Launch of Raphoe Miscellany 2

Dr John Silke has just launched his new miscellany on church history. The launch took place at the Raphoe Diocesan Archives in Letterkenny and Bishop Boyce did the honours. (He retires shortly). He referred to the large number of saints from Donegal mentioned in the book. St Buaden of Culdaff is described as a  cousin of Colmcille. His feast day is July 22 nd. Michael O’Cleary listed 40 saints from Cenel Conaill but there may be 54, and 14 of…

Malin Head Coast Guard and the SS Athenia 1939

The SS Athenia was one of the first British ships sunk by a Nazi U-boat in the opening days of World War 2. It was built in Glasgow in 1922 and carried 1,418 passengers. It was attacked on September 1, 1939 at a distance of 200 miles from Inishtrahull on a voyage from Glasgow to Montreal. 128 passengers lost their lives among them 28 US citizens. The faint signal of the distressed ship was picked up at Malin Head and…

Easter at Carrowmore

The monastery at Carrowmore was one of the great Christian sites of the early Irish church. Of the many learned men who prayed there, the name of Maeliosa O Brolchain is remembered today. Easter was celebrated in Irish monasteries as the principal spiritual event of the liturgical year and Maeliosa wrote hymns and prayers to celebrate it. He was the grandson of Brolchan of Derry and is among the most important churchmen linking Carrowmore with Derry. Although he died in…

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…

THE POET OF CASTLECARY

    The Quiet Visitor Spring came on tiptoe down the bens Of sea-girt Inishowen, And glided through the shady glens Her coming still unknown. But everywhere her gentle tread Impressed the eager soil A creamy primrose raised its head Beside the rippling Foyle. Mabel Rose Stevenson was born in Castlecary in 1875. She was a cousin of the novelist Joyce Cary, who was one of her mentors. The lines above are from her book DAUGHTER OF DONEGAL published in…

Francis Stuart in Ballymagarraghy

Francis Stuart (1902-2000) was one of Ireland’s established writers who led a life that was both colourful and controversial. His marriage to Iseult Gonne, daughter of Maud, ended in failure and Iseult later attracted the attentions of W.B. Yeats. Interned for his activities during the Troubles, Stuart was attracted by the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler and in 1940 decided to live in Germany where he obtained a post as a lecturer in Berlin University. In 1942, he broadcast a commentary…

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…

Register of Trees at Malin Hall, 1779

Following the construction of Malin Hall, John Harvey undertook a massive scheme of tree planting which was intended as an investment and would also add to the amenities of the demesne. Between 1777 and 1779, he planted 24,700 trees including shrubbery and orchards. Some of the trees are still standing today, over 250 years later. This extract is taken from a hand-written Register of Trees owned by John Harvey “according to Act of Parliament”. It is presumed that in the…

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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