Inishowen Archaeological Heritage Development Colloquium.

The last week end in August brought a host of archaeological experts to Inishowen where  a series of topics were discussed. A number of artefacts discovered on recent digs in Inishowen, mainly Carrowmore are on view here: gaming counters, smoothing stones for cleaning vellum (?), bog ore etc. A full report on the weekend will be published later by the Bernician Studies group. During the week, further work will be undertaken at Cooley and Crockaughrim, a traditional meeting site during…

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,…

The U Boat Surrender on Lough Foyle

There were 470 U – Boats in the Germany navy and they played a deadly role in the elimination of millions of tonnage of shipping on the high seas. On April 20 Hitler committed suicide and the Regenbogen (Rainbow) was put into operation. This involved the planned mass scuttling of the German fleet. But the plan fell apart on May 8 when Germany surrendered unconditionally. Some Nazis had hoped that U Boats would provide one last escape route for the…

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…

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…

Joyce Cary, Doctor Who and Captain Pugwash

Joyce Cary (1888-1957) was born in Shipquay St., Derry but the family seat was at Castlecary, Moville since Elizabethan times. The house has been demolished but the demesne can be seen marked by some fine ash trees at the top of a hill overlooking Lough Foyle near Redcastle Hotel. This is Cary country rooted in history. After Oxford, Joyce worked in Africa and in 1944 produced a book called THE HORSE’S MOUTH which was made into a film starring Alex…

The Carys of Inishowen, Dr. Who and Capt. Pugwash

Arthur Joyce Lunell Cary (1888-1957)  was born in Shipquay St. Derry, but the family seat was at Castlecary, a townland south of Moville, near the Redcastle Hotel  in Inishowen. In fact, so much of the family history is linked with the district between Redcastle and Muff that it can be rightly called Cary country. The Cary homestead was sold to a local farmer about 70 years ago and the house was demolished some years later. Access to the site of…

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