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Dúchas Thír Chonaill

Donegal Heritage

Antiquarian Books

  1. Ac Fhionnlaoich Sean. Scéal Gaoth Dobhair. FTN Baile Atha Cliath. 1983 1st Ed. Stair Gaoth Dobhair.  F/F €45
  2. Ceallaigh Seosamh. Coláiste Uladh 1906-2006.Leinster Leader. 2006 1st Ed F/F €15
  3. Maille Padraig. Dudhuchas. Sairseal & Dill.1972 1st Ed. VG/VG €25
  4. Rabharaigh Tadhg. Mian na Marbh.2nd Ed 1946 Blue cloth with torn spine.€30
  5. Suilleabhain Diarmaid. Maeldun. Sairseal & Dill. 1972 1st Ed. VG/VG €25
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Not for sale
  1. A Supreme Book for Girls. Dean. 1973 Girls Comic Annual. VG €15
  2. Bardon Jonathon. A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes. Gill & Macmillan  1st Ed 2008   Short accounts of Irish History from the Ice Age to O’Neill/Lemass  meeting in 1965. 528pp Gilt title on spine  VG+/F €30
  3. Breheny Martin & Keenan Donal. The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Gaelic Football & Hurling. Carlton 2001. VG/VG €50
  4. Bodkin M.McD. True Man and Traitor, Talbot Press, 1921. The story of Robert Emmet and The 1803 Rising. 1st Edition 315 pp Torn Spine  G €40
  5. Butler Rev Alban. The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints. 1st Edition 1871 Duffy Dublin Vol IV (April) of vii. An interesting account of all the saints whose feast days fall in the month of April. 321pp Cloth with leather edges and spine six gilt raised bands NF €70
  6. Campell Donal & Dowds Damian. Sam’s for the Hills. Brockfield Dublin. 1st Ed 2003. An account of Donegal’s All Ireland Odyssey.409pp. Gilt titles on cloth cover and spine  VG/NF€35
  7. Carroll James. Mortal Friends. Raven Books. 1st Ed 1978.Novel. NF/F €15
  8. Coogan Tim Pat. De Valera. Hutchinson London. 1st Ed 1993.A Biography of Eamon De Valera 1882-1975 . Gilt Title on spine 704pp G/VG+ €25
  9. Cormican Brendan. Mozart’s Death Mozart’s Requiem. 1st Ed 1991. Limited Ed 306 of 963. singed by author. F/F €25
  10. Cowles Virginia. Winston Churchill. Hamish Hamilton. 1st Ed 1953. Biography. 378 pp. Red cloth with gilt title. VG €20
  11. Cunningham John B. A History of Castle Caldwell and its Family. Water Gate Press ND dated 1980. Signed by the author. An account of the Co. Fermanagh House  VG/VG     Ex lib €80
  12. Curtayne A. Patrick Sarsfield. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin. ND 1934 An account of Sarsfield and the Jacobite Rebellion. 178pp PDE loose. Gilt back  VG €24
  13. Deighton Len. From the rise of Hitler to the fall of Dunkirk. Book club. 1st Ed 1973. NF/F €8
  14. Fallon Niall. The Armada in Ireland. Stanford Maritime London. 1st Ed 1978. 219pp  reference to Armada Wrecks in the West Coast including Mullaghderg, Cloughglas etc. Gilt title on cloth cover  VG+/NF €90
  15. Fitzhenry Edna C. Henry Joy Mc Cracken. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin 1937 The life of a famous United Irishman.  157pp with b/w plate. Gilt back  VG €35
  16. Flanagan Thomas. The Year of the French. Holt, Rinehart & Winston New York 1st Ed 1979 A novel set in Killala Co.Mayo in 1798 Cloth cover, Gilt Title on spine, 512pp  G/VG €50
  17. Frazier Adrian. Behind The Scenes. University of California. 1990 1st Ed. Yeats, Horniman and the struggle for the Abbey Theatre. Ex lib VG/NF €15
  18. Gallagher Patrick. Paddy the Cope. Devin-Adair Co New York. 1942 1st Edition 5th printing, Preface by Peadar O Donnell. An Autobiography by Paddy the Cope Gallagher founder of The Templecrone Co-Operative Society in 1906 .288pp Gilt title spine slightly rubed. G/VG  €70
  19. Haverty Martin. The History of Ireland Ancient and Modern. Duffy Dublin 1st Ed 1860. Derived from the Annals of the Four Masters from the Partalonians to the Act of Union. 766pp VG+ €280
  20. Hemingway Ernest. The Old Man and The Sea. Reprint Society. 1953. Green cloth with gilt title. VG €25
  21. Herm Gerhard. The Celts. Barnes Noble New York.1993. A 2000 year story of the Celts. 293pp.Gilt title on spine. VG/NF €10
  22. Hughes Robert. The Fatal Shore. Collins 1st US Ed 1986. The story of the transportation of slaves to Australia.603 pp G/VG €25
  23. Kelly Joan Larson. Irish Wit & Wisdom Peter Pauper Press New York 1st Ed 1976. Contains Irish proverbs, folklore etc. 62pp pocket book G/VG €12
  24. Landor A. Henry Savage. In The Forbidden Land. William Heinemann 1st Ed 1898. Vol 2 of 2. 216pp with a map and 250 illustrations including 4 colour plates. Ex Christian Brothers. An account of a journey in Tibet capture by the Tibetan authorities imprisonment, torture, and release.VG  €70
  25. Lawerence D.H. The Lost Girl. 4th Ed 1928. Red cloth with gilt title. VG+ €15
  26. Lawerence D.H. Aaron’s Rod. Secker.6th Ed.1933 Red cloth with gilt title.VG+ €15
  27. Lawerence D.H. The Rainbow. Secker. 4th Ed 1929 Red cloth with gilt title.VG €10
  28. Lawerence D.H. The Plumed Serpent. Secker.4th Ed 1928. Red cloth with gilt title VG+ €10
  29. ^^^Set of 4 Above Books €50^^^
  30. Lloyd George David. War Memoirs. Odhams. 1st Ed c1936.Green cloth with gilt title. NF €15
  31. Lover Samuel. Irish Legends and Stories. Popham Radford & co Plymouth, No Date but signed by owner in 1943. Legends of old Ireland .386 pp  VG- €30
  32. Luce J.V. The End of Atlantis. Book Club. 1st Ed 1973. Red cloth with gilt title VG €8
  33. Mac Call Seamus. Thomas Moore. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin 1936. The life of the Irish composer.124pp PDE slightly loose. Gilt back VG €40
  34. Mac Leod Catriona. Robert Emmet. The Phoenix Publishing Co/Talbot Press Dublin. His life from 1778 to his hanging in 1803. 139pp 1935 Gilt back worn  VG €50
  35. Mac Manus Seumas .The Well O’ the Worlds End.  The MacMillan Co New York 1939 1st Edition illustrations by
  36. Marryat Captain. Childern of the New Forest. Dean. c 1930. Children’s story. VG €8
  37. Matty Grahams G.A.C Glen Maghera 1933-1984 History Book. Imprint Coleraine     1st Ed 1984 A rare copy of the club’s history 181pp with many b/w photos NF €60
  38. Mc Hugh Robert J.  Henry Grattan. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin. The life of the statesman famous for Grattan’s parliament. 188pp Nd 1930’s Gilt back PDE slightly parted. VG €45
  39. Mc Sweeney. Seascapes. Mercier.1st Ed 2008.Maritime heritage by the RTE correspondent. Gilt title on spine.NF/NF €25
  40. Morley John. Life of Gladstone. Vol 2. Macmillan & Co. Much Irish Interest.     Blue cloth  with gilt title. 1905 reprint .VG €15
  41. Morton H.V. In Search of Ireland. Methuen & Co London 1938. His travels round Ireland in the late 1920’s. With 16 plates and cover maps 273 pp Gilt back. VG €30
  42. Casey Sean. Picture in The Hallway. MacMillan & Co London 1942 1st Edition Novel set in Dublin .345pp VG+ €25
  43. Faolain Eileen. Irish Sagas and Folk-Tales. Oxford University Press. 4th Ed 1960. 242pp illustrated by Joan Kiddell Monroe. The Story of the Fianna and Cuchullin VG/VG €28
  1. O’Neill Elizabeth. Owen Roe O Neill. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin The life of Owen Roe O Neill brother of The Earl of Tyrone and leader of the 1641 rebellion. PED slightly parted. 111pp. Nd 1937 Gilt back VG €35
  2. Palmer W. Hazel’s Annual for 1903. Hazel, Watson & Viney.Red cloth. VG €16
  3. Pollock J.H (An Philibin) William Butler Yeats. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin 1st Ed 1935 A story of Yeats published just before his death.TP parted Gilt back PED Loose 112pp. G €28
  4. Prendergast K.M. Joyce. Windyhall. Mercier Press. 1st Ed 1946. Novel. G/G €5
  5. Quinn James. Soul on Fire A Life of Thomas Russell. Academic Press. 2002 1st Ed. A biography of the United Irishman. Ex lib  VG+/NF €50
  6. Schuster M.Lincoln. A Treasury of The World’s Great Letters. Heinemann. 1st Ed 1941. Red Cloth. G €15
  7. Sheridan John D. James Clarence Mangan. The Phoenix Publishing Co /Talbot Press Dublin The short life of the great Irish poet.Gilt back PED loose, b/w silhouette plate 126pp. Nd 1930’s.  VG- €30
  8. Simpson Colin. Lusitania. Book Club. 1st Ed 1972. NF/F €30
  9. Stevenson J Sinclair. Stories of the Irish Saints. The R.T.S Office London. ND. 1908   Ex Library     A lovely account of Irish Saints including Colmcille and Congall told for children. Four colour plates  128pp VG €25
  10. Treasury of World Masterpieces. Octopus.1st Ed 1984. includes Robert L. Stevenson’s Classics. Beautifully bound book green with gilt titles NF €18
  11. Walsh Caroline. The Homes of Irish Writers. Anvil Books 1982 1st Ed. Ex lib VG/NF €15
  12. Wilmot Chester. The Struggle for Europe. Collins. 1st Ed 1952 Blue cloth with gilt title faded. G €15
  13. Wiseman Thomas. The Day Before Sunrise.Book Club. 1st Ed 1976. War Novel. VG- €5
  14. Baden-Powell Robert. Aids to Scouting for N.-C.Os & Men. Gale & Polden London.1915 pocket book with red cover parted from book but intact. contains reference to C.B.S.I. 5th Donegal Troop. G €30
  15. Devenney Donnchadh. Horsefeathers from Donegal. Rossan  Sweeney. 1995 1st Ed. Yarns from the characters of West Donegal. 159pp VG €20
  16. Ó Laoire Lilis. On a rock in the middle of the ocean CIC 358pp NF €30

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  1. Donegal Annual 1977. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  VG €45
  2. Donegal Annual 1996.The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  NF € 30
  3. Donegal Annual 2000. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  VG €15
  4. Donegal Annual 2001. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  NF €25
  5. Donegal Annual 2002. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  VG+ €20
  6. Donegal Annual 2003. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  VG+ €20
  7. Donegal Annual 2004. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  VG+ €25
  8. Donegal Annual 2006. The Yearbook of the Donegal Historical Society.  VG €25
  9. Mc Clintock May. The Silent Land. History of Derryveagh. 180pp NF €20
  10. Miller James. The Dam Builders, Power to the Glens.2003.250pp with b/w photos of the construction of the North of Scotland Hydro schemes from 1943 to 1975. VG+ €20
  11. Cuinneagain Micheal.On The Arm of Time Ireland 1916-22.Ronan Press.1st Ed 1992. Signed by the author. VG €35
  12. Donnell Vincent. O’Donnells of Tyrconnell. 2 Ed 2000 VG €10
  13. Silke Fr John J. Colum Cille 1400 a Saint and his legacy.ULL 1997. 20pp pamphlet. VG €15
  14. Tullaghbegley Past and Present. ND. 68pp pamphlet in Gaeilge and English depicting the history of the Cloughaneely graveyard. NF €10O Searcaigh Seamus. 2nd Ed 1984. NF €18
  15. Mac Cumhaill Fionn. Slán leat a Mhaicín €8
  16. Mac Cumhaill Sean. Gort na Mara & Scéalta Eile €5
  17. Mac Gabhann Mici. Rotha Mór an tSaoil €10
  18. Mac Grianna Seosamh. Aistritheoir €30
  19. Mac Lochlainn Antain. Ruball an Ein €10
  20. Mac Meannaman Sean Ban.Triú Mam €7.60
  21. Ní Fhearraigh Mairin. Gabhla an tOilean €10
  22. Ó Baoighill Padraig. Cuimhní ar Dhochartaigh Ghleann Fhinne €10
  23. Ó Baoghill Padraig. Amhráin Hiudaí Fheilimí €10
  24. Ó Baoighill Padraig. Nally as Maigh Eo €10
  25. Ó Baoighill Padraig. Paidaí Laidir  Mac Culadh & Gaeltacht Thir Eoghain €16.50
  26. Ó Baoighill Padraig. Scealai Mor Mhin an Lineachain €10
  27. Ó Baoighill Padraig. O Ghleann Go Fanaid €10
  28. Ó Baoighil Padraig. Srathog Feamnai & Scealta Eile €6
  29. Ó Grianna Seamus.Na Bliainta Corracha €6
  30. Ó Laoire Lilis. On a rock in the middle of the ocean €29
  31. Ó Muiri Pol. Mireanna Saoil €12
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Donnchadh Duffy 1879-1917

100 years ago today, on Wednesday January 10th 1917, my grandfather’s brother Donnchadh Shéimidh Eoin na Bráid Duffy left his home in Carrickfinn with two of his neighbours, fellow fishermen in route to Dungloe.

After completing their business in Dungloe, they proceeded home along the Gweedore Road towards Annagry.

Donnchadh who was on a well earned break from the herring fishing, decided to visit the home of his aunt in Cruckaceehan having heard that she was throwing a party for her sons and nephews who were off to Scotland in the morning.  His neighbours parted company with him and they continued their homeward journey. That would be the last time they would see him alive.

Thirty seven year old Donnchadh was an able fisherman and was regarded as the steadiest of the Duffy brothers. He had just been squared up for the winter fishing season of 1916. It reputed that that he had £200stg on his person on the day, a fortune. Donnchadh had earn his living aboard the pioneering motorboat Summer Star and previous to that on the lugger St Augustine.

He went into the party, but didn’t stay too long, wanting to be back in good time for his daily chores. While Donnchadh crossed over the railway line on his way home, a few hundred yards from party house, he was set upon by several of the revellers. He put up a struggle, but was overpowered, bludgeoned, robbed and left to die. Grievously injured, he was placed on the railway track, so he’d be run over by the morning train, setting the scene for a tragic accident.

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His siblings waited into the morning for Donnchadh return, but fearing the worse, his sister and brothers set off looking for him. They visited the men that accompanied him to Dungloe and on being told about his visit to his aunt’s house, they set off on foot to Cruckaceehan, some six miles off.  Nearing Cruckaceehan, there was no sign of their brother, which was unusual, as he was most reliable.

As they approached the railway line, they found his badly beaten remains on the track. The great shock was lessened only by the fact that the train didn’t arrive on time.

His remains were taken to a neighbouring outhouse where Dr McDevitt held an inquest the following day. The inquest returned the cause of death as “Heart failure following shock and haemorrhage from injuries received.

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After hearing that the culprits were their own cousins, Donnchadh’s grieving family decided to let natural law take its course.

Donnchadh left £90 in his will along with several boats. He was laid to rest in a new plot in the newly opened Annagry Graveyard. Later that year, his brothers when to Derry and ordered a marble headstone from J. Shields Monumental Sculptors, which was later taken to Annagry by the Summer Star and erected over his mortal remains. It was the first marble headstone erected in the graveyard and is still to this day, one of the most outstanding.

The family, who knew the identity of his attackers, spoke little about the incident.  As time rolled on and both his family and attackers passed on, the events around Donnchadh Duffy’s tragic death faded by.

As a local historian and his grandnephew, I taught it only fitting that I recall that fateful night 100 years ago and say a prayer for the happy repose of all their souls….

Big Herring Harvest of 1916

From an article that appeared in the Irish Standard on April 8th 1916

The fishing community of Donegal has had a remarkably successful season. Up to August things were little better than average years so far as supplies went, but, of course, more advantageous in the better figures realized. Then towards the end of the month shoals of herrings appeared unexpectedly in the fishing grounds, and the whole fishing population was immediately astir.

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The Congested Districts Board was apprised of the prospects, and arrangements were forthcoming for making available the motorboats and sailing boats provided by the Board along this section of the coast. In due course a contingent of Scotch and Irish buyers appeared on the scene, and, with keen competition, the Donegal folk have been able to reap a splendid herring harvest. There were times during the season when the price of herrings went up to as much as from £3 to £4 and £4 10s a cran, and even higher. Reduced to a more easily understood basis, the higher quotations mentioned worked out at as much as 2d apiece for the fine qualities which are attracted to these Northwestern grounds, and the fishermen, as might be expected, rejoiced in their luck. The Board’s steam-drifters were requisitioned by the Admiralty.
The New Motor Boats
One of the developments which has accrued to the fishing interests in the district is concerned with the matter of the provision of the motor-boats and steam-drifters by the Congested Districts Board. Up to 1894 only open boats of the Greencastle yawl type
had been in use by the Donegal fishermen.

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Greencastle Yawl at Greencastle Maritime Museum, Co.Donegal

In that year a number of large decked sailing boats, known as the “Zulu” type, were introduced by the Board for herring fishing at Downing’s Bay and other centres. These boats were worked by crews on the share system, a boat and gear being handed over to a crew of six as joint owners, subject to a repayment to the Board of about one-third of the net earnings. The system worked satisfactorily for many years, and the Board were repaid the entire cost of the boats and gear originally supplied. There were still several others of these craft, however, in respect of which considerable sums had yet to be discharged before the debt to the Board would be cleared off.

In 1907 a big change had to be met. Steam-drifters, which had been introduced into Scotland and England, took part in the Donegal fishery, with the result that the crews of the local sailing boats were discouraged by their inability to compete with the steam vessels which were able to land large catches both in stormy weather and in calms when sailing boats had to remain in harbour. Even when sailing boats were able to go out, the steamers could go farther out to sea where the best fishing grounds are and get back sooner to harbour, thus securing better prices. The Donegal fishermen, therefore, urged the Board to provide them with steam-drifters and motor-boats, so that they might share upon equal terms in the fishery off their own coast. With the aid of a loan from the Development Commission the Board acquired some steam-drifters and motor-boats.

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Changed System                                                                                                                                    
New conditions suggested to the Board that it might be well to vary the terms for repayment for these boats and gear. Under the share system the length of time before repayment in full could be made and caused the crews, after a number of successive poor seasons, to lose sight of the prospect of becoming owners, and men changed from one boat to another. In
many instances, too, the crews did not maintain their boats and gear-in good order, and it was quite evident that, in the interest of the fishermen as well as of the Board, nothing short of ownership would stimulate the crews to take care of their boats and gear. It was, therefore, decided that the Board “would sell each boat and gear on the loan system to some one or more fishermen. The present value of the boats and gear was ascertained, and these
amounts were treated as having been lent to approved applicants, the advances to be repaid by half-yearly instalments. The initial cost of the boatswith gear ranged from £1,000 to
£2,000 each for motor-boats, and present values were fixed according to the condition of the craft, with a discount of 20 per cent for cash paid at the time of sale. The prices of the sailing boats and gear were, of course, very much less.

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Activity at the Centers
The principal centers of the industry are at Downing’s Bay, Kincasslagh, Gweedore, Burtonport and Killybegs. Each of these places is a port where the fishermen keep their boats and where buyers attend, and the marketing conditions, influenced by the scarcity existing in the chief centers across the Channel, have been such as to assure fair ruling quotations at
every center. Buncrana, on Lough Swilly, which used to be the chief market, and in years back was the biggest and most important fishing base in the North-West, has suffered
because of the Admiralty Order closing Lough Swilly tor fishing, except in a restricted way within certain local limits, and the principal market is now at Downing’s Bay in Sheep Haven. Here a very large quantity of herring has been cured for export, and at the other centers mentioned the season has been scarcely less busy. At Killybegs in August, 1915, herrings of extraordinary fine size and quality were landed. Only a relatively small proportion of the catches was dispatched fresh to the markets.
Donegal Salmon Fishing
An interesting story appertains to the very appreciable development in the salmon fishing which has taken place off the West Donegal coast in recent years. It was not known that
salmon, when proceeding from the deep water to rivers, followed the same course year after year. To the late Father Bernard Walker, of Burtonport, is due the credit of proving this theory, and that, too, in the most incontrovertible manner. During some boating trips well outside the islands which fringe the Rosses, his observation was directed on a few occasions to the splashing of salmon, as he conceived it to be, and curiosity tempted him to try his luck with a salmon net along a course where he had seen salmon rise. His acumen and his enterprise were rewarded in a fine capture, and his initiative was quickly followed by the fishermen of the West Donegal coast, who found in the new grounds a successful area of operations.

Ros Scaite

Ros Scaite covering around 300 hectares elevates from a machair adjacent to Donegal Airport to the highest point near St Andrew’s Church. Ros Scaite sometimes referred to as Pointe Ros Scaite is made up of four townlands, namely Mullifinns, Carnboy, Dunmore, and Carrickfinn.

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Mullifinns

Mullifinns (Na Maola Fionna) meaning the white flat-topped hillocks is the oldest centre of habitation in Ros Scaite and indeed in west Donegal. Evidence of human activity here can be found in a kitchen midden which nestles at the base of a large sand-hill situated northwest of the runway at Donegal Airport.

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There have been various finds at this site over the years suggesting at least three phases of occupation.  It suggests that there were human habitation here in the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages and as late as the 19th Century when sand storms forced the inhabitants to move inland.

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In prehistoric times this area was the edge of a forest, the roots of these trees are constantly been unearthed at Trá na Stacán or the beach of the tree stumps on the westerly edge by the constant pounding of Atlantic waves.

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This forest sunk when sea levels began to rise about five thousand years ago. It was close to here that Donegal Airport had its humble beginnings in the 1970s, when a visiting Welshman landed his single engine plane there on The White Strand or An Trá Bhán. Before he could make a successful landing, he swept over the cows grazing below a number of times to clear the “runway”.

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Carnboy

Moving north across the sand-hills is the town-land of Carnboy (An Carn Buí) meaning a yellow rocky place. Here we find a working example of a clachan; a small traditional settlement dating to the early 1700s. It was in this clachan that one of the first modern schools in the Rosses was founded in 1782.

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The clachan is positioned between the tranquil waters of Carnboy Lake and Trá Shruthán na nEascann meaning the beach by the stream of the eels. The eels of Carnboy Lake pass through this white sanded beach reminisced of an idyllic Caribbean hideaway on their annual migration to the Sargasso Sea.

 

To the west Oileán na Marbh or the Island of the Dead lies just off a small fishing harbour, aptly named The Boat Strand. The island was used over hundreds of years as a burial place for unbaptised children and unidentified sailors, not received in Christian graveyards.

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Donegal’s rugged coast is a graveyard for many shipwrecks down the years. The coastline of Carnboy has its fair share of these wrecks. Some had yielded “treasure” to the local beachcombers. One such wreck floundered close to Oileán na Marbh in the early years of the 18th century.

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On inspecting the wreck, two local men received their prize; a large town clock. They put the clock into their currach and made their way about two km north to Gola Roads where they rendezvoused with a sailing ship bound for England. The ship’s captain agreed to sell the clock for them, which he did and on his return passage, he stopped at Gola Roads where he gave the beachcombers 600 guineas.

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The men invested their “treasure” by buying the tenant right of Ros Scaite, where their descendants still reside today.

 

 

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A weekly market day and annual fair in Ros Scaite was recorded at the inquisition held by the English in 1613. It would appear that this fair was then a traditional event similar to the old Irish Aonach where craftsmen came from far in wide to sell their wares and where musicians and bards congregated in the old Gaelic code.

 

Dunmore

To the east of Carnboy lies the townland of Dunmore (An Dún Mhór) meaning a large hill-fort; now gone in antiquity.

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There are two lakes in Dunmore, Loch Cormaic and Loch an Dhún Mhóir, the later though mostly covered by reeds, drains into the Gweedore Estuary. Close by in 1908 naturalist Robert Welch identified a new type of Erigone spider measuring 1.45 mm in length, which named E. Welchii in recognition.

 

Over the years Dunmore and indeed Roscaite has lost and gained territory through erosion. In the early twentieth century a fierce storm cut off Inis Sionnaigh, a tidal island linked to Dunmore

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and accumulated the sand around island of Dún Ramhair meaning thick hill-fort, to the east.

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This area developed into a machair and a popular recreation area.

Carrickfinn

To the south of Dunmore is Carrickfinn (An Charraig Fhinn) meaning Fionn’s (McCumhaill) Rock. Carrickfinn is in many ways the administrative part of Ros Scaite. In 1822, a detachment of the coastguard service was set up here to curb the smuggling of contraband along this coastline.

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Numbering up to thirty naval personnel, it remained in operation here until its transfer to Bunbeg in the 1850s. When the coastguard vacated their station it became the Church for the local Church of Ireland community. This Church dedicated to St Andrew has been in continual use until the present day.

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There have been various education systems operating in Carrickfinn from Hedge Schools, to Bible Societies, Coast and Island, Robertson, and the National School which closed in 1968.

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A number of folk living along the eastern shore provided a ferry to Bunbeg, which was the main shopping centre.

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With the construction of a causeway into Ros Scaite in 1945, this mode of transport changed.

Written by Jimmy Duffy 2016

Authentic Family Tree

sample

Dúchas na Rosannach (Rosses Heritage) has extensive experience in undertaking family research in the Rosses and Gweedore areas of west Donegal, Ireland.  Since setting up in the research business we have had a great deal of enquiries for family research.

captureAn in-depth investigation into the history of one’s family is time consuming and can become an expensive project. I have estimated the final cost of several reports to date. Some average between 500 and 1,000 persons. I recently researched a family that had 2,300 persons in the final report which would be well outside the average person’s budget.

From recent enquiries, we have concluded that many of them just wished to know their background and who their direct ancestors were.

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To meet the demand and to give the customer an insight into their Irish background, we are now in a position to offer a Authentic Family Tree

sample-1

Consisting of direct ancestors only,  against a background of one’s choice (ie. family homestead/location or sentimental portrait), printed on top quality paper and mounted to the required size (max A2).

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Price : 140 euros (postage and packaging extra)

Full family history research also available.

See below for examples of completed Family histories hard bound with gold lettering

Price of depends on the scale of research

Call us today to start that journey!

email:rossesheritage@gmail.com     Tel: 00353(0)873 8001959

 

A Ghost Story for Oíche Shamhna

TRUE IRISH GHOST STORIES COMPILED BY ST JOHN D. SEYMOUR, B.D.

AND HARRY L. NELIGAN, D.I.R.I.C.1914

From a story send to the authors by Mr T. McFadden.

It is not a personal experience, but happened to his father, and in an accompanying letter he states that he often heard the latter describe the incidents related therein, and that he certainly saw the ghost.

“The island of Inishinny, which is the scene of this story, is one of the most picturesque islands on the Donegal coast. With the islands of Gola and Inismaan it forms a perfectly natural harbour and safe anchorage for ships during storms. About Christmas some forty or fifty years ago a small sailing-ship put into Gola Roads (as this anchorage is called) during a prolonged storm, and the captain and two men had to obtain provisions from Bunbeg, as, owing to their being detained so long, their supply was almost exhausted. They had previously visited the island on several occasions, and made themselves at home with the people from the mainland who were temporarily resident upon it.

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The “Old Bar”

“The old bar at its best was never very safe for navigation, and this evening it was in its element, as with every storm it presented one boiling, seething mass of foam. The inhabitants of the island saw the frail small boat from the ship securely inside the bar, and prophesied some dire calamity should the captain and the two sailors venture to return to the ship that night. But the captain and his companions, having secured sufficient provisions, decided (as far as I can remember the story), even in spite of the entreaties of those on shore, to return to the ship.

 

The storm was increasing, and what with their scanty knowledge of the intricacies of the channel, and the darkness of the night, certain it was the next morning their craft was found washed ashore on the island, and the body of the captain was discovered by the first man who made the round of the shore looking for logs of timber, or other useful articles washed ashore from wrecks. The bodies of the two sailors were never recovered, and word was sent immediately to the captain’s wife in Derry, who came in a few days and gave directions for the disposal of her husband’s corpse.

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“The island was only temporarily inhabited by a few people who had cattle and horses grazing there for some weeks in the year, and after this catastrophe they felt peculiarly lonely, and sought refuge from their thoughts by all spending the evening together in one house. This particular evening they were all seated round the fire having a chat, when they heard steps approaching the door.

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Though the approach was fine, soft sand, yet the steps were audible as if coming on hard ground. They knew there was no one on the island save the few who were sitting quietly round the fire, and so in eager expectation they faced round to the door. What was their amazement when the door opened, and a tall, broad-shouldered man appeared and filled the whole doorway—and that man the captain who had been buried several days previously. He wore the identical suit in which he had often visited the island and even the “cheese-cutter” cap, so common a feature of sea-faring men’s apparel, was not wanting. All were struck dumb with terror, and a woman who sat in a corner opposite the door, exclaimed in Irish in a low voice to my father:

“‘O God! Patrick, there’s the captain.’

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“My father, recovering from the first shock, when he saw feminine courage finding expression in words, said in Irish to the apparition:

“‘Come in!’

“They were so certain of the appearance that they addressed him in his own language, as they invariably talked Irish in the district in those days. But no sooner had he uttered the invitation than the figure, without the least word or sign, moved back, and disappeared from their view. They rushed out, but could discover no sign of any living person within the confines of the island. Such is the true account of an accident, by which three men lost their lives, and the ghostly sequel, in which one of them appeared to the eyes of four people, two of whom are yet alive, and can vouch for the accuracy of this narrative.”

MURDER IN THE ROSSES

The Story of Scailpe Mharcuis was told by Eoghan Mac Fionnghaile as Mullach Dubh, Ceann Caslach aged 86 years to schoolteacher Patrick O’Donnell as part of the School Folklore Collection in 1938.

Eoghan heard it from his father Domhnaill Ruadh Mac Fionnghaile (McGinley) from Mullach Dubh in 1862. This story can be viewed here

In 1992,  Neil McGinley, a great grandson of Eoghan Mac Fionnghaile composed a song relating to these events entitled ‘Murder in the Rosses’  to the air of ‘The Homes of Donegal’

 

Pull up your chair and gather round and a story I will tell

Of two sons of the Rosses, in Ballymanus they did dwell

They were murdered by a Connacht Clan on the steep slopes of Glen Mor

All because a women fed a beggarman at the door.

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Seán returning to his Ballymanus home

A travelling man from Connacht knocked and begged to be fed

Sean’s wife said ‘Sure you are welcome but I’ve only oaten bread’

The Connacht man he ate his fill and with water washed it down

He gave a blessing oe’r the house, but his eyes they showed a frown.

 

I’ve often heard the old folks say round the Homes of Mullaghduff

That the blessing of a travelling man can often mean a curse

And the powerful curse of a Connacht man is well known far and near

The look the stranger gave Sean’s wife, it filled her heart with fear.

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A Mullaghduff Home

When Sean O’Donnell heard this tale his heart was full of woe

After the travelling Connacht man he decided he would go

To invite the man to eat a feed of fresh fish from the sea

But all Sean’s good intention alas were not to be.

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Fresh fish on the griddle

When Sean reached Cruit Island, there here he caught up with the Connacht man

But the beggarman spurned his greeting when Sean offered him his hand

The Connacht man insulted Sean and a blow to his head Sean did land

It all ended with the Connacht man lying dead upon Cruit Strand

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Cruit Strand

Sean rightly knew that the Connacht men revenge would seek with hate

For the Connacht men have fury like a river when in spate

On the red dawn of a harvest morn, from the hills the strangers came

An angry band of Connacht men to avenge their son who was slain.

 

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Sean and his son Marcus fled in a Curragh off the shore

They headed for the Forth of Garth and onward to Glen Mor

The Connacht men they caught poor Sean and no mercy was he shown

They murdered him in a valley that to this day is known as Sean’s.

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Places named after Seán Ó Domhnaill

 

Young Marcus then he took to flight he was chased through woods and gorse

He headed for the Blue Spink Hills by the Old Glen of the Cross

He backed into an open skelp and there he made his stand

That brave Son of the Rosses he fought off the Connacht Clan.

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The Old Glen of the Cross, Marcus’ resting place under the public road

Marcus fought from dawn to dusk he fought off each attack

Each time the Connacht Clan approached he bravely drove them back

But from the top of Beagga Gorma they tumble rocks and stones

They buried brave young Marcus as he proudly fought alone.

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Scailpe Mharcuis where Marcus held off the Connaught men’s attack

So fathers tell your children of this tale of grief and woe

That happened in the Rosses oe’r three centuries ago

So long as a curlews cry is heard along the Rosses Shore

We’ll remember Sean and his brave son now and forever more.

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The original recording of the story from 1937 can be viewed here

Composed by Neil McGinley (January 1992)  

 Photographs: Dúchas na Rosannach                                                            

The articles published on this website are copyright by their respective authors. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without the authors permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement to the original author

Ros Scaite; Carrickfinn, Mullifinns, Carnboy & Dunmore

The following is an extract of an article I wrote about Carrickfinn Peninsula which appeared in Take Off magazine 2016. To read it in full, see Take Off magazine at Donegal Airport or one of the many tourism providers in Co. Donegal.

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Carrickfinn is located in an area called the Rosses in west Donegal, Ireland. The Rosses is a granite plateau dipping into the Atlantic Ocean. It takes its name from the native tongue Na Rosa or the headlands. The most northerly of these is called Ros Scaite meaning remote headland.

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Ros Scaite from Braade

Ros Scaite covering around 300 hectares elevates from a machair adjacent to Donegal Airport to the highest point near St Andrew’s Church. Ros Scaite sometimes referred to as Pointe Ros Scaite is made up of four townlands, namely Mullifinns, Carnboy, Dunmore, and Carrickfinn. Over the years it was a tidal island which became a peninsula just before the construction of a causeway from the mainland at Braade in 1945.

Mullifinns

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the remains of the once vibrant townland of Na Maola Fionna

Mullifinns (Na Maola Fionna) meaning the white low hill-tops is the oldest centre of habitation in Ros Scaite and indeed in west Donegal. Evidence of human activity here can be found in a kitchen midden which nestles at the base of the large sand-hill situated northwest of the runway at Donegal Airport. There have been various finds at this site over the years suggesting at least three phases of occupation.  It suggests that there were human habitation here in the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages ….

It was close to here that Donegal Airport had its humble beginnings in the 1970s, when a visiting Welshman landed his single engine plane there. Before he could make a successful landing ….

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Mrs O’Donnell from Kincasslagh after a spin in the 1970s                     Photo: Hugh Brendan O’Donnell

 

 Carnboy

Moving north across the sand-hills is the town-land of Carnboy (An Carn Buí) meaning a yellow rocky place. Here we find a working example of a clachan; a small traditional settlement dating to the early eighteenth century. It was in this clachan that one of the first modern schools in the Rosses was ….

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A traditional lobster punt moored at the Boat Strand

To the west Oileán na Marbh or the Island of the Dead lies just off a small fishing harbour, aptly named The Boat Strand. The island was ….

 

Donegal’s rugged coast is a graveyard for many shipwrecks down the years. The coastline of Carnboy has its fair share of these wrecks. Some had yielded “treasure” to the local beachcombers. One such wreck floundered close to Oileán na Marbh in the early years of the eighteenth century. On inspecting the wreck, two local men received their prize; a large town clock. They put the clock into their currach ….

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Carnboy Lake

A market day held on a Thursday and annual fair in Ros Scaite was recorded by the English ….

To the east of Carnboy lies the townland of Dunmore (An Dun Mhór) meaning a large hill-fort; now gone in antiquity. There are two lakes ….

Over the years Dunmore and indeed Roscaite has lost and gained territory through erosion. In the early twentieth century a fierce storm cut off Inis Shoinnaigh, a tidal island linked to Dunmore and accumulated the sand around Dún Ramhair Island meaning thick island ….

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Inis Soinnaigh from Dunmore

 

To the south of Dunmore is Carrickfinn (An Charraig Fhinn) meaning Fionn’s (McCumhaill) Rock. Carrickfinn is in many ways the administrative part of Ros Scaite. In 1822, a detachment of the coastguard service was set up here to curb the smuggling of contraband along this coastline. Numbering up to thirty naval personnel ….

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Rings that were placed by the Coastguard in the 1820s to steady the stays of the communication flagstaff, still guard Carrickfinn

 

A number of folk living along the eastern shore provided a ferry …..

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The Ferry House, Carrickfinn with Bunbeg Harbour and Store in the background

Liam Clarke and Arranmore Island’s First Resident Doctor

Dr Josephine (Josie) Stallard Clarke was the first dispensary doctor appointed to Arranmore Island. She was doctor there from 1929 to 1935. Dr Josephine Stallard Clarke had no car when working as a doctor in Arranmore and travelled around to see her patients on a horse belonging to a local shopkeeper Barney Mc Gill. The Clarkes lived in Ballintra in a house owned by Barney Mc Gill that is now a public house owned by Neil Gallagher. All doctors on the island after Dr Clarke had a car or access to a car. Liam Clarke when in Arranmore had great need of Morphine as a pain killer. It was apparent to some of the islanders that he came in contact with that he was probably addicted to the drug. He died in 1941.

Captain Liam Clarke, a Dublin man, was in the General Post Office Dublin as the head of E Company, 4th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers on Easter Monday 1916. This was the company that was made up of the pupils and former pupils of Patrick Pearse’s Secondary College St Enda’s at The Hermitage, Rathfarnham, County Dublin (Pearse’s Own). Liam Clarke had taken part in the Howth in and Kilcoole gun landings in 1914.  The yacht Asgard, skippered by Erskine Childers, landed guns into Howth, County Dubliin and the yacht Kelpie skippered by Conor O’Brien brought the guns that were landed at Kilcoole, County Wicklow to the Irish Sea for transhipping to land at Kilcoole. Conor O’Brien was an architect and designed the Cope Hall in Dungloe that was demolished a few years ago to make way for the new road into the Public Car Park. He late sailed his yacht Saoirse around the world. The photograph of men with guns below is one of the few photographs taken inside the GPO. On the afternoon of Easter Monday 1916 Liam Clarke received a serious head injury when a ‘homemade’ canister bomb exploded. According to Joe Sweeney, who was also in the GPO, the hand grenade or canister bomb had been left too near to a radiator and because of the heat from the radiator it destabilised and exploded. However, Joe Sweeney did not see the incident although he saw Liam Clarke being taken away injured. Another account of the same incident said that the canister bomb exploded in Liam Clarke’s hands and makes no mention of it being affected by a radiator. Liam Clarke was treated by Cumann na mBan nurses in the GPO and then was taken to a hall that was used as a first aid station and later to hospital but lost the sight in one eye. He was not arrested after the 1916 Rising but had to go on the run when the British authorities came looking for him at the hospital he was in. He helped reorganise the Irish volunteers after the rising while posing as an organiser for the Prisoners Dependents Fund. He became addicted to morphine arising from his treatment for his injury using that drug as a pain killer.

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Tynan Collection. National Library of Ireland

 

The above photograph shows the 59 foot yacht, Asgard at Burtonport in May 1970. The Asgard visited Burtonport the same week-end that the Donegal Historical Society unveiled a plaque in memory of James Napper Tandy who came to the Rosses on the French Frigate Anacreon a gun runner in the 1798 Rebellion. The photograph is part of the Denis Tynan Collection in the National Library. Tynan was a professional photographer from Glenties. The late Neil Boyle of Leabgarrow, Arranmore is playing the bagpipes in the aft of the boat.

In late 1916 while in Kilkenny City re-organising the Irish Volunteers Liam Clarke met a medical student Josephine Stallard who lived there where her parents had a shop. He encouraged her to join Cumann na mBan the female wing of the Irish Volunteers and she did that in Dublin.  She said he was lame when she first met him and he was also blind in one eye. She had during the Troubles to meet with him on a regular basis to carry messages from Cathal Brugha (who was Liam Clarke’s immediate superior) to others through-out Dublin and Ireland and once to Liverpool. She sometimes dealt directly with Cathal Brugha. She was a secret member of Cumann na mBan. It was felt that she could more effectively work for Cumann na mBan if it was not known generally that she was a member so although she was a member she never attended any public meetings of Cumann na mBan.

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Herdman Collection

The above photograph was taken by Jack Herdman from Sion Mills, County Tyrone from the top of Nelson Pillar, O’Connell Street and looking down inside the ruined Post Office sometime after 1922 when the Metropole Hotel to the left in the photograph was rebuilt and before 1929 when the GPO was rebuilt. The photograph is part of the Herdman Collection in the National Library.

Joe Sweeney who was from Burtonport was a member of E Company as well and knew Liam Clarke well. Liam Clarke later remained a close friend of Joe Sweeney although they had taken different sides in the Civil War, he the Anti-Treaty or republican side and Joe the Pro-Treaty or Free State side. They had, as I have said, both been at St Enda’s and probably knew each other too well to fall out although many who had been friends did fall out over the ‘21 Treaty. Joe Sweeney may have played a part in Dr. Josephine Stallard being appointed a doctor in Arranmore . In general Anti-Treaty activists were not employed by the State although this ban may not have been applied by Donegal County Council (her new employer) in 1929.

Liam Clarke was arrested by the British in May of 1921. He was imprisoned first in Arbour Hill where he was kept in a padded cell in case he would injure himself as he could not cope without the morphine. He was later imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail and got on better health wise in Kilmainham. When the British arrested Liam Clarke they later the same day arrested Josephine Stallard in the Red Bank Café on D’Oliers Street, Dublin where they met every day. She was taken to Dublin Castle in an armoured car and strip searched but was generally treated well. She was asked if she was Liam Clarke’s secretary. She thought her interrogator was probably English as he pronounced Liam as Lyam. She told her questioner that she was Liam’s fiancée but this was untrue.  She was released the same day. The Truce between Britain and Dail Eireann came on the 11th of July 1921 but Liam Clarke was not released from prison until December ‘21. He married Josephine Clarke when he was on ten-day parole for medical treatment from Kilmainham Jail in September 1921. It seems he proposed marriage to her the day before they married.  She said that the reason why he was married in the uniform of the Irish Volunteers had to do with the fact that he had no other suit of clothes at the time. Liam Clarke took an active part in the Civil War was imprisoned for twelve months from September 1922 to September 1923.

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The Clarke Collection. Bureau of Military History

Dr Josephine Clarke filed this photograph with the Bureau of Military History in 1952, that is on-line, as the wedding of Dr Josephine Clarke and Commandant Liam Clarke, IRA.

Doctor Stallard Clarke said the following in relation to her husband in the document that she filed with the Bureau of Military History in 1952 now on line;

“He had several operations for the wound in his head and in 1918 Mr Mc Connell for the first time operated on him and this was actually the first time Mr Mc Connell performed an operation for gasserian ganglion on anybody. He gave him morphia to kill the pain and this led to the morphia habit which he never could give up. It was when England stopped the supply of vital drugs to Ireland in 1941 that Liam had to be admitted to the Richmond Hospital again under a friend of mine Jerry O’Brien. The hospital even could not allow enough morphia as their supply, which was limited, had to be divided amongst all of their patients and it was spinal anesthesia that Dr O’Brien gave him until he died. He died from lack of morphia which his system could not do without. He never complained though he must have suffered always. I used to give him the first couple of doses of morphia in the morning. After that he administered himself.”

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Easter Rising Collection. National Library of Ireland

The above photograph that was taken inside the GPO is part of a collection to do with the Easter Rising held by the National Library. It shows I believe Liam Clarke wearing a peaked cap and standing at the rear second from the left although that is disputed. The person sitting on the right is I believe the 16 years old Eunan Mc Ginley. Eunan Mc Ginley was the son of Cu Uladh (Peadar Toner Mc Ginley from Glenswilly originally but then living in Dublin with his family). He had attended St Endas Rathfarnham and was in E company as well. The man standing to the left of him may be his brother Eunan but that is disputed as well.

Written & Researched by Seán Boner 2016

The articles published on this website are copyright by their respective authors. An article may not be reproduced in any medium without the authors permission and full acknowledgement. You are welcome to cite or quote from an article provided you give full acknowledgement to the original author

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