County Donegal Historical Society


AGM of County Donegal Historical Society

Dr. Lochlann McGill, President of the County Donegal Historical Society, emphasized the uniqueness of the county's sense of identity as the theme for his address at this year's AGM, the 71st for the Society. "We are far from the main urban centres up here; for example, it takes hours to get to Dublin, and so we can relish our sense of community and celebrate its innate richness." He noted that there is a very strong sense of community in Donegal, strengthened by our wonderful history. He went on to praise the contribution of the many local history groups across the county and wished them all success. "Their aims and ours are complementary", he added. In finishing, he thanked the entire committee and reminded them that we could look forward to the 69th edition of the Donegal Annual later this year, once again edited by Seán Beattie and his team. The Hon. Secretary, Una McGarrigle, reported that the Society had a very busy year, commemorating the centenaries of 1916's main events. The attendance at the dance-hall in Marble Hill House, where Patrick Pearse was a guest at the ceilidhs, was probably the largest ever. Una also noted that the next reprint of the early Annuals, referred to as Vol. 3 covering the early 1960's, is on track. Seamus Devine, our Hon Auditor, from Stewart and MacLochlainn Accountants, took us through the very detailed financial report and was pleased to conclude that the Society's finances are in a healthy state. Paula Harvey, Director of the Schools' Competition, began by thanking Pat Shallow who had been at the helm for 25 years. There were over 40 entries for the 2016 competition, the highest ever since it all started over 50 years ago. Incidentally, there was only one prize back then and Dr. McGill was the joyful recipient of the 1964 cheque which he produced at the AGM. He explained that it had been cashed but many years later it was returned to him to keep as a souvenir. Our Museum Curator, Liam Thomas, said that there were over 2,000 comments left in the visitors' book during the year and this can be regarded as a fraction of the total number of actual visitors. One comment stated that the museum at the friary in Rossnowlagh was the highlight of the visitor's trip to Donegal. The Society always welcomes new members; membership forms may be printed off our website at And additional information about the Society can be gleaned from our facebook page.


County Donegal Historical Society
Cumann Staire Chondae Dhún na nGall
Presents Adopt a Monument OR an Historical Building in your area.
Schools Competition 2017

What: For this year’s Donegal Historical Schools Competition we are asking you to find and adopt an archaeological monument or an historic building in your own area. It could even be your very own school if it is old enough! Other possible historic buildings could be mills, kilns, court houses, old schools, stately homes, banks, old hotels, the list is endless!
How? You are asked to research and create a project about your adopted archaeological monument or historic building. You can submit an entry as a class or as an individual and there are prizes for primary and secondary school classes and students.
When? The closing date for the receipt of entries is Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Why? As if the satisfaction of gaining countywide recognition for your work isn’t enough, the County Donegal Historical Society is offering the following prizes:
Harley - McDonagh Trophy & €300: Best Primary School Class Entry
Fr. Jackie Fitzgerald Memorial Trophy & €300: Best Secondary School Class Entry
Emerson Award & €100: Best Primary Student Entry
Donald Mac Lochlainn Trophy & €200: Best Secondary Student Entry
Want to find out more? Full details are available from your teacher and on the County Donegal Historical Society website at:

To download entry form for 2017 Schools Competition click here

For information and directions for the 2017 Schools Competitions click here

Annual Coach Outing on April 29th, 2017.

We are going to visit The Seamus Heaney Centre,which covers 3 floors depicting the life and works of this famous Author. There we will have tea/coffee, We then go to Springhill House which is a 17th-century plantation house in the townland of Ballindrum near Moneymore, County Derry.It has been the property of the National Trust since 1957 and, in addition to the house, gardens and park, there is a costume collection and a purported ghost. Refreshments may be purchased there.
We then drive to Draperstown where you can browse in the shops and have some leisure time. To finalise the day we have a lovely 3 course dinner in the popular Mount Errigal Hotel. Letterkenny.
All at a nominal price of €60, which includes coach, entries to Seamus Heaney Centre, and Springhill House. Midday snacks are optional and at your own cost. As always we also welcome non members of the Society to join us on this trip. Pick up Points are Ballyshannon at 7.30am and then on to the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town, Butt Hall Ballybofey and finally at The Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny. Contact Una at 0872261378

Old News Reports on earlier activities of the Association can be found in Past Events