2024 : Field Day, Lifford

Sunday 21st July 2024 : Meet at the public car park in the Lifford Diamond @ 3PM

Seán Boner will be our guide for the second field day of 2024.

Lifford is one of the more interesting towns in Donegal historically. It has the Courthouse and it had a jail for many years. It is a place where old ghosts meet as a poet once put it. 

We will meet in the public carpark in the Diamond @ 3PM. Tea and coffee etc will be available afterwards in the Old Courthouse. 

Lifford had many personalities that get mentioned in the pages of Donegal history from the O’Donnell Chieftains of the Middle Ages to more recent persons of fame in sport, media or music. It has one of the seven Liam Mc Cormack churches at Murlogh. People have been going to the dogs there  for years. The Finn and Mourne are salmon rivers of significance. 

The Donegal Historical Society is in the process of setting up its museum in the Old Courthouse. It is expected that the museum will be a useful addition to what the Old Courthouse already provides. The museum was housed free of charge for many decades in the friary in Rossnowlagh through the generosity of the Franciscan Order.  The Society is excited by the move to Lifford Courthouse and believes that it will work well for both the DHS and LATCH who run the Courthouse that is owned by the County Council.

Bring sun tan lotion and a light rain coat. Judging by the summer we have had to date you may well need both.

Lifford Customs Post, photo courtesy of National Library, Dublin.

The photograph of the Customs Post was taken after 1959 when the Mini Car was first manufactured. .Post 1992 and the Single European Act the border became blurred and while there is still a border it does not have anything like its former significance. The Post was removed some time after 1992.

2024 : Field Day, Letterkenny

Sunday 9th June 2024 : Meet at County Donegal Museum, High Road, Letterkenny @ 3PM

The County Donegal Historical Society will host their first field day of 2024 with a talk to commemorate the centenary of the strike that took place at St. Conal’s Hospital in 1924.

It will take place this Sunday 9th June at 3.00pm in the

 A “walk and talk” will take place around the grounds of St. Conal’s Hospital from 4pm with Hugh Devlin as guide, to talk about the history of the hospital.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome to come along.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Our other planned Field Day events for 2024 are listed here: https://donegalhistory.ie/events/

Membership subscriptions for 2024 are still welcome in order to support the work of the Society and to register for your copy of Donegal Annual 2024.

Details of how you can subscribe are available on the Society’s website https://donegalhistory.ie/membership/

2024 : Field Days Announced

Sunday 9th June 2024 : Letterkenny

Your guide: Hugh Devlin

We will meet at the Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny @ 3PM

Sunday 21st July 2024 : Lifford

Your guide: Seán Boner. We will meet in the public carpark in the Diamond @ 3PM

Tea will be available afterwards in the Old Courthouse.

HERITAGE WEEK
Sunday 25th August 2024 : Ards, Creeslough

Your guide: Charlie Gallagher. We will meet in the carpark of the Ards Capuchin Friary @ 3PM

Sunday 25th August 2024 : Ballyshannon

Your guide Anthony Begley. This will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of poet William Allingham. We will meet at the Abbey Centre @ 3PM

Sunday 8th September 2024 : Donegal Town

Your guide: Seamus O’Doherty. We will meet at the harbour carpark @ 3PM.

Field days are free and open to members of the public.

Please check final details of all the above events nearer the date, on our website / local newspapers / Facebook, as some may change or vary slightly.

Inquiries: Email: donegalhistoricalsociety@yahoo.com

Donegal Annual 2024 News

Bernán Chonaill, the bell of St Conall Cae

One of the exceptional collection of articles in the Donegal Annual 2024 is by Tomás Ó Canann. The article focuses on one of the great artefacts of Donegal, held by the British Museum – Beárnan Chonaill, or St Conall’s Bell, and its last keeper, Conall mac Mhícheáil Uí Bhréisléin of Glengesh. 

The contents of Donegal Annual 2024 are listed 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, Ballindrait

Our final field trip of 2023 was to visit to Ballindrait, near Lifford, on Sunday 3rd September. Belinda Mahaffy was our tour guide for the day.

Participants met up at the Ballindrait Presbyterian Church at 2.30pm where Belinda Mahaffy give a background to the area from earliest days, high lightening the importance of Croaghan Hill and its ancient burial chambers. She spoke of the origins of the Presbyterian church and the various Ministers and families from the local area who were associated with it.

Participants then moved on to the historic Ballindrait bridge to hear of various battles between the O’ Donnell’s and O’ Neill’s in this area, and the journey of Hugh O’ Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and his entourage crossed the bridge here while enroute to Rathmullen in 1607 for what would become known as the Flight of the Earl’s.

The group then moved on to “Guystown House”, Tamnawood, with owner Vincent Gallagher who give a fascinating history of this residence and the families who resided here. Perhaps it is best associated with the Porter family from 1720-1850 of whom the Rev James Porter is best known. He was the only ordained Presbyterian clergyman to be executed for alleged involvement in the 1798 Irish Rebellion at Grey Abbey, County Down. He was born here in 1753 and educated locally. Vincent has a number of title deeds to the house going back to the 1700’s on display.

The group then headed to Raphoe for a brief talk by Belinda on the history of the local area and families. We then went into the COI Cathedral for a talk on its early history, and some on the famous individuals buried in the adjoining graveyard.

The weather was beautiful and added to a wonderful afternoon. Thanks Belinda and Vincent.

Hugh

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

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.

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

Our President 2022

Uachtarán Chumann Staire agus Seanchais Chondae Dhún na nGall.

President of the County Donegal Historical and Folklore Society.

The outgoing president of the Donegal Historical Society, Seán Boner (left) presents new holder of that office, Rev. Raymond Blair with his chain of office following Annual General Meeting in Ballybofey

The President of Donegal Historical Society, Rev. Raymond Blair, was born in Cavan Upper, Killygordon, in 1960. Raymond received his primary education in the nearby Cooladawson National School. A keen interest in history developed from an early age as a result of the fascinating stories which his father, Joseph, used to tell him about happenings in the locality over the years. His secondary education was obtained at the Royal and Prior Comprehensive School in Raphoe, whose headmaster at that time was Mr Cookman, who himself served as President of the County Donegal Historical Society. 

Raymond then went on to study History at Trinity College Dublin, and this course of study deepened his fascination with Irish History; it particularly stimulated his interest in the interaction between landlords and tenants in 19th century Ireland. In due course, he went on to study Theology at the Reformed Theological College in Belfast, and then served as Pastor in Galway for over 20 years, before moving to minister in Limavady in 2011.

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 and contributed to several other historical journals. He has a special interest in the life and career of John George Adair, the notorious landlord of Derryveagh, and has unearthed some significant new material about that colourful and controversial character.

Married to Carole (from Bangor, County Down) since 1995, he has four daughters – Eileanoir, Labhaoise, Rosaleen and Iona. In undertaking the role of President, Raymond hopes that his own enthusiasm for the history of Donegal will motivate others to get more involved in exploring the fascinating story of his native county. In the words of Lord Acton, “History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.”


Field Days for 2022

Sun. 24th July : 3.00pm
Dungloe & Area (Guide: Sean Boner)
Meet at the public car park

Sun. 7th August : 3.00pm
Glencolmcille Area (Guide: Paddy Gillespie)
Meet at Glencolmcille Folk Village car park (towards sea)

Sat. 27th August : 3.00 pm
Stranorlar Area
(Ballybofey &5 Stranorlar Historical Society members)
Meet in the Church of Ireland car park on the golf course road

Sat. 3rd September : 3.00pm
Newtowncunningham & Area
(Guide: Sean McClafferty)
Meet at All Saints Church of Ireland parish car park

Emerson Lecture

At time of print there is no speaker available.
Field days and lectures are free and open to members of the public.
Please check final details of all the above events nearer the date, on the
website/local papers/Facebook, as some may change or vary slightly.

VISIT US ON FACEBOOK or Events here on this website

Annuals & Collections Discounted

Annuals and Annual Collections available at a discount.

We have a surplus stock of Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 Hardbacks,  and Paperbacks, of which storage of these, in a suitable environment, has become a problem.

Therefore, it has been decided to offer them, to you, at a much-reduced fee.

These books are widely respected as many distinguished historians have contributed to them.  Actually, these Volumes have become “Collectors items”

Now is your opportunity to purchase whilst stocks last.

Please feel free to contact me, if you have a query, or indeed have trouble with printing the order form, as attached.

Aside from posting these books, I can arrange to have them collected here, by appointment.   (Call 0872261378) as they are quite heavy.