Feast of Colmcille

Happy Feast of Colmcille Day! To mark the occasion, I was invited to read a short piece on the saint on RTÉ’s Edgeways series this morning, as part of the ‘Rising Time’ early morning show. The image featured here is the cross slab at Port Cille, Shrove, Inishowen Peninsula, where Colmcille stopped off having sailed down Lough Foyle for the last time on his way to Iona. He came ashore to climb the hill hoping to get one last view…

Ballyharry, Carrowmena and Ballymagarraghy

History and Folklore Seán Beattie Recently going through my records, I came across a series of interviews I conducted in the 1990s with the late Johnny O’Donnell of Cruckaveel, Ballyharry. He had a vivid recollection of times past and what follows is a short version of some of our discussions. One hundred years ago, in March 1921, the villages of Carrowmena and Ballymagarraghy became victims of the Black and Tans during the War of Independence. Reports of Volunteer drilling in…

Cist Graves of Trabreaga, Malin

Seán Beattie Sixty years ago this September coming (1961), a group of Council workers were working in a quarry set in a dune landscape, 200 yards behind Lagg Presbyterian church. The quarry can still be seen today from the church grounds. Working with shovels, they came across 3 rectangular box-like stone structures covered by a large flagstone. On opening the first, they found a male skeleton lying in a crouched position; a second slab was raised to reveal a female…

The Church of the Sacred Heart, Carndonagh, Co Donegal 1945-2020: 75 Years of Modern Worship

– Seán Beattie Built in the Romanesque style of Wicklow granite, the Church dominates the landscape of the plain of Maghtochair, an ancient sub-kingdom of the peninsula of Inishowen. Some 1,500 years ago, St Patrick founded a monastery here which became part of the town name. Evidence of Christian worship has been continuous since then, with the Donagh Cross, the Marigold Stone, Mass Rock and the pillar stones standing as emblems of the faith. The ClergyIt was against this background…

Inishtrahull Revisited 2020

This summer there has been a revival of interest in the island, thanks to the service provided by the yacht AMAZING GRACE and INISHOWEN BOATING.  The arrival of a pod of dolphins along the sea route has been an added attraction. In the records relating to the island, there are no reports of the presence of dolphins although seals have been around for many years in the vicinity of the island. Nicholas Worthington of the Inishowen Initiative is preparing an…

New look website

Welcome to my redesigned website. It provides easier access to my previous posts which can be searched under “placename” or “topic”. I will shortly add a bibliography of all my historical research which has been published in 21 articles in Donegal Annual, the Journal of County Donegal Historical Society. My first contribution was on the Great Famine and the Inishowen workhouse in Carndonagh in 1980. It strikes me that the research process has changed greatly over the past 40 years.…

Donegal Annual 2020 Now Available

The Donegal Annual 2020 is now available. Get your copy in your local bookshop, via my online store, or visit donegalhistory.com to place an order. Table of Contents Cenél nÉoghain in Patrician Hagiography – Dr. Thomas Charles-Edwards Two Ballyshannon Philanthropists and their Legacy – Anthony Begley Donegal and the Victoria Cross – Richard Doherty Kate McCarry: Letterkenny’s First Woman Urban Councillor – Dr. Angela Byrne Viking Impact in the Inishowen Peninsula – Darren McGettigan Rev. Edward Glackin 1806-1896: Famine Relief…

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