Dúchas Thír Chonaill

Donegal Heritage


December 2015

Some Rosses men involved in World War One

ROSSES MEN by Patrick McGill

Just a dhrink iv water and lave me be
Comrades of mine are near at hand
Others are wanting you more than me
And I’ve got the boys from my own townland.

Mickey Rudagh and Mánus Óg
Next door neighbours they were at home
And Éamonn Rua beyond the bog
And all iv them here near Bapaume.

Platoon Eleven! Ah glory be,
First and foremost in fighting, when
‘Twas out at the front for the world to see
What the world expects iv the Rosses men.

1914 they fell and died
All in a bunch, the boys I’ve known.
And I buried the three of them side by side
And hard it was after to live alone.

1918, it’s thanks be to God
Who calls me to him near Bapaume
It’s here I’d rest – and the world is broad
By the side of the boys I knew at home.

So a dhrink iv water and lave me be;
Comrades iv mine are near at hand;
In death as in life they will neighbour me
Mates iv my own from my own townland.

James Ward.jpg


James Ward son of Anthony and Nancy Ward nee Bonner of Upper Keadue was killed in action at the Battle of Mons Belguim in August 1914 aged 22years.

Charles Sharkey


A native of Mullaghduff where he was better known as Charlie Nellie, he was a son of Owenie Eoghan Bhig and Nellie Sharkey. He enlisted into the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards in Kirkcaldy Fifeshire. His regiment number was 5956. He was killed in action on the 5th day of the battle of Loos  on Thursday September 30th 1915 aged 22 years and is remembered at the Loos Memorial Northern France and at the family plot in Kincasslagh.

Seáinín O’Donnell

Seáinín was a son of Braighnidh  Antoin and Anna Sheain Sheoirse O’Donnell Annagry. He was a brother of James and Kít Neilín’s father. He died in the war but no more information is available.

James McGee

1-WW1 Photoscollage1

James was born in Mullaghduff in 1897 to Patrick and Grace McGee nee O’Donnell. He joined the 1st Battalion Irish Guards sometime during the war. He had two uncles and a first cousin in the same regiment. He died of his wounds on Monday September 10th 1917 aged just 20 years. He is buried in Artillery Wood Cemetery, Belguim. The cemetery was begun by the Guards Division in August 1917 after they had captured Artillery Wood itself during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge He was one of the first to be buried in this cemetery and his grave is close to the celebrated Irish poet Francis Ledwidge.

Owen O’Donnell


A native of Mullaghduff, he was a son of local shopkeeper Maurice and Brigid O’Donnell nee Sharkey. Owenie Mhuruis as he was locally known as was born in 1891.  After completing his education at Mullaghduff National School he got positions with the Ulster Bank in Belfast, Ballina and Manorhamilton. When a vacancy occurred in the Anglo South American Bank he applied. A prerequisite of the job was that the applicant had to become proficient in oral and written Spanish. He taught himself Spanish in order to get the position. The language books he used are still in the possession of his relatives. Owenie got an appointment in Buenos Aires Argentina, but returned to join the Royal Irish Regiment on outbreak of the war. He was offered a commission he turned it down and went to France as a private. He was wounded on October 16th 1916 but after hospitalisation he returned to fight. He was killed in action on July 31st 1917 in Flanders. Owenie was then the sixth soldier from Mullaghduff townland to be killed in the war.


He is remembered on Panel 6 and 8 at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belguim and at the family plot in Kincasslagh Cemetery.

Andy Gallagher

Andy son of John and Mary Gallagher Owey Island joined 69th Battalion Infantry Regiment known as the Fighting Irish. He fought in France at the Battles of Marne and Meuse-Argonne. He survived the war.

Patrick Mc Ginley

Patrick was a son of Paddy Beag and Anne McGinley nee Curran Mullaghduff. He enlisted in Portobello Edinburgh into the Scots Guards in August 1914. His regiment number was 7468. He was killed in action in France on the 12th of November 1914. He is remembered in Ypres Belguim on panel 11 at the Menin Gate Memorial and also at the family plot in Kincasslagh.

Condy O’Donnell

Condy O’Donnell from Augillies Dungloe  son of John and Bridget O’Donnell joined the 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers in Glasgow at the outbreak of war and was posted to France that autumn. He was killed in action on November 13th 1914 aged 27 years. It is possible that he died from injuries sustained two days earlier at the Battle of Nonneboschen. He is buried in Grave I.A.13 Rue- Du Bacquerot No1 Military Cemetery in the town of Laventie, Northern France.

John Boyle

John Boyle a native of Owey Island was better known as John Den. He joined the 69th Battalion Infantry Regiment in America and saw action in France.

John Brennan

John Brennan better known as John Phroinsias was born in Bunaman Annagry. He was a son of Proinsias and Kate Brennan nee McGee. He joined the 8th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Lanark and was sent to France. He was killed in action at the Battle of Hulluch on Saturday April 29th 1916 aged 33 years.  He was survived by his wife Rose Ann nee Dunbar and his five year old son who lived in Lanark. His regiment number was 17089. In the week Patrick Pearse declared the Irish Republic on the steps of the GPO, the Irish Brigades of the 16th (Irish) Division suffered horribly in a gas attack launched by the Germans on the 27th of April 1916 at Hulluch. There were 2,128 Irish casualties, 538 were killed, the remainder were to suffer chronic lung and breathing conditions for the rest of their lives. Like the men from the 2nd Dublins back in May 1915, many died years later as a result of this attack. On the 29th of April, the Germans launched another gas attack on the Irish lines, however on this occasion the wind turned right round and blew the gas back over the German lines, the result being equally appalling. John is remembered on the Loos Memorial Panel 128 at Pas de Calais Northern France.

Michael O’Donnell

Michael son of Paddy Johnny and Hannah O’Donnell nee Bonner was born in Rannyhual, Mullaghduff. He joined the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Kirkcaldy Fifeshire and was given the regiment number 5854. He was wounded at the Battle of Trones Wood and died on Sunday September 17th 1916 aged 25 years. The following is a copy of his last letter he wrote and was found on his person after his death. “My dear Father and Mother, A few lines from your youngest son about to go into battle. I do not know what may happen to me. But if it is God’s holy will that I shall fall, remember that I will be in Heaven. Only a few days ago I lost my poor comrade. He was killed beside me. I hope, dear father, that you will be provided for by my brothers, if God spares them. Dear Father, I am thankful for all you did for me. Goodbye to all my nieces and nephews and cousins, and all my friends in dear old Mullaghduff, goodbye forever dearest Father and Mother, goodbye niece Nora Sharkey. Erin go Bragh.  P.S. If any fond comrade should find this, send to this address, and I hope God will reward them. Michael had four brothers and two nephews and at least two first cousins fighting in the Great War. Brothers Paddy, Jimmy and Manus were in British regiments, brother Maurice was a career soldier in the US Army, nephews Brian Sharkey and James McGee together with cousins Owenie and Eddie O’Donnell. His nephew James McGee and cousin Owenie O’Donnell paid the ultimate price. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial at the Somme France.

Patrick Duggan

Patrick son of Bartley and Bridget Duggan Calhame was born on June 18th 1896. He enlisted in the 10th Battalion Highland Light Infantry in Hamilton, Scotland on November 2nd 1914. He was sent to France on May 13th 1915 and was killed in action at the Battle of Loos on September the same year. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial in Northern France.


Con Duggan

Con son of Bartley and Bridget Duggan Calhame enlisted in the 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on January 4th 1916 in Lanarkshire where he worked as a tramway driver.  Con lost his life during the last days of the Easter Rising in Dublin aged 23 years. He was shot dead for disobeying an order to fire at the “Rebels”. His brother younger brother Patrick was killed in action in France eleven months previously. His remains were taken back home to Calhame where he was waked. He is buried in the family grave in Kincasslagh, but his name is recorded on a headstone in the Kilmainham Hospital yard.


John O’Donnell

John O’ Donnell a native of Derrynamansher Annagry was a son of Neil and Sarah Anne O’Donnell nee Bell. He joined the Irish Guards in the early 1900s and was retired from duty some months before the outbreak of World War I. When England’s appeal for more men came, he rejoined his old regiment. Soon after he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and was employed as a drill instructor.  John was not content with this role, as he longed to join his regiment at the front. Hence he volunteered for active service and was sent to France on February 28th 1915. On March 16th he was wounded in action and was removed to hospital where he succumbed to his wounds a week later. In a letter to his parents just before he left for France he stated “ Death is only an exit from one state and an entrance to another, and the most noble way to make that transition is in defence of one’s country”.  He concluded by stated that in the event of losing his life that his death should “be a consolation to you to remember that I gave my life in defence of a just and holy cause”.  John was interned in the Bethune Town Cemetery in Northern France. He was 34 years old.

Maurice O’Donnell

1-Maurice O'Donnell Grave.jpg

Maurice on June 29th 1873 was one of the eldest sons of Paddy Johnny and Hannah O’Donnell Rannyhual Mullaghduff emigrated to America and enlisted in the US Army in 1891.He was a career soldier and retired in 1937 with the rank of captain having seen action in World War One. He died on December 12th 1949 and is buried in San Francisco National Cemetery, California.

James McGinley 

A native of Mullaghduff, James was a son of Eoghan Ruadh and Grace McGinley nee Sweeney. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers at Hamilton, Scotland where he lived with his wife Annie nee McCafferty a native of Falcarragh and his young family. His regiment number was 17608. He was killed in action in Gallipoli on Friday June 4th 1915. James is remembered at the Helles Memorial in Turkey.

Owen Boyle

A native of Meenderryowen Annagry he was known locally as Owenie Dhomhnaill Frainc. He joined the Irish Guards in 1915, enlisting in Derry while on the way to work the harvest in Scotland.  He began training at the Army Signal Corps Camp in Dunstable near London. He left for France on the 22nd of December 1915. While serving with the newly formed 2nd Battalion on the opening days of the Battle of the Somme on July 3rd 1916 he was wounded in the head and legs. After been hospitalised he made a good recovery. He took part in the Regiment Games at Tidworth, England in 1917 where he won 1st prize in the long jump clearing 21 feet 4 inches. At Brentwood Essex the same year he completed against the flower of the British Army and took 2nd place in 7 mile cross country race. At that same event he was part of team that beat 600 other competitors. He was demobilised from the Army on March 26th 1919. Owen got a pension on account of his wounds which in 1929 was £1.8s. This was increased to £2.4s by 1948. He died on April 17th 1960 aged 73 years and is interned in the family plot in Annagry Cemetery.


Barry Duggan

Fr Barry Duggan.jpg

Barry Duggan a son of Charlie and Bridget Duggan nee Sharkey N.T was born in Mullaghduff in February 1893. After receiving primary education at Mullaghduff National School he got first place in the first ever entrance exam for the newly opened St Eunan’s College in 1916. On completion of his studies in Letterkenny he entered a seminary in Rome where he obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy. Now fluent in Gaelic, English, Italian and French he was ordained to the priesthood on February 20th 1916 in Rome by Cardinal Peinpili.  After returning to home in June of that year, he volunteered for service as Chaplin to the Forces at the Western Front. Rev. Duggan was appointed to his new post on November 11th 1916 where on he received the rank of Captain. Send to the France with the 5th Brigade on February 2nd 1917, he served for 4 months before returning to England on sick leave. He returned to the action in France where he served with the 29th Machine Gun Corps on March 23rd 1918. He joined the ranks of the 64th Infantry Brigade attached to the 9th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in May of that year where he served until he was demobilised in February 1919.  He returned home to his native diocese of Raphoe where he carried out his pastoral duties. He died in the Shiel Hospital Ballyshannon while serving as curate in Kilcar on January 18th 1952. He is buried in Kincasslagh cemetery alongside his beloved mother who died only 6 weeks prior.

Lanty Gallagher

Lanty Gallagher was born in Dunmore Carrickfin in 1874 to Johnny the Sailor and Bridget Gallagher nee Forker. He followed his father’s footsteps by joining the Royal Navy in 1898. Lanty was out fishing one day off Gola Island when he stopped a naval vessel and asked the captain if he could join them, after getting approval they towed his fishing craft into Downings. During his naval career he sailed the seven seas on various ships.


Lanty  joined the new battlecruiser HMS Lion when it was commissioned on June 4th 1912. HMS Lion became the Royal Navy’s flagship in World War I under the command of Vice Admiral David Beatty. Now with the rank of gunner Lanty was to the fore at the first battle in modern naval warfare at Heligoland Bight in August 1914 and Battle of Dogger Bank in January 1915. At the decisive Battle of Jutland he was responsible for firing the first shots from the Lion’s new 13.5 inch guns. During this battle HMS Lion suffered a serious propellant fire that could have destroyed the ship had it not been for the bravery of the turret commander, who posthumously received the Victoria Cross having ordered the magazine to be flooded. Another Lower Rosses man John Bonner from Belcruit Kincasslagh was also crew on a Royal Navy ship at Jutland. Lanty retired  in July 1918. He got married after the war and lived back home in Dunmore where he died on July 6th 1957. He is interned in the family plot in Annagry cemetery.

Paddy Boyle

Paddy Boyle was born in the Lower Rosses in the closing years of the 19th century. Little is known of his youth but it is believed that he joined the British Army on the onset of the Great War. He served in Mesopotamia possibly with one of the many Indian based regiments, for he had many stories relating to Bombay. Sometime during this period he went absent without leave. The next sighting of Paddy was in Palestine when a soldier of the 10th Division asked him for a light for his cigarette. The soldier was surprised to be answered by an English speaker with a Donegal accent. Paddy rejoined the Army and later served with the Irish Guards in France for the remainder of the war.


Paddy returned home to the Annagry/Kincasslagh area where lived in various abodes. Although severely shell shocked he supplemented his war pension by mending nets for local fishermen, a trade he possibly learned at the Industrial School in Killybegs prior to his Army days. He died in Braade in March 1960 and is interned in Annagry cemetery.

Condy Boyle

Condy Boyle from Belcruit a member of the Irish Guards was severely wounded at Mons.

Condy Gallagher

Condy Gallagher Belcruit  injuried in the Battle of Mons, returned home and died in Arranmore in 1954.

Charles Ward

A native of Roshine Burtonport where he was known as Charlie Phadaí Hudie. Charlie was only 16 when he joined up in Ayr a year or two before the war was declared. He was in Ayrshire with his father working on farms when he joined the 3th/5th Royal Scots Fusiliers.

1-Charlie War 1914.jpg

He was bought out twice by his father, but he joined up again. When war was declared, his regiment joined the 155th Brigade of the 52nd Division and departed for the Mediterranean in May 1915, landing at Gallipoli and engaging in various actions against the Turkish Army. They evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt in 1916 to defend of the Suez Canal. Later that year he served in Palestine. He deserted while home on leave in 1916, and hid out in the Hills. Charlie later joined the Volunteers where he fought in the Irish War of Independence. He was involved in the Meenbanad Ambush on January 11th 1921 when a trainload of some 150 British soldiers was attacked. Charlie died in Roshine in February 1981 aged 83 and is buried in Belcruit Cemetery.

John O’Donnell

John was born in Meenaleck on October 21st 1889 to Anton and Brigid O’Donnell. John enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders at Leith near Edinburgh on August 22th 1914 and was send to the Western Front. He spent 2 years 168 days in France before a shell landed beside him and blew off one arm just below the elbow. He survived and came back home where he married Mary Byrne at they lived in Annagry.  He died on March 26th 1962 in Annagry and is buried in the local cemetery.

John Bonner


John Bonner son of James and Mary Bonner of Meenbanad enlisted in the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Inverkeithing Scotland and received the regiment number 18363. Better known as Jack, he was killed at the Somme on the July 1st 1916 aged 26yrs. Jack is buried in the Sucrerie Military Cemetery in Colincamps France.

Patrick McGarry

Patrick listed as been born in Kincasslagh joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Inverkeithing Scotland. He possibly joined on the same day as Jack Bonner from Meenbanad as they were in the same regiment and his number was 18380. He could have been working in the same as Jack and may have come from the Keadue/Meenbanad area. Patrick was killed in action in France on March 21st 1918 and is buried in Grave II.E.13 Unicorn Cemetery Vendhuile France. He could have been the Patrick McGarvey who was serving alongside Jack Bonner according to a letter home to Jack’s sister.

Neice Bonner

Neice was brother of Jack Bonner and a son of James and Mary Bonner of Meenbanad. He survived the war and is reputed to have taken weapons home to the local Irish Volunteers, which was later used against the British Army. He later lived in Scotland where he died.

Paddy Bonner

Paddy Bonner survived at gas attack in France during WW1. After hospitalisation he returned home to Meenbanad. He died in the 1950s and is buried in Kincasslagh Cemetery. His brother Jack was killed at the Somme and his other brother Neice survived the war.

Thomas Boyd

Tommy as he was better known as was born on October 25th 1891 in Carrickfin to Christy John Mhór and Lizzie Boyd nee Foster. He emigrated to America in his youth. When the United States joined the war, Tommy enlisted in the army. He was sent to France in 1918, but had the good fortune of landing there on the last days of the war. He served in France as a peacekeeper before returning to the States. Several years later he returned home to look after his ageing parents. He married Jennie Boyd from Carnboy and they reared their family on the family farm. He died on November 29th 1977 and is buried in Bunbeg Cemetery.

Edward O’Donnell

Edward O’Donnell son of Maurice and Brigid O’Donnell nee Sharkey Mullaghduff joined the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He deserted while home on leave.

Edward Boyle

Edward a son of Mickey Phadaí Mhicheál and Anna Sheáinín Boyle was born in Carrickfin in 1889. Neddy as he was better known as emigrated to his brother Paddy in St Louis Missouri USA in April 1910.

Eddie Boyle Carrickfin Navy.jpg

He served in the US Navy during WW1. He later married Mary Delahunt from Co.Tipperary and they raised their family in the States.

James Boyd

James born in 1882 was the eldest son of Jamesy Nellie and Annie Boyd nee Wilson of Carnboy, Carrickfin.

1-James Jamesy Nellie Boyd.jpg

Jimmy Jamesy Nellie as he was better known as emigrated to New Zealand with his cousins and his neighbour Paddy Gallagher in 1904. When he left home he thought he’d never see his siblings again, but one man’s misfortune turned into Jimmy’s opportunity. With the war raging across the world, he enlisted on July 1st 1917 and served as No.52061, Unit 1st Battalion, Wellington Regiment. He sailed aboard the SS. Waitemata arriving at Plymouth, England on September 24th of the same year. During his service in France he was granted leave to return home to Carnboy to see his folks. He spend two nights at home in November 1918, before leaving again for the last time. He died on October 27th 1964 and is buried in the Soldiers Cemetery, Kiakoura, South Island, New Zealand.


James Duffy

James Duffy born in Annagry East in 1895 was a son of Donnchadh Phadaí and Annie Duffy nee Harley. He joined the Deal Battalion Royal Marine Light Infantry from home. His mother Annie tried her best to get him to leave the forces but he insisted on staying.


He received the rank of private and the number 17501. He sailed for Eastern Front landing in Gallipoli where he was wounded. He was hospitalised in Alexandria Egypt, but later returned to Cape Helles where he was killed in action on December 11th 1915 on the last days of the British offensive in that region. He is remembered on the SP. Memorial at the Redoubt Cemetery in Helles, Turkey.

 Edward Sweeney

Edward Sweeney born in Meenacrieve Annagry in 1890 was the son of Paddy Neddy and Cecily Sweeney. On the outbreak of war he joined the Merchant Navy. Ned as he was better known was posted on the SS. Marina a Glasgow registered former liner of the Donaldson line. He was lost at sea when his ship while making a voyage from Glasgow to Balitmore was sunk by U-55 on October 28th 1916. SS. Marina sank in the same area the Lusitania went down in 1915. Ned is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial in London.

Denis Duffy

Denis Duffy (Brian) Annagry joined the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and received the regiment number 962 in Glasgow on October 21st 1914. Prior to this he was employed by David Bailey at Inch Farm, Carluke, Lanarkshire. His father Bernard was then working in Scotland and gave his address as Bonfreight Place, Douglas Water, Lanark. Denis was one of the many men that were pressurized into the war while worked at the harvest. He was posted to the Balkans in July 1915 where he spent 198 days. He was send home on leave due medical grounds in January 1916. He was finally discharged from duty on January 25th 1917.

1-Denis Duffy Annagry 3.jpg

He was suffering from anaemia and received a weekly disability pension of 6 schillings per week. Denis died at home in 1921. He was a native of Annagry East

Anthony C. O’Donnell

Private Anthony C. O’Donnell was a son of Daniel O’Donnell Cranaguiggy. He was married to Sally McGarvey of Loughanure. They had no family. He was a member of the 2nd Reserve Battalion Irish Guards in England. He died in England on December 3rd 1914 and is buried in Caterham and Warlingham Cemetery, Surrey.

Hugh Bonner

Hugh joined 31st Coy Machine Corps which was part of the 10th (Irish) Division. During his time in the war he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. He entered the name of Charles Bonner Loughanure cousin and his next of kin on his enlistment papers. Hugh was born in Loughanure and his sister was Sarah married to Hugh Duffy Meenacrieve Annagry. The 31st Machine Gun Company was formed from the Machine Gun Sections of 31st Brigade on the 11th May 1916 at Basingstoke. They departed from Liverpool on the 9th of July for Lemnos. The 31st Brigade landed  at Sulva Bay on the 6th and 7th of August 1915 and made an attack on Chocolate Hill on the 7th and 8th. They were withdrawn from Gallipoli on the 31st of September 1915 to Mudros, moving to Salonika, landing between the 5th and 10th of October. It is possible that Hugh died as a result of his wounds in a hospital in Alexandria Egypt on October 16th 1917. He is buried in Grave C.35 in the Alexandria Hadra War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.

 Charles Sweeney

Charles Sweeney son of John and Mary Sweeney Thor Crolly joined the 2nd Battalion Cameronians, Scottish Rifles. He was killed in action on March 3rd 1915 the first day of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in Flanders aged 33 years. He is remembered on Panel 15/16 Le Touret Memorial Northern France.

James Doherty

James Doherty son of Falcarragh based school teacher Anthony J. and Mary Doherty of Cruit Island. James born on November 21st 1898 was one of the youngest to volunteer for military service at the outbreak of war. Rising to the rank of Lance Corporal in the 1th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, he died of his wounds sustained in a prisoner of war camp on March 24th 1918. He is buried in Grave I. G. 20 Saint-Souplet Cemetery Northern France.

Hugh O’Donnell

Hugh O’Donnell son of Hughie and Mary O’Donnell nee McLoone Rampart Burtonport was a school teacher before he joined the Army Ordnance Corp. He was discharged due to a heart condition in 1918.

James Ward and James Duffy

James Ward from Cloughlass Burtonport served in the Army. He deserted while at home on leave in 1917. He was arrested along with fellow deserter James Duffy from Meenbannad at a dance in Kincasslagh and was taken to Burtonport RIC Barracks where they were held. The local company of the Irish Volunteers received intelligence that both prisoners were to be taken by train to Derry to be court marshalled. The Volunteers decided to rescue the men from the train and on January 3rd 1918 this was carried out successfully without a single shot being fired. This incident has been described as the first official attack on crown forces in the War of Independence. James emigrated to the USA, where he was called up for national service. He was killed in a traffic accident in US on July 4th 1931.  James Duffy joined the Irish Army and lived in Athlone.

James Ward (Susan) Cloughglass pictured in a US uniform. Photo: Susie Boyle

Manus Boyle

Manus Boyle son of Donal and Ellen Boyle of Crolly joined the 6th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers in Hamilton Scotland. He was killed in action during the landings of Sulva Bay in the Dardanelles on August 15th 1915. He is remembered on Panel 185 to 190 Helles Memorial Turkey.

Charles O’Donnell

Charles O’Donnell son of Patrick and Mary O’Donnell Meenbanad enlisted in No. 3 Company 2nd Battalion Irish Guards in Glasgow. He died on September 15th 1916 on the first day of the Battle of Flers–Courcelette aged 23. He is buried in Grave X.H.8 Guards Cemetery Les Boeufs Somme France.

John Doogan


John Doogan son of James and Rose Doogan Bunawack Crolly joined the 16th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. He died of his wounds he received while fighting at Ancre on March 6th 1917 aged 22. He is buried in Grave I.D.7 Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery Somme France.

Paddy McGinley

Paddy McGinley son of Frank Beag and Mary McGinley nee Gallagher Mullaghduff joined the Royal West Kent Regiment in Chatham England on October 26th 1914. He was discharged in January 1915.

Patrick McGinley pictured with his sister Nellie

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy son of Neil and Mary Kennedy nee Doogan Croveigh emigrated to Australia in his youth. He joined the 2nd Australian Pioneers on the 13th May 1916.

1-Charles Kennedy Croveigh18.jpg

He died from injuries received at the Battle of Passchendaele on October 3rd 1917 aged 35 years just two months after his contemporary Manus Máire from Meenaweal who died during the same offensive. He is remembered on Panel 172 Lijssentheok Military Cemetery Poperinge Belguim.

Manus O’Donnell

Manus O’Donnell son of James and Máire O’Donnell nee McCole Meenaweal Crolly joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Glasgow. He died from injuries received at the Battle of Passchendaele on August 6th 1917 aged 30 years.

1-Medal Roll Manus O Donnell Crolly.jpg

Manus is buried in Grave III.D.16 Iper Town Cemetery Extension in Belgium.

Patrick Campbell

Lance Corporal Patrick Campbell was a son of Dan and Mary Campbell Lackenagh Burtonport. On the outbreak of war he joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers where he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Patrick was killed in action during the Battle of Festubert on May 16th 1915 aged 24 years. He is remembered at Panel 16/17 Le Touret Memorial Northern France.

Daniel Mc Cole

Daniel Mc Cole son of Patrick and Mary McCole Lettercaugh joined the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards. He was killed in action during the Battle of the Lys on April 13th 1918 aged 44 years. He is remembered on Panel Ploegsteert Memorial Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

John Ward

John Ward son of Sean and Mary Ward nee Gallagher of Glenahilt Burtonport joined A Company 320th Infantry Force US Army as a mechanic. He was killed in action on October 9th 1918 aged 32 years. He was buried in Nantellois Cemetery France but his remains where taken home and reinterred in the family plot in Kincasslagh Cemetery. The US Military erected a headstone to his memory.

Patrick O’Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell son of Frank and Kate O’Donnell Glasbeggan joined the Scottish Rifles in Glasgow in September 1914 but was later transferred to the 1th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. He came home on leave for three weeks in March 1916. He was hospitalised for 36 days in Flanders as a result of gas poisoning, but succumbed on April 12th 1918 aged 30 years. He is remembered on Panel 1 Ploegsteert Memorial Comines-Warneton Hainaut Belgium.

Patrick Bonner

Patrick Bonner son of Godfrey and Annie Bonner nee Forker Arlands Burtonport joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He died of his wounds on Saturday April 30th 1918 aged 20 years. He is buried in Grave VIII.C.25 Cologne Southern Cemetery Germany

Denis Duffy

Denis son of Andy and Peggy Duffy nee Boyle was born in Annagry West in 1894 He joined the war effort while working in Scotland. It is though he was in the ranks of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. After seeing action in Salonika he deserted while on leave in England. Undetected he spent the rest of his life in Preston, Lancashire. He died in 1974 aged 82 and is buried in Preston.

Joseph McGonagle

Fr. Joseph McGonagle a native of Owey Island was Chaplin to the 16th Irish Division during the war. He returned to the Diosse of Raphoe where he ministered in such places as Tory Island and Meenacross. He never fully recovered from the horrors of administering at the Western Front.

Charles McGonagle


Charles McGonagle son of Stephen and Annie McGonagle Owey Island joined the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. He was killed at Cruinchy France in a place called Brickfields on February 14th 1915 aged 20 years. Charles is buried in Grave II.D.9 in the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner Cuinchy.

David Boyd 

1-David Jamesy Nellie Boyd.jpg

David son of Jamesy Nellie Boyd and Annie Boyd nee Wilson of Carnboy, Carrickfin emigrated to his brother Jimmy in 1910. He enlisted in Unit 1st Battalion Wellington Regiment and sailed aboard the SS. Waitemata arriving at Plymouth, England on September 24th 1917. During his service in France he was granted leave with his brother Jimmy to return home to Carnboy to see his folks. He spend two nights at home in November 1918, before leaving again for the last time. He died relatively young on December 17th 1943 aged 57 years and is buried in Kiakoura, South Island, New Zealand.

James McGonagle

James McGonagle son of Stephen and Annie McGonagle Owey Island joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on the outbreak of war and was posted to France. He was wounded in action and was invalided home from the front.  He was drowned off the local steam drifter “Gweedore” while returning from the doctor in Burtonport after getting his wounds dressed.

 James Boyle

James Boyle son of Patrick and Fanny Boyle Miltown Burtonport joined the US Army and was killed in action in France in 1918.

Mr. O’Donnell

An O’Donnell from Owey Island served in the war.

John McGinley

1-John McGinley Mullaghduff.jpg

John McGinley son of Owen and Grace McGinley nee Sweeney of Mullaghduff was married in Scotland when he joined the Royal Navy. While on leave in Scotland, he deserted the army taking his wife back to Mullaghduff where they lived. Not long after they landed in Mullaghduff their son Neil was born. John later enlisted with the Inniskillings and served in France during the Great War, his service number was 31247. His son Neil joined the British army in the Second World War and was held prisoner by the Japanese in the death camps of Thailand. After the war John lived the rest of his days in Scotland with his wife and family.



Neil Sharkey

Neil Sharkey born in Helensburgh, Scotland was a grandson of Dominic Sharkey from Calhame and Mary Boyle from Carrickfinn. He joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and became a servant. and died of his wounds on May 17th 1917. He is buried in Grave IV. L. 43 in Duisans British Cemetery in Etrun, Northern France.



Michael Boyle

Michael Boyle was recorded as a son of Mary Boyle Annagry Mountain born around 1887. He may have been a son of James and Mary Boyle nee Doogan of the Cruckakeehan area. He served with the Royal Irish Rifles in the Mediterranean during 1914 and 15. His regiment number was 1017.  After being charged with desertion on a number of occasions he was sentenced to 15 months detention and was released in Derry in 1919. The cause of his desertion may have been caused by shell shock.

Daniel Boyle

Daniel Boyle enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles and received the regiment number 1018. He was almost certainly a brother of Michael Boyle from Cruckaceehan as the regiment number was only one digit apart and they were part of the same regiment. He was discharged for the war in 1917.

Doalty Sharkey

Doalty Sharkey son of Brian and Anne Sharkey nee Forker Mullaghduff joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers in Edinburgh on November 17th 1914. He was posted to the Expeditionary Force in January 1915. Doalty embarked from Marseilles to Salonika in August 1916. Later that month his father Brian received a letter from the war office stating that Doalty was in the General Hospital in Salonika.. After recovering he left Salonika and arrived in Alexandria in September 1917 where he was again hospitalised in 1918. He was discharged in January 1919 and returned home to Mullaghduff. Doalty returned to Edinburgh after the war and settled there.

John Gallagher

John Gallagher son of Manus and Catherine Gallagher nee Ward Glenahilt Burtonport saw action in Flanders where he was shell shocked at Lille France.

Hugh Sweeney

Hugh Sweeney of Acres Burtonport who joined in 1914 and was part of the Irish Division in France during the war. He was awarded an Honorary Parchment Certificate in recognition of gallantry he displayed at the Battle of Messines Ridge in Flanders on June 7th and 8th 1917.

Jimmy O’Donnell

Jimmy was born in September 1890 enlisted at Greenock in the Irish Guards on October 21st 1915 and received the regiment number 9973. He was sent to France on June 6th 1916 and was wounded in action on September 25th 1916. After hospitalisation he returned to the front on June 4th 1917. Jimmy Johnny as he was locally known had a number off near misses including been saved by the quick thinking of a fellow guardsman from Mullaghduff. He was wounded for the second time on October 9th 1917 and was again hospitalised and send back to barracks in London on November 11th. On February 11th 1918 he was sent to Dublin but he had to wait until March 5th 1920 before he was finally discharged from the Army. He returned home to Cul a’ Cnoic Annagry where he married. His wife died at a young age and he remarried.  Jimmy died on the March 12th 1978 and is buried in Annagry Cemetery.

Dominic Gallagher

Dominic Gallagher son of Paddy and Sheila Gallagher nee Sweeney Rannyhual Mullaghderg served in France with the Irish Guards. He later joined the Irish Army.

Manus O’Donnell

Manus O’Donnell Glasbeggan Burtonport was wounded in Dardanelles in 1915 and was hospitalised in Wales.


Jimmy Duggan

Jimmy Duggan son of Bartley and Bridget Duggan Calhame joined the 10th Battalion Highland Light Infantry in Scotland. He was discharged 1915 on medical grounds. He later married Sally Duffy from Calhame.

Hugh Boyle

Hugh Boyle a son of Owen and Ellen Boyle was born in Ranamona Annagry about 1875. He served in the Dardanelles and Salonika during the war. He was better known as Hughie Eoghain Phádraig Chondaí. He died in Ranamona in September 1955 and is buried in Annagry Cemetery.

Andrew Sharkey

andrew sharkey braade ww1.jpg

Andrew Sharkey son of Neddy and Kate Sharkey nee Rodgers of Braade joined a calvary regiment in Scotland where he lived. He saw action in France and after the war returned to Shotts Lanarkshire where he married and raised his family. His parents and young sister Cassie died inside one week in 1919 from the Spanish Flu which spread across Europe after the war.

Diminic Gallagher

Diminic Gallagher son of Charlie and Betty Gallagher nee O’Donnell Annagry joined Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Lanark Scotland in 1914 but was discharged a number of weeks later. He rejoined in Omagh in 1916 but later deserted.

Fergal Boyle

Fergal Boyle son of Donal and Mary Boyle Bunaman was a policeman before he joined the ranks of No. 4 Company 1st Battalion Irish Guards. Promoted to the rank of sergeant he saw service in France and Germany where he was peacekeeping in 1919.

Fergal Boyle.jpg

During his time in the Guards he took part in many sporting events. He won first prize in a five mile cross country race held on the famous Epsom racecourse and at Brentwook, Essex he won a seven mile cross country race. He later emigrated to Canada in 1928.

James Rodgers

James Rodgers Lettercaugh joined the Cycling Corps section of the Inniskilling Fusiliers as a Dispatch Rider with the regiment number 1518. He saw action in the Dardanelles, Palestine, Belgium and France. He returned home after the war, married and raised his family.

Charlie Gallagher

Charlie Gallagher son of Paddy and Fanny Gallagher Annagry joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Lanark Scotland in 1914. He was later discharged.

John Sharkey

John Sharkey son of Anton and Brigid Boyle Mullaghduff served in France with the North Irish Horse which was the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He returned at lived at home.

Barney O’Donnell

Barney O’Donnell son of Charlie and Brigid O’Donnell nee Sharkey Annagry joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Lanark Scotland in 1914. He was later discharged.

James Duffy

James Duffy born in Thor Crolly in 1889 joined the 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at the outbreak of the war. On 27 December 1917 at Kereina Peak, Palestine, whilst the company was holding a very exposed position, James, a stretcher-bearer, and another stretcher-bearer went out to bring in a seriously wounded comrade. When the other stretcher-bearer was wounded, James returned to get another man, who was killed almost immediately. The private then went forward alone and, under very heavy fire, succeeded in getting both wounded men under cover and attended to their injuries. His gallantry undoubtedly saved both men’s lives. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces which is now on display at the Inniskilling Museum in Enniskillen Castle. He was carrying Gartan clay on his person during the war. He returned home and married in Letterkenny where he died in April 7th 1969 aged 79. He is buried in Conwal cemetery Letterkenny.

John Bonar

John Bonar was a brother of James Bonar Burtonport. He enlisted in No 3. Provisional Company Royal Engineers in May 1916 then aged 27 years and received the rank of Sapper with the regiment number 175864. John received 2s2d per day wages. He was discharged with spinal injuries in 1917.

Anthony O’Donnell 

Anthony O’Donnell Burtonport wounded in France November 1915. He was reported in the local newspaper as being presumed dead, but he survived the war.

Joe Coyle

Joe Coyle son of Charles and Bridget Coyle nee Boyle Crolly enlisted in the Machine Gun Corps Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on August 14th 1916. He was gassed at the Western Front and was taken back to a Belfast hospital. He died in Crolly on March 9th 1977 and is buried in Magheragallon Cemetery.

John Bonner

John Bonner Belcruit a member of the Royal Navy saw action at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Eddie O’Donnell


Edward O’Donnell a son of Neil and Sarah Anne O’Donnell nee Bell Derrynamansher joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of war. Local known as Eddie Neil Sheamuisín, he was badly injured in action. He emigrated to New Zealand where he died.

Manus Conaghan

Manus Conaghan from Crickamore joined the Royal Highlanders Black Watch on October 14th 1914 while he was employed as a coalminer in Lochgelly, Fifeshire, Scotland. He was a 33 year old widower and was discharged a few weeks later as he was deemed medically unfit. His four children were in the care of Mrs Daniel Coll in Sheskinarone.

Joseph O’Donnell

Joseph O’Donnell from Glasbeggan Burtonport served in France.

John Boyle

John Boyle born in Ranafast in 1878 was better known as Johnny Gráinne. He enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Lanark Scotland while he was employed as a farm labourer in Carstairs. He was married to Cicily McGarvey from Ranafast.

John O’Donnell

John O’Donnell from Glasbeggan Burtonport was seriously wounded in France before December 1915 and hospitalised in Edinburgh.

James Donald

James Donald who was born in Templecrone and lived in Loughanure joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was killed in action on November 8th 1915 at Sulva Bay Gallipoli. He is buried in Grave II.G.7 Azmak Cemetery Turkey.

Francis Gallagher

Francis Gallagher son of Frank and Margaret O’Donnell Roshine Burtonport joined the 6th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was killed in action in Macedonia on October 4th 1916 aged 26 years. He is remembered on the Doiran Memorial in Northern Greece.

John Gillespie

John Gillespie son of Paddy and Bridget Gillespie nee Sweeney of Mullaghduff joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Rothesay Scotland in September 1914. He was discharged after 69 days service

Patrick O’Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell son of Paddy and Hannah O’Donnell nee Bonner Rannyhual joined the Irish Guards while in Scotland in 1914 saw action in France. When he returned from the war he married in Gweedore.

Manus O’Donnell

Manus O’Donnell son of Paddy and Hannah O’Donnell nee Bonner Rannyhual who joined the Royal Irish Rifles in Scotland was posted to France.

Jimmy O’Donnell

Jimmy O’Donnell son of Paddy and Hannah O’Donnell nee Bonner Rannyhual joined the Royal Engineers in 1914 in Scotland and was posted to France.

Denis O’Donnell

Denis son of Patrick (Johnny) O’Donnell Mullaghduff joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Maryhill, Glasgow on July 24th 1918. According to Army records, he was born in 1886 and was resident at 57 Portugal St, Glasgow. He was posted to France in November 26th 1918 and was later transferred to the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment in March 1919. He was actually born in Mullaghduff on November 8th 1888.

Brian Sharkey

Brian Sharkey son of Neil and Mary Sharkey nee O’Donnell Mullaghduff joined the Irish Guards in 1914 in Scotland and served in France

Michael O’Donnell

Michael O’Donnell a son of Jack and Rose O’Donnell nee McFadden Loughanoran joined the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Hamilton Scotland in November 1914 but was later discharged.

Francie Sharkey

Francie Sharkey son of Eoin Beag and Anne Sharkey nee O’Donnell from Braade served in the Western Front.

Hugh O’Donnell

Hugh O’Donnell son of Neil and Sarah Anne O’Donnell nee Bell Derrynamansher joined the Royal Irish Rifles in 1914 but later served in the Northamptonshire Regiment and the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Andrew Curran

 Andrew Curran son of Owen and Máire Curran nee Gallagher of Dunmore Carrickfin was born in 1885. He joined the Seaforth Highlanders in Scotland and served in France. After the war he  married Agnes Pullar and lived in East Calder. He worked in Shale-oil works the Pumpherston. He died in East Calder on February 28th 1976.

John Ward

 John Ward Meenagowna Burtonport served as a peacekeeper in France after the war.

Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell Leitircaugh joined the Inniskilling Fusiliers. He received severe head injuries in the war and returned home.

Anthony Walsh

Anthony Walsh Ardveen was a member of the Army Service Corps. This regiment organised supplies including ammunition for the forces.

John Ward

 John Ward (Paddy Sheila) from Upper Keadue joined the war effort but deserted while home on leave.

James Boyle

James Boyle son of Doalty and Grace Boyle Mullaghderg emigrated to Bayonne New Jersey USA on November 16th 1915. He served in the US Army in France.

Anthony O’Donnell

Anthony O’Donnell son of Anthony and Mary O’Donnell nee O’Donnell of Belcruit. He died at home in Belcruit in 1924 of injuries sustained in the war. His medals are on permanent display at the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny.

John Coll

John Coll Sheskinarone was severely wounded in France.

Hugh Ward

Hugh Ward from Roshine Burtonport served at the Western Front.

Simon Gallagher

Simon Gallagher son of Diminic Óg and Mary Gallagher Rannyhual Mullaghderg served in France.

Hugh Ward

He was the son of Hugh and Norah Ward Burtonport. He joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Omagh on June 10th 1915 aged 18 exactly. He was discharged under pay on July 20ththe same year. The reason is unknown. He later received an army pension.

John Boyle

John Boyle of Crolly, Templecrone joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He could have been from Meenaleck.

Paddy Duffy

Paddy Duffy from Annagry joined the forces in Scotland in 1914.

Mr. McDevitt from  Owey Island served in the Irish Guards.

John Byrne son of Ruairí and Fanny Byrne Loughanure serced in the war.

Hugh Gallagher Lackenagh Burtonport

Denis “Soldier” Doogan Ranamona Annagry, died in 27th September 1970 aged 88

Neil Sharkey Mullaghduff

Paddy Devenney (Biddy Tharlaigh/Harley) Ranafast

Anthony O’Donnell from born in The Rosses in 1883 served in Salonika with the Camorian Highlanders, service No.16639

Mr Barr from Cruit Island was wounded in action

Manus O’Donnell

Manus O’Donnell a 23 year old from Burtonport enlisted in Melbourne, Australia in February 1915. He was employed as a farm labourer when he joined the 22nd Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force. His regimental number was 662. He left Australia for one of the theatres of war  in June 1915.


Patrick Mulholland

Patrick Mulholland Mullaghderg

Patrick Boyle

Patrick Boyle son of John from Annagry enlisted in Canada and served in France. He was demobilised in Vancouver in 1919.

Con (Ferry) Brennan

He was with the 8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers part of the 36th Ulster Division. He died at Ginchy, Somme on 9th September 1916. He was the Son of Anne Ferry and Jack Brennan, Meendrain, Dungloe

Manus Ward

Manus Ward Keadue born 11/8/1887, discharged in Dublin on August 4th 1917 because of an old injury from working in Scotland, 4th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, No. 21861, He had two daughters Mary born 11/11/1913 and Bridget born 15/3/1916.


Charles O’Donnell

Charles O’Donnell was born in Lackenagh, Burtonport

File relates to Patrick Gallagher’s receipt of a partial dependents’ gratuity of £25 (twenty five pounds sterling) under the Army Pensions Act, 1923 in respect of his son National Army Private 56568 James Gallagher. Private James Gallagher died on 10 October 1922 from a bullet wound received by him during an escape attempt by Republican prisoners in Mountjoy Prison during the Civil War. James Gallagher had served with the North Irish Horse and the Royal Cycle Corps (Army Cyclist Corps) in the British armed forces prior to joining the National Army. File includes: original telegraphs of 11 and 13 October 1922 from Captain Stafford, Portobello Barracks addressed to “Gallagher, Acres Burtonport” informing recipient of the death of James Gallagher and of the arrangements for the removal of his remains by train from Dublin to Burtonport; signed standard report of 5 February 1924 from the Defence Forces Office of the Adjutant General to the Secretary, Army Pensions Department regarding the date and circumstances of Private James Gallagher’s death; material relating to the Gárda Síochána investigation in the circumstances and means of the Gallagher family and the degree of dependency of Patrick Gallagher on his son James at the time of his death; and reference to James Gallagher’s surviving brothers and sisters.  

Others to die

Francis Rodgers Meenacrieve Annagry and Glenties

Fergal McCahill Sheskinarone and Kincasslagh

James Bonner Upper Keadue

A memorial in Kincasslagh Graveyard dedicated to Lower Rosses people who died as a result of war.





Custodians of the Rosses



Most the native Rosses surnames have stemmed from the descendants of Conall Gulban, a son of Niall of the Nine Hostages who was High King of Ireland in the 4th century (It was Niall who kidnapped St Patrick as a boy and put him into slavery). Although there is evidence of human habitation in this area for thousands of years, we have not record of their inheritance until close on the fifth century. Conall Gulban and his two brothers ruled North West Ulster after he defeated the Firbolg in ©460 A.D. This territory was then divided, with Conall getting the land from the River Erne to Glen Head and northwards to Farsetmore on the River Swilly. This area consisted of most of the later baronies of Tír Hugh, Kilmacrenan and Bannagh and Boylagh of which Rosses is part of. This area was the original Tír Chonaill. Although he never subjugated, his descendants established their authority of Cineál Chonaill or the Race of Conall for the next one thousand years. Conall’s territory was further divided, with one of Conall’s seven sons Éanna Bóghaine getting the area from the River Eany which rises in the Blue Stacks and flows into Donegal Bay near Inver to the river Dobhar at Crolly. This area was called Tír Bóghaine and later formed most of the baronies of Boylagh and Bannagh.

In the middle of the 6th century, the northern portion of Tír Bógaine became Tír Ainmhireach. Ainmhireach was a great grandson of Conall Gulban and his new territory was the area from Loughros Bay to the river Dobhar. Cineál Ainmhireach ruled this area which included the Rosses for the next six hundred years, except during the time of Dálach and his son. Eight High Kings of Ireland came from Tír Ainmhireach.

When clan surnames were adopted in the 10th century Cineál Ainmhireach became O Gallachóir, O Cannon and O Muldory. The O’Boyle, O’Doherty, O’Duffy and O’Donnell came from the neighbouring race of Cineál Lughdhach who ruled an area in which Gaoth Dobhair is part of. The O’Duffy’s developed as a clan from their progenitor Saint Dubhtach a member of Cineál Lugdadh who lived in the tenth century.

Since the introduction of the clan system, the O’Donnells were overlords of Tír Chonaill. The administration of Tír Chonaill was divided into territories or tuath. The tuath of Tír Ainmhireach was ruled by the O’Boyle clan from the neighbouring Cineál Lughdhach, the same race as the O’Donnells. In later years they were replaced by the incoming gallowglass clan Mac Suibhne na dTuath or Sweeney of Doe. Gallowglass was the Gaelic for “Foreign Warrior” Scottish clan such as McSwine, Crawford, Grant and Campbell. The people of the Tír Ainmhireach gave their support to the Lord of the Tuath who in turn gave theirs to the ruling O Donnell clan. This support was called on as feuds flared up frequently. When the O’Donnell cheftain needed help the local rulers fought for him.


In 1435 Toirealeach Rúa Mac Suibhne and his subjects fought for Neachtain O Donnell at Loughanure, where he and his men were defeated by the forces of Henry O Neill of Tír Eoghain. Eoghan Mac Suibhne na dTuath was the chieftain in control on the Rosses when he provided shelter to the survivors of the Spanish Armada wreck on his coast in 1588.




Two years after the Flight of Earls, on September 5th 1609 the English commissioners met at Lifford and set up an inquiry to survey the division of the ancient territory of Tír Chonaill including the Rosses. This inquisition and handover was completed on September 12th 1609. It was decided in London that of the seven Baronies in the County of Donegal, there were only five available for plantation. Tír Hugh was given to Trinity College, Dublin and Inishowen was granted to the deputy. The other five precincts were The Liffer, Portlough, Boylagh & Banagh, Doe and Fawnett. Scottish undertakers would be planted in the Barony of Boylagh and Banagh, an area that included the ancient Tír Ainmhirneach.



The Barony of Kilmacrennan which includes the parish of Tullaghobelgey or the ancient Tír Lughadh was given to the native Donegal clan leaders and their kinsmen for the rest of their natural life. Three Mac Suibhne clan leaders, Turlough O Baoghill and his clans were given land in Kilmacrennan, which included the former territory of Tír Lughdhach.


The Rosses which was now divided into eight estates was given to Sir Robert MacLennan Lord Bomby of Galloway. He was given a freehold of the area with an annual rent payable by MacLennan amounting to £10 13s 4d. One of the conditions of the land grant was that neither he nor his heirs should alienate, demise or convey these lands or any part of them to the mere Irish, in other words he wasn’t to rent his land to the native clans.

In the event of MacLennan violating that condition, the grant made to him would be null and void. MacLennan had Andrew Johnston as his agent in the Rosses. Another of the lease condition was he’d build a castle with strong court or bawn.

In 1612 the crown granted the Rosses to Anthony Andrews of Kent, an English Catholic. Andrews gave back the Rosses lands in 1613 with the authority to “hold a Thursday market and annual fair at the townland of Roscatt or present day Carrickfin.

In 1614 the Rosses was rented to Sir Robert Gordon for £53 6s 8d per annum. Andrews and Gordon never actually got possession of the Rosses. The original owner MacLennan alienated the lands to John Murray of Cookpool, Drumfries on October 12th 1616. Murray was a groom of the bed chamber and keeper of the privy purse, whom King James I created Viscount Annan in 1622 and Earl of Annandale in 1624.

His resident agent in the Rosses was Herbert Maxwell. He wasn’t able to fulfill the conditions of the plantation. In 1629 a cossision was appointed by Lord Falkland to see if Murray had observed the conditions of the plantations. His cousin Rev Alexander Conyngham was one of the commissioners. Murray’s rent was doubled and he was fined but he was allowed to hold on to his property.

When the 2nd Earl of Annandale died without issue in 1658, his land in the Rosses was eventually sold to Albert Conyngham. In 1666 Albert Conyngham was created Lord Mountcharles, the name of his title was in honour of his friend King Charles II. He had his seat in the village of Tounytallon which was later changed to Mountcharles. The Mountcharles’ later went to live at Slane in Co.Meath but they had resident agents in Rosses down the years.  The Lordship of Mountcharles and later the Marquis of Conyngham were landlords of the Rosses until the foundation of the Irish Free State. The Marquis of Conyngham owned the lakes of the Rosses until the 1960’s.

©Jimmy Duffy December 2015

The Dreamer’s Lament

On the 15th of August 1947 my granny Annie Boyle from Loughanure died from leukemia aged just 45 years. Annie born in Mullaghduff was the eldest daughter of Paddy Johndy and Biddy Sharkey.

Annie Sharkey later Boyle in Great Yarmouth in the 1920s

She moved to Loughanure after her marriage to Dinny Boyle. Dinny and Annie got sick around the same time, Annie got leukemia and Dinny was struck down with tuberculosis. He was confined to bed for seven years. During this time, their five little children were cared for by their aunts and uncles.

Dinny and Annie and their children just before illness struck

Dinny feared that Annie wouldn’t make it and his children would be taken to Mullaghduff to be cared for by his wife’s family.

1-Mary Pat, Ellen Maire Rua Greene, Kathleen, Maureen and Bridget (2)
The eldest children say their last goodbyes to their mother Annie  Copyright Jimmy Duffy

The following lament was written by Dinny where he expresses his fears that were to become a reality on an autumn day in ’47.


(Air: Is fada mo cosa gan broga) 

This morning at dawn I was dreaming

Of an evening so long long ago

When I and my Nancy sat talking

And the fields were all covered in snow


I thought that I saw her beside me

All dressed in her velvet coatee

Her eyes in their sockets were beaming

As she looked up so loving at me


Then we sat there and talked of the future

And wondering what it had in store

For us and our five children

That were romping about on the floor


Then I saw what the future did bring us

And the tears they did stream down my cheeks

When I saw my true-love on her sick-bed

And her life in the balance for weeks


How I prayed for my love to recover

How I nursed her with grief in my heart

A grief that left me broken-hearted

And will till this I depart


Then I awoke from my fanciful dreaming

With a mighty big load on my mind

When I thought of my own sad affliction

And that I to my bed was confined


I thought of my dear little children

Of the dangers they may undergo

And I wish that I only could guide them

But alas cruel fate’s saying no


So farewell to my dear little children

To my Nancy so faithful and kind

Many years I would like to be with them

But ma bron I must leave them behind

Composed by Denis Boyle (Dinny Chondaí) Loughanure

(Dinny Chondy)


The Story of Cathlín na gCrub

The following is a ghost story often told to me by my Aunt. It is set on the White Strand between Braade and Carrickfin adjacent to the runway at Donegal Airport, in bad times of hunger and fever, possibly in the early 1830s. This version was published by Nollaig Mac Congáil in Comhar. It was recorded by Aodh Ó Duibheanagh from Annie Bhán Nic Grianna from neighbouring Rann na Feirste in 1937. Here its entitled Scéal an Taibhse (The Ghost Story) but my Aunt always referred to it as Scéal Caithlín na gCrub (The Story of Cathleen of the hooves).

Bhí bean ina cónaí ar an Bhraghaid a dtugadh siad Caitlín Mhór uirthi, í féin agus ua beag dithe agus sin a raibh aici. Tháinig an bás ar an tachrán agus nuair a chonaic sí go raibh an tachran ag fáil bháis: “A leanbh”, ar sise, “nach dtiocfaidh tú chugam le hinse dom cad mar atá ar shiúl cosúil nuair a gheobhas tú bás?” “Tiocfaidh cinnte”, arsa an tachrán. Fuair an tachrán bocht bás agus cuireadh í. Agus cúpla oiche i ndiaidh a cur, seo isteach an tachrán ag Caitlín. Dúirt sí nach raibh faill aici fanacht i bhfad anocht. “Ach gabh sios ‘na tra”, adeir sí, “agus tiocfaidh mé chugat oíche ar bith a bhfuil dúil agat ann agus inseoidh mé duit cé leis a bhfuil ar shiúl cosúil”.

1-Airport 1963

Chuaigh Caitlín síos ‘na trá an oíche arna mharach agus tháinig an tachrán chuici.  Duine ar bith a bhí ina dhuine mhaith ar an tsaol seo agus a bhfacaras (sic) do Chaitlín go raibh sé iontach maith, chuir sí ceist cad é mar a bhí sé. Chroith an tachrán a ceann agus d’inis sí go raibh droch-dhóigh ar an duine sin. An té a bhí ina dhroch dhuine agus ina dhiabhal shaolta, shíl na daoine, bhí sé sin ins na Flaithis. D’éirigh an gháir amach fríd an áit go raibh an tachrán ag teacht chuig Caitlín Mhór ‘acha’n oíche agus ag inse an chomhrá a bhí uirthi. Bhí fear ar an bhaile a dtugadh siad Gilday air. Chroith ée a cheann. “Char dóiche liomsa”, ar seisean, “an Cháisc a bheith ar an Domhnach ná gurb é an seanbhoc atá ag teacht chuig Caitlín in áit an ua”. Chuala Caitlín seo agus steall sí ar mire. “Bhail, a Chaitlín, a chroí”, ar seisean, “ná glac fearg. Más í an ghirseach atá ag teacht, tá maith go leor. Ní raibh ormsa ach an eagla. ‘Bhfuil sí ag teacht anocht?” “Tá cinnte, mo leanbh”, arsa Caitlín. “Bhail, gabh síos anocht”, ar seisean, “agus gearr fáinne thart ins an trá le do bhata. Agus bíodh buidéal beag uisce choiscricthe leat. Croith an t-uisce coiscrithe thart ins an fháinne agus sáith an bata i lár an fhainne agus do chonóir Mhuire ar a bharr. Más í an leanbh atá ann tiocfaidh sí isteach ins an fháinne agus murab í, ní bheidh an diabhal ábalta a theacht isteach. Na bíodh eagla ar bith ort labhairt leis nó ní bheidh muidne i bhfad uait. Beidh muidne leat”. Chruinnigh an baile uilig den tsaol, iomlán mhuintir na Braghad síos agus d’fhan siad fá ghiota bheag de Chaitlín. Rinne Caitlín an fáinne ins an ghainimh; sháith sí an bata ina lár; fuair sí buidéal an uisce choiscricthe agus chroith sí thart fríd an fháinne é; d’fhág sí an chuid eile dó ina seasamh ag bun an bhata agus an chonóir Mhuire ar bharr an bhata. Níorbh fhada agus níor ghearr go dtáinig an tachrán fhad léithe. “An tú atá ann? ” ar sise. “Is mé”, arsa an tachrán. “Bhail, a leanbh”, ar sise, “gabh isteach anseo ins an fháinne”. Chuir sé fiche casadh agus camadh dó féin ach ní raibh sé ábalta a theacht isteach. “An tú a bíos ag teacht chugam ‘ach a’n oiche? ” adeir sí. “Is me”, adeir sé agus thug sé iarraidh imeacht ar shiúl. Scairt sí leis pilleadh. Phill. “An fírinne a bhí tfu a inse uilig domh”? “Dhá dtrian bréag”, ar seisean, “agus trian fírinne”. “Bhail anois”, ar sise, “le gan dochar a dhéanamh domhsa nó d’aon duine eile choíche, gabh síos go fíor-íochtar Ifrinn an áit nach bhfeiceann aon duine go bráth thú”. D’eirigh se in airde sa speir. “Dar a leora”, ar seisean, “bhearfaidh mise ar Gilday an ghalláin go mbeidh daor air”. Agus shuncáil sé amuigh ag an Torr  Ghlas ina chnap tine agus chonaic muintir na Braghad uilig sin.

Told in the language of Cathleen who lived in Braade.

Foinsí Béaloidis I Ngearrscéalta Sheosaimh Mhic Ghrianna
Author(s): Nollaig Mac Congáil
Source: Comhar, Iml. 37, Uimh 2 (Feb., 1978), pp.22-24

Edited by Jimmy Duffy December 2015

Blog at

Up ↑