The Three Patriots of Carndonagh

The THREE PATRIOTS OF CARNDONAGH, CO DONEGAL.   One hundred and fifty years ago, Michael Harkin, the great Carn historian described Carn as a town with 4 intersecting thoroughfares. One of them was Pound Street. Today, Carn a new super highway, the Painter’s Way thanks to Margaret Teresa Doherty and her family, located on the site of Philip Fintan’s shoe shop and Miss Doherty’s dress-making business. So who were the Painters? Margaret Teresa Doherty and her family have made a…

Colgan Heritage Weekend, Carndonagh, Co Donegal 17-19 August 2018

The annual Colgan event will take place in August from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th 2018. Note the change of month which has come about due to the Irish Open being held in Ballyliffin. We are delighted that the Colgan weekend will be Carndonagh’s input to National Heritage Week. Vincent Browne, broadcaster and journalist, has confirmed that he will open the event on Friday 17th August and we are delighted to welcome him to Inishowen. Have your questions ready! The…

The Notorious WASP and Moville

    The Wasp has gone down in history as one of the most infamous British gunboats that ever entered Irish waters. It was lost off the coast of Tory in September 1884 on a mission to collect a few pounds of arrears in rent from islanders on Inistrahull. It was the era of the Land War, when the Land League was in control and led a campaign of non-payment of rent. It was also a decade which saw the…

Montgomery Bible 1845

Rev Samuel Montgomery was an uncle of Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein. The family lived at New Park, Moville and the house is still standing beside the Protestant Church but the short path linking church and rectory no longer exists. Generations of the Montgomerys carved their names on the tree outside the main door and this tree was felled to make way for a small housing development. The tree-lined road leading to the rectory has been widened while the former…

Inishowen 1918 – flu, sea planes and sugar cards.

One hundred years ago, life was very different in Donegal. There was great sorrow in March over the death of John Redmond – who worked tirelessly to bring Home Rule to Ireland but failed. He urged Irishmen to join the British Army in 1914 in the belief that this gesture would be rewarded by the granting of independence! Culdaff Ancient Order of Hibernians passed a vote of sympathy at his passing. Conscription? No thanks The war was now four years…

The Silent Monastic Bells of Inishowen

    The ancient monasteries of Inishowen owned bells which were used in holy ritual and at times of prayer in the monasteries. Some date back to the tenth century. The Bell of St Mura remained in Fahan parish until after the Great Famine when it was sold to a John McClelland of Dungannon. He exhibited it in the Great Exhibition of 1852 in Belfast. It is made of bronze and is encased in a highly-decorated shrine. The bell was…

Carndonagh: the Marshall Monument –

This monument will feature in the Colgan Heritage Weekend in August 2018 – details later. A Recent Discovery The Donagh rectory was once a substantial landmark building commanding a spectacular view across Trabreaga Bay outside Carndonagh. The 200 year old trees are still looking healthy and vibrant but all traces of the structure have disappeared.  Fortunately, one of the rectors has left a memorial skilfully hewn on a massive, whitened whinstone on the farmland that encompasses the rectory. The memorial…

A Clonmany Rector’s Woes: Life in Inishowen in the 1820s

A remarkable insight into the life of a parish curate in the Church of Ireland has recently come to light. It is generally presumed by Irish historians that the clergy had a comfortable living, having a guaranteed income from the tithe. This was a levy on crops and produce which pre-dated the arrival of the Normans. Among tithe payers, the tax was not too popular, as it obliged all denominations to support the Established Church. Apart from such considerations, the…

W. James Doherty, Buncrana, Historian and Engineer, 1834-1898

W. James Doherty wrote ‘Inis-Owen and Tirconnell – being some account of Antiquities and Writer in the County of Donegal’ in 1895. Running to 609 pages, it contains wood engraved illustrations with information on Donegal bells, Cardinal Logue, Donegal poets, the cross of St. Boden, Seán Óg O’Dochartaigh, the Cathach, Isaac Butt, Sir George Ferguson Bowen of Bogay, Newtowncunningham, William Elder of Malin, Bernard Doherty, Josias Porter of Burt, Robert Patterson of Letterkenny and John Joseph Keane of Ballyshannon. Dictionary…

Hart of Muff County Donegal

Doe Castle. For more information on the Hart family see Henry Travers Hart, The Family History Of Hart Of Donegal, published in 1907. Only 40 copies were printed so the book is extremely rare. There is a copy in Letterkenny library. George Vaughan Hart carved his initials G.V.H on the walls of Doe Castle- a good example of historical graffiti. The main family seat was at Kilderry at Muff and they also owned a two-storey lodge on the border in the…

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