Assaranca (Eas a Ranca in Irish) Waterfall is located to the west of Ardara (Co. Donegal) on the way to the Maghera Caves.
Located on the western coast of County Donegal, the Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) cliffs are the highest sea cliffs in Europe, a 1998 feet (609 m.) drop to the Atlantic Ocean. They are almost 3 times the drop of the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.
The sights at the various viewing points are spectacular, and hiking and guided walks are available. The adventurous can take a walk to the highest point of the cliffs on a path called One Man’s Pass. A more gentle route is also available. This highlight of Donegal is not to be missed.
The Fanad Peninsula separates Lough Swilly from Mulroy Bay on the northern coast of County Donegal. A striking feature of the peninsula is the lighthouse that marks the western entrance to Lough Swilly from the sea.
This Fanad head lighthouse was proposed after the tragic shipwreck of the HMS Saldanha on the rocks in 1812. All hands were lost in the shipwreck. The only survivor was the ship’s parrot who was found with a silver collar inscribed with the ship’s name.
The lighthouse was finished in 1817 and first lit on St. Patrick’s Day. It shone a red light 14 miles out to sea and a white light toward Lough Swilly. The lighthouse was converted to electric operation in 1975 and was automated in 1983.
Fanad Head Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world, and in it’s dramatic setting, is one of the highlights of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
The SS Laurentic was a ship sunk during World War I in Lough Swilly. It was originally built as an ocean liner for the White Star line for passage between Liverpool and Quebec City. At the start of World War I, it was used as an armed merchant ship for transferring troops to Europe from Canada.
Under Captain Reginald Norton, it left Liverpool for Halifax on January 23,1917 with 479 passengers, mostly naval personnel, and 43 tons of gold ingots to purchase munitions from Canada and the United States. The ship made a stop at the Naval Base in Buncrana to allow four ill passengers to disembark. It then moved toward Fanad Head to pick up a destroyer escort to accompany it to Canada.
A blizzard at nightfall made visibility poor, and on January 25, the ship struck two mines in Lough Swilly and sunk within an hour. Those who made it to lifeboats rowed toward Fanad Lighthouse (http://tomgallen.com/2016/11/fanad-head-lighthouse/ ) in the freezing cold. Of the 475 on board the ship, only 121 survived. Most of those in the lifeboats froze to death and bodies washed ashore for weeks after.
All but about 22 gold ingots were eventually recovered. One of the ship’s guns was recovered in 2007 and displayed in the village of Downings on the Rosguill Peninsula in County Donegal.
My niece, Jeannie Marie, visited County Donegal recently with her brother, her brother’s wife, and a friend. County Donegal was the homeland of her grandparents. Jeannie produced this video which includes many of her photographs. Jeannie has a website in which her paintings and photographs are displayed. The website is: at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jeanne-allerton.html?tab=artwork. Prints, and other merchandise made from her images (including several of Ireland), can be purchased at this website.
Beautiful Fanad Head Lighthouse is situated on the northern coast of the Fanad Peninsula in County Donegal between Mulroy Bay and Lough Swilly. It was determined necessary following the wreck of the HMS Saldanha on the rocks in December 1811. The only survivor of that wreck was the ship’s parrot who was wearing a silver collar engraved with the Saldanha’s name.
The lighthouse was designed by civil engineer, Gearge Halpin and lit for the first time on St. Patrick’s Day in 1817. The light shone red to sea and white to Lough Swilly. The light could be seen for 14 miles out to sea.
Fanad Head Lighthouse became electric in 1975 and became fully automated in 1983. It is one of 70 lighthouses protecting ships on the coast of Ireland.
Thanks to George Bonsall for the photos.
In 1934, Reverend Walter Hegarty, C.C. wrote a series of articles in The Derry Journal about the history of Donaghmore Parish. They appeared in every Friday edition of the newspaper from January through July 1934 under the headings, “Rambles Round Donaghmore” and “Plantation of Finn Valley.” Copies of the articles recently came to my attention through my correspondence with Msgr. Francis Carbine of Philadelphia who obtained them from the Donegal Historical Society.
As you can imagine, these articles covered quite a bit of ground. Rev. Hegarty obtained his information from a large number of sources, and it includes some legend and folklore (not all of which is based on fact). I’ll try to summarize the material of the articles that pertains only to the Roman Catholic parish.
The Early Church -
When St. Patrick arrived at the Finn Valley in the 5th century he wished to locate his Domnach Mor (large church) “where sunlight first struck in the morning.” Building began on the right bank of the Finn in what is now Barryarrel Townland. Immediately there was trouble. Every night an animal with horns like a goat came out of the river and demolished the builders’ work. (The building material was likely wood or wattle.) Eventually, a second site was chosen on the left bank of the Finn at the present location of the Donaghmore Church of Ireland.
A legend speaks of the favourite dog of Finn McCool. The legend is a bit anachronistic in that Finn McCool, if he even existed, would have lived long before the time of Christianity in Ireland. Anyway, here it goes…
Finn had an old, almost blind, dog he named Bran who he loved dearly. Before Finn died, he gave Bran to his relative Oisin. When Oisin was hunting one day in “Carrick,” Bran, who was now almost completely blind, ran into a large rock and was killed instantly. Oisin also greatly loved the dog, and he engraved Bran’s image on a large rock. When Oisin died, he had given instructions that he wished to be buried at the spot where Bran died, and the rock placed over his grave.
Many years later, a grave was opened by the rector of Donaghmore and large bones were found in it. The inscription on the broad stone over the grave had the name Ossian (or Oscar). It was believed that Finn McCool and Oisin were baptised at Donaghmore (questionable fact). After opening the grave of “Oisin,” the church installed the stone bearing the likeness of Bran, next to the altar. When the church was later destroyed by marauders, another church was erected in its place, but the workmen decided to leave the stone outside the new church. This was not wise. The work done each day was undone each night (a recurring theme in these legends). Eventually the stone was inserted into the building and work continued. The stone remains to this day in the Donaghmore Church of Ireland. (The Ordinance Survey of 1836 mentions that the stone was broken when the Donaghmore Church was rebuilt in 1766 but the pieces were replaced in the wall.)
In his article, Father Hegarty claims that the present Donaghmore COI Church borders Carraic Colman which could be the Carrick told of in the story. This Carrick is a hill with a “giant’s grave” (large rock) in its centre which could be considered the traditional grave of Oisin.
After a number of years, the Donaghmore church lands became entrusted to two families with roots in Carrickabraghy, Inishowen. They were the Ua Gallein and the Ua Doireidh (Gallens and Deerys). The families were the eranaghs who managed the land and paid taxes to the diocese and ruling clan of the Finn Valley. Tradition holds that the Gallens occupied land on the left bank of the Finn until the reign of King James I when they were driven off the land by the plantation of English and Scottish Protestants on the church lands. The Gallens had to settle in the townland of Meenreagh.
The Deerys are documented in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1064 which states that Eochaidh Ua Doireigh was eranagh of Domnach Mor of Magh Ith (ancient name for that part of the Finn Valley). In 1206, Soerbhrethach Ua Doireidh was eranagh. It appears that the name changed through the years from Deery to Gerry to Garrey until the family is listed as Muintergarredie as eranaghs of Donaghmore Parish in the 1609 Inquisition of King James I. The Muintergallons were also listed as eranaghs.
Rectors and Curates -
In the early days of Donaghmore Parish, the work of rectors and curates were a bit different. The curates had to reside in the parish and look after it. The rectors were not required to live in the parish, and they could be religious students working toward ordination instead of ordained priests.
Rectors – One of the rectors of Donaghmore in the 14th century was Hugh O’Deery who later became curate of the parish as well. He was succeeded as rector by Neal MacMelamphy. At MacMelamphy’s death in 1422, he was succeeded by Thomas Carlin, then John MacDaly in 1442, then William Carlin in 1470, and Donal O’Merrigan in 1493, and then Maurice Carlin. Hugh Carlin followed Maurice as rector after that, and became Bishop of Clogher in 1535. During the reign of King Henry VIII, Hugh Carlin switched from Catholicism to the Church of England.
Curates – Previously mentioned Hugh O’Deery was both rector and curate at the beginning of the 15th century but was succeeded by the curate Angelicus Carlin. At Carlin’s death, Patrick O’Brain (O’Brian?) was appointed curate. O’Brain resigned in 1420 and Geoffrey O’Deery succeeded him. Meanwhile, Luke Carney applied as curate after Angelicus died, and he formed a separate line of curates. Following Luke Carney there were Henry Maireese, Clement O’Friel (1440), Donal Carlin, Arthur O‘Gallagher (1500s), and Neal O‘Gallagher.
Penal Times -
In addition to other restrictions, the Catholics of Donaghmore Parish had no place to worship during the time of the Catholic Penal Laws (c.1691-1778). Mass was celebrated secretly outdoors or at private homes. Priests had to disguise themselves and sneak into the parish and sneak out again quickly before being apprehended by priest-hunters who were rewarded for their captures.
There is one story about a plan to capture a priest by convincing a man in the parish to pretend to be sick and dying. A priest was called for. When a “beggar” visited the man at his house, he was greeted by soldiers when he departed. The “beggar” informed the soldiers that the man inside had just died. The soldiers went inside the home and found it was true. In the confusion the beggar-priest got away.
Supple Mathew Gallen was a scout for renegade priests during this period. He was an athletic youth born in Meenreagh Townland. Mathew would keep informed of the actions of the army and of priest hunters. When the soldiers or hunters started on their way, he would take shortcuts and give warnings to the congregations who were gathering. Sometimes he would disguise himself as a priest and let himself be seen by the attackers, then outrunning or outwitting them. During one close call, he got to the Mass rock just in time and shouted a warning and then threw himself down into a stone ditch to hide. He was found dead there. The location is supposed to be in the Minshe Finn in the Ballintra area. (I don’t know where this is.)
Many of the clerics who celebrated Mass in the parish were friars and not secular priests. One such cleric was the Black Friar, so named because of his black robes and the fact that he always rode a black horse. On alternate Sundays, he said Mass at Sessiaghoneill. It is believed that the Black Friar kept his horse with the Kyle family, kindly Protestants who ran a mill on the Mourne Beg River.
Mass was held at several Mass rocks and Mass houses in Donaghmore. There were two Mass houses along the Mourne Beg River near the Meenluskybane Burn. A priest was killed at one of those houses during Mass.
During the penal times in Castlefin, Mass was celebrated at a broad hill known as Cnocramar behind the town. There was a hedge there known as the Piper’s Bush and below it was a rock where a piper came with the congregation. If strangers were seen, the piper would play a tune and the young people would dance to throw off the soldiers. After the piper died, the sound of a pipe was still heard at the site. Later on, Mass was said under the arches of the Castlefin Bridge and in the backyard of Felix Quinn.
Among the secular priests to say Mass in Donaghmore during the penal times was Fr. Doherty who became the parish priest of Termonamongan (Co. Tyrone) in.1775.
Father Cornelius O’Mongan also celebrated Mass during the penal period. Fr. O’Mongan was born in 1650 and died in 1724. Father O’Mongan was once the Parish Priest of three parishes: Donaghmore, Urney, and Termonamongan. For more on Fr. O’Mongan, see: http://tomgallen.com/2013/08/father-cornelius-omongan/
A chalice used at Mass during the Penal times was found in Sessiaghoneill during work on the rail line. Workmen put up a cross at the place where it was found, and the line was diverted around the location. (No information on what happened to that chalice.)
On one Christmas, Friar Curnian celebrated Mass at the Mass rock at Crossroads. A messenger warned him that soldiers were coming. It was then that the Friar predicted that a chapel would be built there someday.
In October of 1759, Prime Minister Pitt addressed English Parliament and told them of the King’s command to end interference with Catholic worship. When restrictions eased, a Catholic chapel was planned for Donaghmore. Michael O’Flagherty was named Parish Priest (his brother Anthony was PP of Termonamongan). Fr. O’Flagherty built the chapel himself at Crossroads. It was a rectangular structure with a thatched roof. The chapel was begun in 1790 and completed in 1795. Fr. O’Flaherty died around 1799.
According to Fr. Hegarty, the Religious Census of 1766 indicated that there were 708 Protestant households and 685 Roman Catholic households in Donaghmore Parish. The parish had one secular priest (Fr. Doherty?) and one friar.
The 19th Century -
Father O’Flagherty was succeeded by Charles MacBride from County Tyrone. Father MacBride made improvements to the Crossroads chapel. An aisle was added to the centre of the building at right angles to the main aisle, and a slated roof replaced the thatch. Fr. MacBride lived in a house in Dromore Townland.
At some point, the Bishop replaced the curate Fr. O’Flagherty with Fr. MacGlade. The parishioners were displeased with this action and were starting a revolt of sorts. When their PP, Father MacBride, died in 1819, the bishop appointed William McClafferty as Parish Priest. The revolt came to a boil and the parishioners rejected the new priest, closing the chapel doors in his face. The new parish priest had to say Mass at a table outside the chapel. When the bishop heard of this, he recalled Fr. McClafferty and left the parish with no priests. After three years, the parishioners relented, and the bishop returned Fr. McClafferty to Donaghmore.
John MacLaughlin was ordained in 1821 and came to Donaghmore as curate. Two chapels (of ease) were built in Donaghmore in the 1820s. The chapel in Castlefin was built in 1822 and the chapel in Sessiaghoneill was built in 1828. (Today the Castlefin chapel is in Urney Parish.) The parish Priest appointed Fr. MacLaughlin as curate in charge of Castlefin. Fr. MacLaughlin leased the graveyard on land belonging to Mrs. Fox. MacLaughlin then turned his attention on procuring land for the chapel at Sessiaghoneill through either Mrs. Anderson or Mick McMennamin. The chapel was mostly completed before Fr. MacLaughlin was transferred and named the Parish Priest of Cappagh in 1828.
Fr. McClafferty was transferred to Moville in 1829. He was succeeded by Francis Quinn. In 1834, Fr. Quinn was swapped with Father Charles McCaffrey who was the Parish Priest of Omagh. In 1839, Fr. McCaffrey was appointed to Clonleigh and he was replaced by Father Neal O’Kane.
Father Neal O’Kane was born in 1791. He was a professor at the Derry Seminary and took part in the Derry Discussions of 1828 with Fr. Francis Quinn who was then a curate at Templemore. The Derry Discussions were held between six Catholic priests and six priests of the Church of Ireland who “discussed” the differences in their theology. The discussions were held in the Guildhall (then located at the diamond).
Diocesan musical chairs: When Fr. Quinn was assigned to Donaghmore as PP in 1829, Fr. O’Kane replaced him as curate in Derry. When John MacLaughlin left Cappagh in 1837, Fr. O’Kane became the Parish Priest there. In 1839, he came to Donaghmore as Parish Priest, replacing Fr. McCaffrey, who moved to Clonleigh.
Father O’Kane was the pastor of Donaghmore for only a year when he died under suspicious circumstances. He was quite stout but loved to ride his horse. On Passion Sunday in 1840, he rode home from Castlefin. A while later, some men found a horse grazing on the side of the road, and they discovered Fr. O’Kane covered in blood and lying in the grass. He was dazed and couldn’t speak. They brought him to the home of Widow Boyle and left him at the door. Mrs. Boyle’s servant girl identified him from the inscribed watch he received from participating in the Derry Discussions, and a doctor was sent for. Later that evening, he was brought to the home he shared with Hugh Gallagher. He died the next day.
Foul play was considered in his death. When he was in a dazed state, he was asked, “ Did any person do this to you?” He was unable to speak, but he shook his head (not stated whether this was yes or no, but I‘m assuming it was yes). After his death, the matter was argued by many who heard the story. It seems that Father O’Kane had taken part of a mixed marriage which offended a number of people of the Protestant community, some of whom were known to be dangerous. Many had no doubt that these men caused his death. However, nothing was ever proven, and the Derry newspapers reported that Fr. O’Kane died of a fall from his horse. His wake was at the Castlefin chapel, and he was buried in a plot that faces the gate.
The Boyles -
Father Edward Boyle was appointed Parish Priest after the death of Father O’Kane. He was the son of Edward Boyle of Daisy Hill and Catherine McMenamin of White Hill. Edward (Jr.) was born in 1790 and his brother John was born in 1798. Edward entered Maynooth at age 23 and was ordained in 1819. After ordination he went to Derry. He later became curate at Omagh. In 1825, he became the Parish Priest of Tamlacht Ard (Magilligan) and then Upper Badoney (Plumbridge) in 1833. In 1836, Edward’s father died at the age of 93 and left the farm at Daisy Hill to his sons who kept it running.
Edward’s brother John received his education from the Seminary of St. Columb in Derry. He was ordained in 1827 and served as curate at Moville, then Donagh, and then Malin. John was known as the “red-haired, weak-eyed defender of the faith” for combating “false religion” disseminated by tracks and “mutilated bibles.”
Edward Boyle returned to his home parish in Donaghmore as Parish Priest in 1840. His brother joined him as curate in 1842. After the famine, Edward was determined to build a decent church at Crossroads. He set about collecting money for the new building. The foundation stone was laid on May 12, 1872. The dedication of the church was held on April 25, 1875. For years, many recalled the huge amount of holy water that was used on that occasion.
John Boyle had ongoing health issues, and he died in 1882 after 40 years as curate. During those years, several curates passed through St. Patrick’s Church at Crossroads: James MacKenna, John MacGroaty, and Francis O’Neill (a cousin to the Boyles).
Edward Boyle died two years later on September 25, 1884 at the age of 94. The curate, John MacGroaty, was appointed Parish Priest. Father MacGroaty immediately started collecting for the spire and bell tower of the church. He died in 1893 before the tower was completed.
On August 2, 1896, the bishop came to St. Patrick’s Chapel to dedicate the new spire and bell tower. It was 140 feet high with a new bell that rang out for the first time that day.
The chapel at Castlefin was renovated and dedicated on November 10, 1907.
Other Parish Priests -
Father Joseph McKeefry was PP until he died in 1920. James Morris succeeded him, and during his tenure, he obtained the parochial house as a residence for priests. Father Morris died in 1926. Father Patrick Devlin came to Donaghmore as Parish Priest in 1927.
The events in my novel Donegal Generations take place in Donaghmore Parish during the 1700s and 1800s. I am always interested in hearing about the parish. If you have any comments, please post them at this website (tomgallen.com) or at my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DonegalGenerations/ .
This is an oil painting of Donegal by my niece, Jeannie Marie Allerton. It is the view from her grandmother’s home on Slate Row near Carrigart (http://tomgallen.com/2016/01/the-4th-earl-of-leitrim-and-slate-row/ ) . The view is toward Mulroy Bay with the mountains of the Fanad Peninsula in the background. More of Jeannie Marie’s work can be seen at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jeanne-allerton.html?tab=artwork. Prints, and other merchandise made from her images (including several of Ireland), can be purchased at this website.
In the 1930s, the Irish Folklore Commission (Irish Free State) began a program to preserve the stories and oral traditions of the people of Ireland. It did so by collecting the reminiscences of the “old folks” by the students of its primary schools. The students wrote the recollections of parent, grandparents, and neighbours in their exercise books, under the supervision of their teacher. These handwritten reports are available at the website www.duchas.ie .
Donaghmore Parish in County Donegal is the parish of my Gallen and Gallagher ancestors. It is principal locale used in my novel, “Donegal Generations.” In my obsession with the history of the parish, I published several posts about Donaghmore here in my website at: tomgallen.com . I’ve already published some of the folklore reports written by students of Meenreagh, Tievebrack, and Lismulladuff Primary Schools. In this post, I am publishing a few of the stories collected at the Gleneely Primary School.
The Irish name of Gleneely is Gleann An Fhaoilidh. Gleneely Primary School is located up the road that runs from Crossroads to the Tyrone border at Carn Hill. The new school is about 300 yards down the road from the original Gleneely school, one of the first national schools in the area.
Gleneely School was built in 1847 in the middle of the Great Famine on land owned by Henry Bradley. It was part of the Irish National School System begun in 1831. Prior to Gleneely School, there was a hedge school nearby taught by Alexander Craig, a Roman Catholic. Gleneely School drew students from a large area of the surrounding town lands. The original school closed in 1958 and was replaced by the modern school shown in the photos. Note that, other than the photo of the old school ruins, the other photos are stills from a video camera and have poor resolution.
The teacher at that time (1938) of the folklore project was Padraig MacFhinn. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mrgr. Francis Carbine, of Philadelphia for making me aware of the Folklore Project and for publishing a number of the stories reported from the Gleneely School. Msgr. Carbine is a descendant of ancestors from the Gleneely area, principally Cornashesk Townland. One of his relatives, Sean O’Cearrabain, is the author of several contributions to the Gleneely School Collection. Here are some of the stories.
THE GREY STONE ON CORNASHEISK MOUNTAIN -
This huge boulder, shaped like a chair, is the property of Mrs. McMonagle of Corrasheisk, Killygordon. A giant, long since dead, is supposed to have used it as a seat long ago. As an explanation of how the stone got there it is said that two giants over in Lismulladuff Glen – about three miles away- were testing their strength to see which could throw the stone the greater distance. The giant who won the test threw his stone on top of Cornasheisk Mt. and decided henceforth he would live there. A little distance below the stone a huge tombstone marks the spot where the giant lies buried. The tombstone is cut out in the shape of the giants’s own body. Writing can be traced on the upper surface of the stone but it is so blurred that it is impossible to decipher it. Local tradition has it that a great treasure lies buried in this grave.
Reported by J. Reid Prine
THE FAIRY BUSH -
In the field the property of Mr. Frank Bradley, Gleneely, Killyordon, there is a holly bush which is supposed to belong to the little-folk. Different people have seen the fairies playing around it and at times have heard strange music coming from it. It is recorded that children returning home from school began to play around the bush. They hung up their bags and coats on the bush. When they returned to look for them, they found that they were gone. Mr. James Bradley once saw three while sheep grazing around the tree but while he was watching them they disappeared into the tree.
Reported by J. Reid Prine
PRIEST HUNTING -
In the town land of Dromore, Killygordon, there lived a Protestant family who had a servant boy who was a Catholic. Wishing to kill the local parish priest, they asked the boy to pretend that he was ill so that they could ask the priest to the house to attend him. When the priest arrived he asked to be shown to the sick man. When they entered the room the people of the house were astounded that the boy was REALLY dead. Before they could recover from their amazement, the priest was safely on his journey homeward.
Reported by J. Reid Prine
ST. BRIDGET’S WELL -
In the townland of Donaghmore, Liscooley, County Donegal, is a holy well called St. Bridget’s Well. It is situated in a field the property of a Protestant farmer called Taylor. This man does not encourage pilgrimages to the well so that no general assemblies take place. On several occasions he vainly attempted to close up the well but as water persisted springing up at the spot he was obliged to open up the well again or else suffer a large part of his well to be flooded. People here in the locality have great faith in the healing powers of this well and several cures have been wrought which support their claims.
Reported by J. Reid Prine
FAIRY TREE -
When a gang of workmen were engaged in constructing a new road in the town land of Mounthall, they encountered a hawthorn bush directly in their path. The foreman in charge gave orders to some of the men to have it removed. Several of them declined to perform this task declaring that the bush was a fairy-tree and they would be inviting disaster if they interfered with it. One of their number however by the name of Jim Gallen, declared that their fears were only rubbish and that he would prove it by removing the tree himself. He first began to remove the small boulders around the foot of the tree and was rather startled but not discouraged when several white mice emerged. He next proceeded to extract the bush roots and all. When he succeeded in uprooting it, a large bird of weird shape and without ant feathers flew out in his face and disappeared. Then the fears of men were realized. Jim Gallen’s cows suddenly refused to give and milk. This was very strange because they did not appear to be ailing. Things went to such a pitch that in despair Gallen went and planted the tree again near where he uprooted it. He was very relieved the next morning to find that his cows were overflowing with milk.
Reported by J. Reid Prine
HIDDEN TREASURE -
There is a treasure supposed to be hidden at the grey-stone. This stone is situated at the back side of Cornashesk Mountain. Giants long ago made this stone their stopping place. These giants were supposed to have plenty of gold, and to store it, they dug a great hole in the ground beside the grey stone. For fear of anyone getting their money, the giants rolled always this big stone on top of the treasure. When these giants died, it was supposed that the treasure was still there. Plenty of people would have tried to get it only for this heavy stone on top of it. The treasure is supposed to consist of gold and silver. The stone where the treasure is is about [?] miles from the county road. There lived certain people in our district called Connaghans. Once they were cutting turf in the bog of Onagradh. They found a bag of money. In this bag there were a large number of pounds. The “bank” where they got this was about one hundred yards from the road. The bag was in the middle of it and it was about eighty pounds, and it was supposed to be hidden by a man called Otchen. This man was known as a highway robber.
Reported by Gerard Doherty (age 14) , Rushey Hill
MY HOME DISTRICT -
Gleneely is the name of the district I’m living in. The town land of Gleneely is in the Parish of Donaghmore. There are about eleven families living in out district. The the eleven families there are about forty-seven people. The names most common in our district are the Rules and the McCormacks. There are two families of each. There are different types of houses in our district. There are thatched houses and slated houses also. Some of the houses are very small and some are large and there is only one two-story house in our district. There are only two people of over seventy years of age in our town land. They do not know Irish. They are not storytellers either for I never heard them tell a story. There was one old man of over seventy who could have told stories all day long. This old man is Johnny Browne who went away from the district and is still living at the Crossroads. The houses are more plentiful than they are now. Some of the families emigrated to other places. The Brownes were one of the families who went away. When they went away, the house they were living in was tumbled to the ground. Some other people went away to Scotland. There is only one or two persons who went away to America and came back home in a few years. There are many old houses to be seen where people lived. There are two large woods growing near our house. One of them is called Monellan Wood. Monellan Wood is larger than the the other and it contains 100 acres. All the trees in Monellan Wood are cut down, but the trees are growing in the other wood yet. There is a large castle in each of the woods. Our town land is not mentioned in any song or old saying. The River Finn is the nearest river to our house. The land is good and fertile. It is hilly land. Most of the land is cultivated.
Reported by Thomas Wilson (age 15) , Gleneely
VENGEANCE FROM HEAVEN -
Some time ago there lived a minister who was very fond of money. He a large congregation and he was asking them for money every Sunday but none of them wanted to pay anything. he tried all means but did not succeed. He gave money to a few of his old friends to encourage others to pay but that did not make them pay any better. He told them that something would happen to them. he said that they would have no luck whatever with their crops or cattle when they did not pay him. Finally he got tired asking them to pay. At long and at last he thought of a plan. The following Sunday he told them if they would not pay that week he would make God pour down vengeance on them. There happened to be a loft on the church and he paid a man to go up to the loft with an armful of “shows”. He told him when he would call to him to pour down vengeance he was to light the “shows” and throw them down through a hole in the roof. When the burning “shows” began to fall, the people rushed up and began to pay. They were throwing down pounds and ten shillings. The minister was enjoying himself for he was fooling them. He thought that he had not got enough and he called for more vengeance. The man in the loft called down,”my shows are finished.” Then they all rushed up and took their money back again and then the minister had to fly or they would have killed him. My uncle Jim Bradley of Corradoey told me this story.
By Jim Wilson (13) of Gleneely
BURIED BUTTER AS A HEALER -
When I was at home I remember going with another girl to a certain man. This girl’s brother had the “evil”. This man had butter that was found in the bog. He gave a piece of it to the girl to cure her brother and she brought it home and whatever way it was used it cured the brother of the “evil”.
By Liam McMenamin from Mrs. Wilson (Gleneely)
THE FAIRY LIGHT -
This story was told to me by a man named Eddie Connaghan. He is about forty years of age and lived in the townland of Ownagadragh. He said that there used to be a light seen in the mountain of Ownagadragh. This was supposed to be fairies. It was seen for a long time but it was seen in the winter. This light is not seen now. By Sean O’Cearrabain (13) Cornashesk