, a Loan Fund and agricultural banks would follow in the district. The bank was established following the presentation…

Carndonagh 1929

To mark the opening of the Sixth Colgan Heritage Weekend starting on Thursday 25 June, here is a picture of the town from 1929. The shop at the centre is BRODBIN AND SONS which was later Donagh Stores and is now DEIRDRES. A brief history of the business will be displayed in the window during the week when shop keepers will turn their windows in mini museums. Note the petrol pump outside Gillespies which sells sewing machines, indicating that the…

Mrs Binns, Carndonagh, died 1894

                                      The Binns family lived at Hopefield. The house was demolished to make way for an extension to the Community School Carndonagh. An outstanding and renowned citizen who deserves to be remembered. See Donegal in Old Photographs, 2004 by S Beattie. (Sean Beattie)

CARNDONAGH workhouse 1869 etc.

The Colgan Heritage Week-end will have a special talk on the Great Famine to be given by Mr Goodbody, whose family was active in famine relief in the 1840s in the county. As the famine waned, life in the workhouse improved. For Easter Sunday 1869, the Guardians treated the inmates to a celebratory Easter lunch consisting of fresh meat, with liberal amounts of ale and a ration of tobacco for those who wanted it. Breakfast was wholesome with boiled eggs,…

Carndonagh Church Museum

Today I visited one of Donegal’s smallest museums in the church at Carndonagh. Pictures show one of the beautiful oil lamps rescued from the old church. It is similar to the lamps in the Protestant church in Culdaff. Fr. Bonner is pictured with Eamonn de Valera outside Hopefield, home of the great business family of Binns but sadly this house was demolished some decades ago to make room for students in the Community School. The old work stations have survived…

Carndonagh Workhouse Rifles

As the county was flooded with arms by 1917, nationalists were faced with problems of storage. The RIC became more active following the 1916 executions. The Irish National Volunteers were meeting regularly throughout Inishowen. The Culdaff branch objected strongly to house raids and military intervention at a meeting in August 1917. Sinn Fein established  a new branch in Desertegney and the United Irish League held meetings in Culdaff, Clonmany and Carndonagh in support of John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary…

Enid Blyton’s Carndonagh connections

Enid Mary Blyton, who was born on 11-08-1897 in Dulwich and died on 28-11-1968 in London, was one of the world’s greatest writers of children’s books and was very popular in Ireland. Both her father and grandfather were called Thomas Carey Blyton, the Carey being handed down from the Carys of Tiernaleague House, Carndonagh, now occupied by the Shorthall family. It was the custom among the gentry to retain a maternal relation in the family name. Enid’s great-great- grandmother was Mary…

Landed Estate Sale Catalogue, Inishowen 1879 – Carndonagh, Clonmany, Ballyliffin and Buncrana

In 1879, several thousand acres of land were offered for sale to tenants in West Inishowen. The lots below contain interesting maps of the estates and townlands that were listed in the catalogue. This is an important document in the history of Donegal landed estates, as tenants who bought land in this sale avoided involvement in the Land War of the next decade.  There is also very interesting information about the townlands and their special features contained in the catalogue,. This…

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