The Village of Crossroads in County Donegal is located on the road that parallels the south side of the River Finn near the bridge to Killygordon. Locally the village is known as The Cross. In his book, Rambles Around the Finn, David Kelly claims that the village was called The Cross because the cottages, shebeens, and church there formed the shape of a cross. This changed after Oliver Cromwell “visited” Ireland in the 17th century, and the cottages were destroyed to make dwellings for his loyal English and Scot soldiers. The name of the village then became Crossroads probably because of the intersection of the main road with the road over the Finn to Killygordon. The road from Killygordon continues past Crossroads and travels up to the border of County Tyrone at Carn Hill and down to the County Tyrone town of Killeter.
The village is tiny. Besides a few dwellings, it has two churches, two pubs, and a store/post office. An international business (Donegal Creameries) started here and has its main office in Crossroads. It now has operations in Ireland, Britain, Netherlands, and Brazil. The churches: The first church here was built more than a millennium ago. Other churches replaced it as the years went by until the Penal Laws limited the practice of Catholicism. Near the end of the Penal Laws, a new thatched-roof Catholic chapel was built in 1790. That humble chapel was replaced in 1875 by the magnificent St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Much of the funding for the new church came from those who emigrated from the parish to America following the Great Famine. Father Edward Boyle was responsible for arranging the financing.
St. Anne’s Church of Ireland (Anglican) was founded in 1833 by Rev. Robert Delap. Reverend Delap was a wealthy landowner in the parish and a curate of the Donaghmore Church of Ireland.
The Pubs: Browne’s Cross Bar is located on the north side of the main road at the intersection of the road to Killygordon Bridge. The Lantern Inn is located on the south side of the main road and across the street from Browne’s Cross Bar.
The Store: Bradley’s of the Cross is a Gala Store and post office. The last I heard, Barry Bradley was proprietor and postmaster.
Donegal Creameries: The Finn Valley Co-op was founded in 1898 and a creamery was opened in Crossroads the following year. In 1970, Finn Valley and a number of other co-ops joined to form Donegal Creameries. Donegal Creameries grew and it is now a major supplier of dairy products (named Daisi) in north-west Ireland. It is one of Donegal’s biggest employers and it sponsors County Donegal’s premiere GAA football team.
Much of my novel, DONEGAL GENERATIONS, takes place in Crossroads and in the hills to the south of the village. If you have the inclination, please check it out.