The County Donegal Historical Society’s 2012 Annual was launched by County GAA star, Rory Kavanaugh on Wednesday night last Wednesday night in Jackson’s Hotel.
Among its 160 pages are articles covering every locality in the county. A dip into this superb publication will find the story of Neal McNamee from Convoy who lost his life on the Titanic. Sports historians will enjoy Martin McGonigle’s in-depth research into hurling in Donegal before the time of the GAA. Rev. Raymond Blair writes about an abduction that took place in Fermanagh in 1839, the abductor was Thomas Russell from Castlefinn and the victim was Miss Catherine Hoey from Irvinestown.
Alastair Lings has carried out extensive research on the history of silica sand quarrying on Muckish mountain, a fascinating insight into how a sophisticated industrialised endeavour impinged on the lives of those in the Ards district and the role of the local landlord - the whole enterprise being dedicated to glass production across the water.
Inishowen features in several articles, with wonderful pieces on archaeology, Tip O’Neill and Willim O’Doherty M.P. of north Donegal. Ecclesiastical history is thoroughly examined. There are well written pieces that can be read on the Church of Ireland, the connection between Rome and Donegal is examined as well as Stair Eaglasta Bhaile na Finne which is discussed by the well known historian and author Pádraig Ó’Baoghill.
The significance of fishing in the county holds high precedence in the annual with an account given of the Bruckless Bay fishing disaster and
an interesting report given on fishing in the county.
Mingled among all those articles are wonderful little gems such as Donegal Design, 1950 by Alan Hemmings. He relates how he decided to set up a small textile enterprise in Dungloe. One of his initial headaches is that all the looms and other equipment ordered from England were transported by mistake to Dunloe, County Kerry and took quite a while to reach Donegal. This Annual documents all work of the Society during the year; it’s a great credit to Seán Beattie and his editorial team. The cover is a painting of Raphoe Castle in 1800AD by Jane Allott. It is available from major bookshops across the county. Full information about the Society and how to become a member are on the Society’s website at www.donegalhistory.com.