Donegal Annual 2021

Donegal Annual 2021

Front cover –

Description Author. Page
Part One
Colmcille’s Birth and
Associated Traditions
Brian Lacey 4
In the Scribal Tradition:
Seamus Heaney’s Perspective
Seán Beattie16
Colmcille at Gweebarra BayVincent O’Donnell26
Cornelia Adair, Glenveagh Castle
and Colmcille
Rev. Raymond Blair27
Columban Scriptoria:
An Independent Line of Transmission for Cenél Conalll Genealogies
Tomás G. Ó Canann32
Colm Cille: Comóradh 1897 i nGartánNollaig MacCongáil49
Colmcille in the Donegal Bay AreaHelen Meehan58
Drumhome: Heritage SitesPierce Ferriter64
Did Colmcille Ever Set Foot in Glencolmcille?Lochlann McGill68
The Vikings and the County Donegal
Paruchia of Colum Cille
Darren McGettigan
71
The Saint and the Sage: Colmcille and
James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Donal Manning76
Harry Clarke Window and ColmcilleSeán Boner83
St. Columba as a Territorial LordMax Adams85
Colm Cille agus Oidhreacht Chloich
Cheann Fhaola
Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh93
St. Columba Fourteenth Century
Centenary Celebrations
Canon David Crooks105
Curragh to IonaSeán Boner110
The New Cathedral of St Columb’s in DerryWilliam Roulston114
Part Two ====
Inishowen and the War of IndependenceJohn Reynolds119
The Burtonport Incident, May 1921
and the Treaty Vote
Seán Boner126
Book Reviews 138
Donegal Bibliography 2020-21Rory Gallagher143
Volume 73 : 2021

Wreck and Rescue, The Stowijk, 1940

The rescue of the crew from the wreck of the SS Stowijk from Carraig Na gCrubog (Crab Rock), Inishbofin.

The SS Stowijk was a Dutch steamship that was travelling in a convoy S13 from Canada to Britain in December 1940.

The Dutch ship Stolwijk steaming in calmer waters..
SS Stowijk

It was driven too hard in a gale and its rudder lines snapped. The vessel drifted rudderless towards Inisbofin and eventually struck a rock called Carraig Na gCrubog (Crab Rock) behind Inishdooey. Shortly before it struck the rock a large wave washed their Radio Officer from the deck. He was the first to die. Another nine died when they jumped into the water and swam to a ships lifeboat that had been washed overboard. The lifeboat was swept away. The other eighteen stayed on board and were taken off by the Arranmore Lifeboat using a breeches buoy the following day.

Seán told us ofthe award of a gold medal awarded by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and the Royal National Lifeboat Medals to his grandfather Jack Boyle, coxswain of the Arranmore RNLI lifeboat for that rescue and about award of medals to the rest of the crew. 

There was an inquiry into the loss of the ship back in the Netherlands in 1941. Jan Wallet the chief Engineer gave evidence. His assessment was that the vessel had been drive too hard in a gale and this placed too much strain on the rudder lines until they snapped. He also provided a sketch of the broken rudder line.

Paulus Vierkant, the Radio Officer of the Stolwijk who was washed overboard by a huge wave minutes before the vessel struck the rocks.

Paulus Vierkant, the Radio Officer of the Stolwijk who was washed overboard by a huge wave minutes before the vessel struck the rocks.

A breeches buoy transporting a sailor on rope rigging between two ships at sea.

One of the sailors fell out of the breeches buoy but he held on for dear life and they dragged him through the water to the lifeboat.

The crew of the Arranmore Lifeboat. The man at the back far left Johnny (Bán) Byrne was not on the Stolwijk ‘run’ but he was in the photograph because he was the Launch Manager on the day of the Stolwijk. His two sons, Phil beside him and Neilly far right at the back were on the lifeboat that day. The photograph was taken in 1946 at the presentation of the medals at Letterkenny.

The man with the overcoat is the mechanic Teague Ward. The front line is left to right Brian (Nellie) Gallagher, Paddy (Chondy) O’Donnell, Jack (Charlie) Boyle, Joe (Annie) Rodgers and Phil (Charlie)Boyle. Jack and Phil were brothers and Joe (Annie) was their nephew.

Jerry Early from Arranmore wrote a song about the rescue called I’ll go.  https://earlys.bar/ill-go-song/

Constable Charles McGee, RIC

Constable Charles Mc Gee a young man in his early twenties from Inishbofin Island who was a member of the Royal Irish Costabulary (RIC) and who was killed at Castlebellingham, County Louth on Easter Monday 1916 on the first day of the Easter Rising.

Constable Charles McGee in his usinform of the RIC

He cycled into the village of Castlebellingham that day where he found a group of Irish Volunteers under the command of Belfast Engineer, Seán Mac Entee who was later a T.D. and a Government Minister in a number of Fianna Fáil governments. A number of cars had been commandeered and the Irish Volunteers were about to move off in those cars.

There were a few policemen held prisoner by this group of Irish Volunteers. Mac Entee was getting into one of the cars and as he did so at least two shots rang out. Lieutenant Dunville was shot but not fatally. Charles Mc Gee was shot and died at the scene. Mc Entee should have not got into the car until the others were already in the car.

The group he was in charge of had already proved to be undisciplined and had discharged a gun that almost shot one of their own. Seán Mc Entees daughter, Maire Mac An tSaoi, who was an Irish language poet of great reputation, said in an interview she gave towards the end of her life that the killing of Charles Mc Gee was something that troubled her father all of his life. Both Charles Mc Gee and Lieutenant Robert Dunville were prisoners and unarmed. Lieutenant Dunville, of the Dunville Whiskey family in Belfast, died in his late 20s and his death may have been hastened by the injury he received at Castlebellingham.

Séan Boner from our Field Day to Inisboffin Island, 2023

Inishbofin Island Fishing Tragedy 1929

THE INISHBOFIN ISLAND SALMON FISHING TRAGEDY OF THE 20TH OF JUNE 1929.

On the 19th June 1929 four men, Thomas Coll, Denis Coll, John Coll and Patrick Coll left Inisbhofin Island to go to fish salmon in a Drontheim yawl. Only one man, 25 year old Patrick Coll, survived that night to tell the tale of what happened when their fishing boat was involved in a collision at sea with a steamer.

The Drontheims were wooden clinker planked double endersailing yawls and were usually between 22 feet and 27 feet in length with one or two main sails and jib. According to Anthony Begley of Balllyshannon who is familiar with the history of the Allinghams, the first yawls were imported to Ireland from Trontheim in Northern Norway by a young Norwegian who met and married one of the Allingham family from Ballyshannon about 1820.

A photograph of a model of a Drontheim yawl courtesy of National Museum of Ireland, Folklife.
A model of a Drontheim yawl courtesy of National Museum of Ireland, Folklife.

He could see that the yawls they had in Norway would be ideal for the North coast of Ireland and importing them to Ireland for resale would be a good business venture for himself. The yawls were relatively long and narrow beamed and punched the waves before going over them. They could be easily hauled up on to the shore by a small number of men where there were poor harbours. They became the fishing boat of choice on the north coast of Ireland from Blacksod Bay in County Mayo to the Glens of Antrim and beyond to Islay in the Inner Isles of Scotland (Na hOileain Aistigh).

The name Trontheim is pronounced as Drontheim in the Norwegian language and this explains their name. They were also called, sometimes the Greencastle yawl. Many of them towards the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century were not imported from Norway but were made by a family of boat builders called Mac Donalds who were based mainly in Moville and Greencastle but also built Drontheims in other places further afield like Burtonport and Killybegs.

This expansion was largely at the encouragement of the Congested District Board a development agency established in 1893 that felt that the development of a fishing industry would be greatly to the benefit of the congested regions of the West Coast of Ireland. The yawls were often delivered around the coast on the decks of steamers to their new owners.

The Inisbofin men went out to the north west from the island that evening in June 1929 shortly after 8.00pm and shot their net probably at an angle almost perpendicular to the shoreline off Bloody Foreland. The nets were set about six miles from the shore according to the survivor. The weather was fine and there is no record of haze or fog that night.

Shortly after midnight they saw a steamer approaching from the West. They had a lantern that Patrick Coll held up in the hope that the steamer would see it but it seems that the steamer did not see the light and bore down on them. They tried to haul the salmon nets and leave the path of the vessel but the steamer collided with them breaking their fishing yawl in two.

The steamer hit them mid vessel on their port side. The oldest of the men on the boat, 65 year old Thomas Coll, was injured in the collision and had blood on his face according to the survivor. He died about 4 hours after the collision. Denis Coll, 28 years of age, disappeared shortly afterwards.

That left just two men still alive and clinging to the wreckage of the boat and nets. Then about 5.00am, John Coll, the youngest man on the boat at 22 years of age, said he could not stick it any longer and died. Patrick Coll said he said a prayer for the soul of John Coll. There was only Patrick Coll now alive holding on for dear life to the floating wreckage. He lost hope and believed that his end was near. He tied himself to the wreckage in the hope that the timber would not sink and in this way his body would be found to bring closure to his death for his family. However, he did not die and after nine hours in the water he was picked up by a steamer called Briarthorn, under Captain R. Griffiths, travelling from Westport to Liverpool.

Photo of Patrick Coll, Inishboffin Island, the only survivor of the tragedy. Photo taken after his arrival in Derry.
Photo of Patrick Coll, Inishboffin Island, the only survivor of the tragedy. Photo taken after his arrival in Derry.

By then Patrick Coll was in an almost dying state and lost consciousness when he was brought on deck of the ship. Captain Griffiths and his crew did great work in getting him on board and revived him over a two hour period. Patrick Coll told the Captain that a steamer had passed near him during the night but he did not have the strength to hail it. They landed him into Portstewart in County Derry.

He was after a short period none the worse physically for his ordeal although he was probably ‘well shook’ mentally. He made his way to Derry City where he spent the night at the Gweedore Hotel in the city owned by a Sweeney man and then went home.

The body of Thomas Coll was found on the 5th July 1929 floating in the water off Leenan Fort on the eastern shore of Lough Swilly by a local farmer John O’Donnell and members of the Civic Guards at Clonmany and British Army men based in Leenan Fort brought the body ashore. James Coll the son of Thomas Coll identified the body of his father for the inquest.

He said that he last saw his father alive on the evening of the 19th June at about 8.00pm. He said that it was not intended that his father would go to fish that night because he himself was the crew man on the boat. However, he had a sore hand and for that reason his father took his place.

It is not clear from the newspaper reports if the bodies of Denis Coll and John Coll were ever recovered.

Folklore recalls that a steamer put into Derry on the morning of the 20th June 1929 and that paint marks similar to the paint that had been on the yawl was to be seen on its bows. The accuracy of this assertion is probably impossible to verify, now, so many years on from that tragic night.

All four men survived the impact and if the steamer had stopped it would have been able to come to their rescue. Why the steamer did not stop will remain a mystery. It is inconceivable that a steamer could hit a yawl and make two bits of it and not know that the steamer had been in a collision.

A fund was established to assist relatives and Dr William Mc Neely the Bishop of Raphoe commenced the donations on behalf of the Diocese with a £20 donation about €1500 in today’s money. The boat was owned by a man on the crew that night. The nets were leased from a supplier in Manchester. The dead left a number of dependent children.

Seán Boner

Irish Historical Studies; Rules For Contributors

The ‘Rules for contributors to Irish Historical Studies’ drawn up by the late T.W. Moody and first published in that journal in 1944 have come to be widely used by Irish historians in preparing articles and books for publication and to be regarded in some universities as norms to be followed for students writing postgraduate theses and undergraduate essays.

The full article, Irish Historical Studies Rules For Contributors, is here

Treasure Each Voice Award 2023

Rev. Raymond Blair, former President of the Society, was presented with the Treasure Each Voice Award at the Frances Browne Literary Festival in Letterkenny on Thursday evening.

This annual award announced on the first night of the festival was given to recognise the research that Rev Blair has carried out upon the life and writings of this Irish poet and novelist.

Raymond is the author of “The Best of Frances Browne: Poems, Stories and Essays by the Blind Genius of Stranorlar.” He has also written many articles for the Donegal Annual including his contribution “ Frances Browne and the Legends of Ulster” Donegal Annual 2008, pp 134.

Pictured here with Rev. Blair is Karen Murphy of Murphy Media and Communications who sponsored the award, a lovely piece of Derryveagh Crystal.

Our new website

Welcome to the new website of County Donegal Historical Society. You will have been redirected here from our old website at donegalhistory.com

Bookmark us : Use ctrl+d to save our new address to your Internet browser’s Favourites folder.

Website Legacy : We recognise that the previous website has been able to garner a range of information on the Society and its members over many years so we have transferred all of the information from the old website to our new site. Use the Search function on each page to search our new site.

More updates : this new format will be more flexible, allowing our members to contribute articles and so that we can provide you with more updates on the work and events run by the Society.

Index of Annuals : as part of this new website, we have included the table of contents for each Donegal Annual published since our foundation in 1946. Use the Search function that you will find on each page to search for keywords that are of interest to you.

Security : Our new website will provide a more secure way for us to communicate with you; notice the padlock 🔒 next to our website name in your browser.

Accessibility : The overall “clean” design for this phase is to make this site accessible by using plain black text and white background with medium sized-fonts for easier reading by all visitors. Some photos have descriptions added for screen-readers and more will be added over time, this is work in progress. The design is also chosen so that the website contents can be read without change on any device whether PC, tablet and smartphone.

Membership : With a more secure website, we have been able to introduce electronic forms for membership allowing both our new and current members to register and pay for membership online.

Future Plans : We have many plans for this new website for the near future. Come back to see how things progress.

Feedback : We hope that you enjoy this new facility, send your comments to us at info@donegalhistory.ie

Schools’ Competition 2023

The story of my old photograph

We are delighted to announce the County Donegal Historical Society Schools’ Competition for 2023.

The theme for 2023 is ‘The story of my old photograph’

Competition Details

A photo can give us a glimpse into lives past, long forgotten events, forgotten places and memories that are personal or shared with the community. They will help our understanding of history, culture and identity.

Your Task

Find an old photograph from a family album ( before 1970 if you can, please) and research the story and the history behind the photograph. Maybe the story of the person, building, monument, tradition, event, piece of equipment, etc.

Present your research imaginatively and creatively.

Entries

Primary school student categories: Senior school: 4th – 6th classes only

Full class groups, one whole class entry. In small schools with a mix of ages in one classroom, the classroom can be a whole class entry.

Individuals, single student entry.

Please, no small groups. A whole class, whole classroom or individual only.

Format

Hard copy entries only, in the form of a standard A4 project book or scrapbook.

One photograph per individual entry. A max of 5-10 for class entry depending on class size.

For individual entries, please give details of name, age and class as well as school contact details and a contact teacher.

Please do not include the original photograph – a good quality copy will suffice.

Judges will be looking for originality as well as evidence of imagination and creativity.

Entries must be delivered/posted to the

County Museum, High Road,Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

Closing date for entries is Friday 1st December 2023.

Prizewinners will be notified in January 2024.

Any queries to Pat Shallow shallow.pat@gmail.com

2023 : Field Day, Inishbofin

Inishbofin Island, Sunday 23rdJuly 2023

Another great day out to Inisbofin Island with our host Seán Boner.

We set sail on the Boffin Ferry, Saoirse Na Mara (Freedom of the Sea) from Machaire Rabhartaigh (Magheraroarty) on the 10 minute trip to the island.

Owner, Harry Coll skippered, with his brother Owenie Coll as deckhand. The boat was suitable for those of restricted movements as you could walk on board without having to climb over the gunwale. The fare is €12 for over twelves and €5 for under twelves.

Boffin Ferry have an excellent website

Arriving at the harbour on the island, the bright sunshine provided a magnificent view back across the water from the coast at Horn Head, the Derryveagh Mountains with the Errigal as it’s crown, Muckish Mountain and west to the Bloody Foreland.

A short stroll to the west of the village, past an example of the houses built with funds from the Congestion District Board, larger that you would see in the rest of Donegal as funds were more generous for the islands.

National School

At the far west of the village is the ruins of the National School.

Our guide, Seán, spoke of the standard design for a National School but how unsuitable a design for the weather conditions here on the island; with over-hanging eves and the door leading straight into the single classroom.

Modifications had made the school less prone to the weather with a chimney to allow a fire in the classroom and a partition to create a hallway to prevent the Atlantic winds from cooling the legs of the children unlucky to be seated at the back of the class.

The Island Field System

To this day you can see the fields laid out in long strips of land, this was the replacement of the rundale field system. Rundale on Inisbofin involved a village in the North East of the island that now no longer exists.

After a short stroll back to the harbour and onto to the east end of the village, we met at the church.

Arthur Kingsley Porter

Passport page of Arthur Kingsley Porter with his wife, Lucy.

Sean told the story of Arthur Kingsley Porter seen in his passport photo above with his wife Lucy.

He had a holiday home on the island and he disappeared there on the 8th of July 1933. He was a Harvard Professor who owned Glenveagh Castle and Estate. He was a troubled soul arising from the fact that he was gay but a married man who took a male lover Alan Campbell at the suggestion of his psychotherapist Doctor Havelock and with the agreement of his wife.

The new relationship did not seem to work. Kingsley Porter probably committed suicide by drowning but his body was never found.

The Island Church

We visited the Church, Muire Na nGras (The Virgin Mary of the Graces), on the island. It is a simple and attractive church. It could have been designed by an Architect who believed in Architectural Minimalism who had the mantra that ‘in minimalism less means more’. A local man Gerry Gallagher designed the church and we imagine he was more constrained by what money was available to build the church than any desire to build in a minimalist style. Nevertheless, it turned out very well.

 The commencement of the building of the church began in December 1963 and was done, dusted and blessed on the 23rd of June 1965. The driving force behind the building of the church was the Parish Priest of Gort A’Choirce, Canon Shields and he is spoken of with much affection by older people from Inishbofin. And by all accounts deservedly so. 

There seems to be a definite interest in Lourdes and the apparation of Lourdes. Canon Shiels probably had been to Lourdes. There is a photograph of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes and the Stations of the Cross are in French as well as English. They may have been bought in Lourdes.

Constable Charles McGee, RIC

https://donegalhistory.ie/constable-charles-mcgee-ric/

Sean spoke of Constable Charles Mc Gee a young man in his early twenties from Inishbofin Island who was a member of the Royal Irish Costabulary (RIC) and who was killed at Castlebellingham, County Louth on Easter Monday 1916 on the first day of the Easter Rising.

We have more on Constable Charles McGee in Other Resources / Further Reading

Paidir Inis Bó Finne

Dr Lochlann Mc Gill, who is no stranger to Inisbofin from his days of medical practise, produced a copy of Paidir Inis Bó Finne (The Prayer of Inisbofin). Seán read the prayer and translated it to English. 

While our views today across the water to Magheraroarty and beyond are indeed scenic, these waters are treacherous in bad weather with many lives endangered in these waters.

Salmon Fishing Tragedy, 1929

The story told of this tragic event is told on our website in Other Resources / Further Reading.

Daring Rescue from the Stowijk, 1940

Seán told us the story of the Stolwijk a ship that was grounded on a rock near Inisdooey. To read more of this daring rescue see the story on our website in Other Resources/ Further Reading.

Seán went on to tell of the hard life here on the island with no turf of their own, it was all carried from the bog beyond Magheraroarty and then by row boat to the island; at a time before the harbour was built. Although with the right spring tide, you can walk to the island on the stone beach causeway but local knowledge is essential.

There were no more than 120 souls on Inishbofin in the 1960s before they melted away to take up residence on the mainland; well before the harbour and church as we see them today were built.

After a short stroll over the island to admire the sands of the east beach we returned to the harbour for our ferry trip back to Magheraroarty.

Many thanks to Seán Boner for introducing us to this island, it’s history and the story of the people that called this home.

Membership Newsletter August 2023

We invite all current and past members of the County Donegal Historical Society to join us for the official launch of the latest Donegal Annual 2023 at the MacGill Summer School in the Highlands Hotel, Glenties, on Saturday 19th August 2023 at 4.00pm. The launch will be performed by Dr Joe Mullholland.

During the past year the Board of Management of the County Donegal Historical Society has undergone some personnel changes. President Raymond Blair, Secretary Una Mc Garrigle, Acting Secretary Séan Bonar, Treasurer Helen Meehan, PRO Eamonn Mac Intyre, and Assistant PRO Bobby Mc Daid have recently retired from their respective Officer positions after many years of voluntary service to the Society. We thank them for their dedication and service.

These Officer positions have recently been accepted by incoming President Joe Gatins, Secretary Hugh Devlin, Treasurer Natalie Lough, Assistant Treasurer Michael Meehan, PRO Sean Mc Clafferty, and Assistant PRO Connie Duffy. All other Board members remain as before.

Please note Membership Renewals for 2024 can now be paid in a number of ways: The fastest and most sustainable way is via our new website https://donegalhistory.ie/memberships ; by Bank Transfer to AIB Account Number IBAN: IE48AIBK93718502711018 BIC: AIBKIE2D, or by forwarding a payment by cheque to County Donegal Historical Society, PO Box 13629, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Please note that payments should no longer be sent to Una Mc Garrigle. For any queries, please contact the Society via donegalgistoricalsociety@yahoo.com

Donegal Annual 2023

Donegal Annual 2023

Front cover – Erigal, Co. Donegal, 1939, Paul Henry, Estate of Paul Henry, IVARO, Dublin, 2023, oil on canvas, Collection of Irish Museum of Modern Art, Heritage Gift by the Bank of Ireland from the Bank of Ireland Collection,  2008.

Description AuthorPage
President of County Donegal
Historical Society
Rev. Raymond Alexander Blair
4
Eithne Coyle and the Struggle for
Irish Nationhood
Méadhbha Ní Bhaoill5
Joseph Murray: Revolutionary,
Teacher and Garda
Niamh Brennan20
Untold – Donegal Women in the
Revolutionary Period
Caroline Carr29
Decade of Centenaries: Fact and
Fiction
Helen Meehan37
A Visit to Donegal in the 1820sMyra D. Kavanagh41
The 1400th Anniversary of
Adomnán, Naomh Adhamhnán,
St Eunan 
Brian Lacey46
Baptist Johnston Barton (3)
1848 – 1914 : the Old Colonel
Col. Declan O’Carroll (Rtd.)49
Inishtrahull: Isle of ShipsSeán Beattie58
A Forgotten Paul Henry Connection
with Letterkenny
William Roulson68
Donegal’s Other Kelp and Iodine
Works
Peter E. Childs74
The Rise and Decline of the Donegal
Town Spa
Rev Raymond Blair80
P.T. McGinley, P.T. MacFhionnlaoich,
Cú Uladh (1856-1942):
Ceannródaí Ildánach na Gaeilge na
Luathbhlianta i nDún na nGall
Nollaig MacCongáil84
Two Intriguing Names of Inishowen
and Inse Gall
Aidan O’Hara96
A Great American Donegal-born
Sculptor of the American Capitol
Geoff Cobb102
Doonan Rock: Inauguration Site of the
Uí Chanannáin Dynasty
Seán Browne106
Sidelights on Fiddling in the LagganMartin McGinley113
Challenge in the Quest for Genetic
Surname Signatures: A Cenél Conaill
Case Study
Tomás G. Ó Canann121
Ballyshannon Famine Orphan Girls’
Memorial: 175th Anniversary
Anthony Begley137
Life, Art, and History Eamon O’Kane139
Book Reviews143
Donegal Bibliography 2022-23Kevin McCaul147
Notices155
Schools’ Competition159
Volume 75 : 2023

2022 : Field Day, Newtowncunningham

The Field Day to Newtowncunningham was weather wise not a great day. We went to the Church of Ireland, to the ruined Burt Castle and later to the local Orange Hall. It did rain when we were at Burt Castle but it did not take from our enjoyment of the day I think.

Seán Mc Clafferty led the field day and ensured access from the local landowners where Burt Castle is situated. Burt Castle in Autumn looks out over barley fields of gold. Refreshments were served in the Orange Hall. They had, upstairs, a model of a First World War trench complex that I found interesting.

Courtesy of the Historical Sites of Ireland.
Burt Castle

2022 : Field Day, Glencolmcille

The field day on 7th August was in Glencolmcille again in on a very sunny day. Glen is beautiful in all weather but it was a particularly sunny day.

Paddy Beag Mac Giolla Easbuig who is part of the bed-rock in Glencolmcille was to be our guide but he was immobile from recent surgery and had Liam Mc Ginley fill in for him, which he did admirably.

Liam told us about Colmcille and his association with the Glen. Liam is a bit of a character, as they say, and that comes across in his talk. Not surprising, his Saint Colmcille is a bit of a character as well. I was half expecting Liam to book himself and Saint Colmcillle into an Air bnb in Glencolmcillefor few days rest from the building works before he was finished. He also took us to a number of historical archaeological sites and dealt with the sites with the seriousness they deserved. He took us to the Church of Ireland and the Pillar Stone just beyond it, a visit that was particularly memorable. There is a souterrain or underground chamber in the graveyard of the church. This church is closing and it is an important ancient historical site that may have a community interest in the future.

The above is a replica of a broken stone that was located in Glencolmcille. The buildings with the flat roofs in the background are the Lighthousekeepers dwellings for the families of the staff who were manning Rathlin O Beirne.

Dr. Lochlann Mc Gill who is a former President of the Society and presently a member of the Executive relaunched his book In Conall’s footsteps. This was done on the same evening as the Field Day in Glencolmcille. Although technically not a DHS event in practice given Dr. Mc Gills close association with the Society many of the Society attended the launch that was a successful evening.

Dr. Mc Gill organises the Mc Gill Lecture that is named in honour of his father ‘wee Paddy’ from Ardara. There was no lecture last year but no doubt it will be back in future years.

2022 : Field Day, Inis Mhic A Durn / Rutland Island

Our first field day of 2022 was to Rutland Island/Inis Mhic A Durn off Burtonport on Saturday the 11th June 2023.

We took one of the car ferries to Arranmore and were dropped off at Rutland. This is the island with the ruins of an 18C fishing station that was buried by sand storms in the early 19th Centrury. James Napper Tandy visited the island on the gun runner Anacreon in September of 1798.

The week had been inclement weather wise and the day was no better. However, we did get a two hour spell in Rutland that was dry and warm but for the most part overcast with only the odd bit of sunshine.

Above the Union Store on Rutland, a kelp store built the year of the Union between Britain and Ireland in 1801.

One side of the street that was built in Rutland in the 1770s as part of the fishing station scheme. It is now made up of holiday homes with one or two exceptions. This street officially Duke Street but that did not sound right so the locals called the place Duck Street.

Our new website

Welcome to the new website of County Donegal Historical Society. You will have been redirected here from our old website at donegalhistory.com

Bookmark us : Use ctrl+d to save our new address to your Internet browser’s Favourites folder.

Website Legacy : We recognise that the previous website has been able to garner a range of information on the Society and its members over many years so we have transferred all of the information from the old website to our new site. Use the Search function on each page to search our new site.

More updates : this new format will be more flexible, allowing our members to contribute articles and so that we can provide you with more updates on the work and events run by the Society.

Index of Annuals : as part of this new website, we have included the table of contents for each Donegal Annual published since our foundation in 1946. Use the Search function that you will find on each page to search for keywords that are of interest to you.

Accessibility : The overall “clean” design for this phase is to make this site accessible by using plain black text and white background with medium sized-fonts for easier reading by all visitors. Some photos have descriptions added for screen-readers and more will be added over time, this is work in progress. The design is also chosen so that the website contents can be read without change on any device whether desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Security : Our new website will provide a more secure way for us to communicate with you; notice the padlock 🔒 next to our website name in your browser.

Membership : With a more secure website, we have been able to introduce electronic forms for membership allowing both our new and current members to register and pay for membership online.

Future Plans : We have many plans for this new website for the near future. Come back to see how things progress.

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Donegal Annual 2020

Donegal Annual 2020 cover picture Farmlands, Donegal (detail) by Hans Iten (1874-1930), National Museums Northern Ireland, Ulster Museum Collection.

Farmlands, Donegal (detail)

Hans Iten (1874-1930)

National Museums Northern Ireland, Ulster Museum Collection.

Contents

DescriptionAuthorPage
Cenél nÉoghain in
Patrician Hagiography
Dr. Thomas
Charles-Edwards
3
Two Ballyshannon Philanthropists
and their Legacy
Anthony Begley14
Donegal and the Victoria CrossRichard Doherty20
Kate McCarry: Letterkenny’s First
Woman Urban Councillor
Dr. Angela Byrne27
The Viking Impact on the Inishowen
Peninsula
Darren McGettigan32
Rev. Edward Glacken 1806-1896:
Famine Relief in Glenties
Katelyn Hanna37
Gaelic Surnames and Settlement
Patterns in South West Donegal
1659-1857
Tomás G. Ó Canann42
DNA Analysis: Researching Donegal
Ancestry
Dr. Maurice Gleeson and
Dr. Sam Hanna
54
The Origins of the Uí Dochartaigh of
Inishowen
Brian Lacey59
Manor Courts of Donegal in the Early
Nineteenth Century
Raymond Blair65
Foyle College and Donegal
Connections
Dr. Robert Montgomery
and Seán McMahon
70
Convoy Woollen MillsBelinda Mahaffy75
Changing Features of the
Protestant Community In North Donegal
from an Occupations Perspective
Edward Rowland79
Andrew Elder (1821-1886), Castlefin:
Campaigner For Land Reform
Dr. William Roulston87
William J. Doherty, Buncrana:
Engineer, Antiquarian and Politician
1834-1898
Dr. Seán Beattie96
Patrick Sarsfield Cassidy (1852-1903):
From Dunkineely to New York
Helen Meehan101
James Musgrave: A Man of IronLulu Chesnutt107
Pipe Organs of DonegalDerek Fleming113
From Malin to Wisconsin: The Friar’s
Curse by Michael Quigley
Des Doherty117
Book Reviews126
Officers 2020-2021133
Donegal Bibliography 2019-2020Rory Gallagher135
Volume 72 : 2020

Copies of this Annual are available for sale here

Donegal Annual 2019

Near Dungloe

James Humbert Craig RHA (1874-1944)

Contents

DescriptionAuthorPage
Seán Boner, President,
Donegal Historical Society
4
History of Clonmany Village, InishowenMarius Harkin6
Raphoe Diocese: Early Protestant
Places of Worship in the 17th Century
Dr William Roulston16
Alexander Nixon, Heathfield, BallyboesDr Seosamh O Ceallaigh22
A Forgotten Donegal Mansion:
Glentogher House, Inishowen
Rev Raymond Blair29
Quaker Assisted Emigration From
Arranmore, Co. Donegal in 1884
Dr Seán Beattie34
Robert Taylor Carson HRUA (1919-2008)Dr Denise Ferran, PPRUA40
Ballyshannon Gentry FamiliesHelen Meehan48
Donegal Medical Personnel in WW1Caroline Carr53
Edward Kelly: Last Elected MP for
Donegal in Westminster
Anthony Begley63
Letterkenny Workhouse 1844-1923Dr Niamh Brennan68
Meig Bhuirrce and the Origin of
Clann tSuibhne in Scotland and Ireland
Tomás G. Ó Canann77
Seán D. Mac Lochlainn, County Manager, DonegalSeán Boner87
Tenant Right in Donegal, 1849-1850Katelyn Hanna95
Boston’s Donegal DiasporaDr John McColgan99
A False Dawn: Royal Visit to
Buncrana, 1903
Mervyn Watson110
The Wreck of the William and MaryDr Frank Sweeney119
Late Eighteenth Century Maps of Ballybulgan Townland and TenantsDr Sam Hanna121
Paddy the Cope, Michael Powell and the Story of the Unmade FilmKen Fox126
Book Reviews136
Officers 2019-2020138
Donegal Bibliography 2018-2019Rory Gallagher141
Calendar of Events 2020148
Volume 71 : 2019

Copies of this Annual are available for sale here

Donegal Annual 2018

Turf Harvest, The Rosses, Co. Donegal (detail)

James Humbert Craig RHA (1874-1944)

courtesy of Peter Kelly

Contents

DescriptionAuthorPage
From Malin to the Middle East:
the Inishowen Crosses and Pillar Stones
Dr Michelle Brown4
Donaghmore Parish, Barony of RaphoeBelinda Mahaffy15
Amateur Drama in Donegal 1952-61Siofra Ni Shluaghadhain22
“Open Air Mass in the Donegal
Mountains”, 1867“
Aidan O’Hara26
Aspects of the History of
Clann tSuibhne
Tomás G. O Canann31
The Provision of Anglican Places of Worship
in the Parishes of Inishowen,
1622-1733
Dr William Roulston42
John McGettigan 1882-1958:
Migrant, Musician, Minstrel, Entrepreneur
Marcas Ó Murchú49
By the Banks of the EanymoreHelen Meehan54
The Role of the P.S. Cynthia and the
S.S. California in the Development of
Donegal Tourism.
Mervyn Watson59
John W. Nixon and his Derry Libel
Actions
Dr Desmond Murphy65
The Cenél nEóghain of Inishowen:
Aldfrith of Northumbria’s Donegal
Cousins?
Dr. Brian Lacey72
The Deliverance of Donegal –
A Political Ballad and the Donegal
Election 1874
Rev Raymond Blair83
Néillí Boyle, Seamus Ennis and
“The Moving Cloud”
Seán Boner88
Upper Lough FoyleRoss Cooper97
Ballintra Map 1773 and Associated
Families
Dr Sam Hanna103
The Ancient Order of Hibernians in
Donegal 1904-1927
Dr Seán Beattie107
Ulster Plantation Leases, Manor of
Castlefinn 1680-1827
Terry Dolan122
Book Reviews132
Officers 2018-2019136
BibliographyRory Gallagher131
Calendar of Events 2019148
Volume 70 : 2018

Copies of this Annual are available for sale here

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Donegal Annual 2017

Donegal landscape by Ludwig Schenkel c.1950

(courtesy of David Bigger,
Central Library, Foyle St., Derry)

Contents

DescriptionAuthorPage
A Quaker Tour of Donegal in 1880Dr. Seán Beattie4
William Robinson, Father of the English Flower GardenBelinda Mahaffy16
A Historical Note on Baile Uí ChanannTomás G. Ó Canann23
An American Sea Plane Base in InishowenMeg Carroll29
Peadar O’Donnell’s Young AmbitionsDr. Nollaig MacCongáil39
Raphoe Diocesan ArchivesMoira Hughes39
Donegal and the Strabane Morning PostRev. Raymond Blair48
Images of Donegal Farm LabourersDr. Padraig G. Lane52
Liam Clarke and Arranmore Island’s First Resident DoctorSeán Boner58
Tithe Problems in DonegalDr. Frank Sweeney62
Derry and the Question of Partition 1920-22Martin Lynch67
Poteen Making in InishowenEmma Mahon74
The Wray and Stewart Families of Ards, Dunfanaghy Edward Rowland78
The S.S. Melmore: Donegal Tourism and her Last VoyageMervyn Watson88
The Architectural  Legacy of Sir Arthur Chichester’s Plantation in InishowenClaire Burke94
St. Patrick’s Purgatory and St. Peter’s TurasHelen Meehan100
The Waterloo PriestRichard Doherty107
Donegal News in 1917John Cunningham111
An Píoláta Cósta as an Tamhnaigh, Cill CharthaMíchaél Mac Giolla Easbuic114
Book Reviews118
Donegal Bibliography121
Officers 2017-8127
List of Members128
Calendar of Events 2018135
Volume 69 : 2017

Copies of this Annual are available for sale here