29 February, 2016

Church of Ireland

The church is located in Donegal Town which is 27km from Killybegs.  It was built c.1828-31 in a Gothic Revival style.  A very nice looking church.

Link up with us at "InSPIREd Sunday"

27 February, 2016


This memorial is located on the backside of the children's play space that I posted last week.  It is situated in a quiet reflective area surrounding the monument to seafarers. 

26 February, 2016

election day 2016

Today it was time to vote.  It was the first time for me since I became a citizen back in 2005.  I got citizenship through descent.  My paternal grandmother was born here in County Galway back in 1870.  I knew she was old, 82 years, when I was born but when I saw what year it was, I was really shocked.  After getting all the necessary paperwork together and sent off to Dublin, I received the congratulatory document saying I was now a citizen of Ireland.

My grandmother never got a chance to vote because Ireland was not a country at that time.  She had come to America around the late 19th century.  At the time of the Rising in 1916, she was in her 50s and settled with a family.  So, it was an honor to vote today with my grandmother in my thoughts.  If only I could sit and talk with her for a bit, I would have lots of questions that I would love to ask.

 This is one of the few photos that I have with my grandmother in it.  aunt Margaret is on the left, my grandmother is in the middle and my dad holding me.  I was her first grandchild.  Eventually my two sisters would join our family.  The photo was taken in 1953.

25 February, 2016

lovely day

Blue skies are always welcomed.  We do see them every now and then and with February nearing its end warmer weather will be arriving soon :)

24 February, 2016

a killybegs rainbow

We were rewarded with a rainbow today.  It rained for a few minutes and then the rainbow made an appearance.  The whole event lasted less than 5 minutes.  You know the old saying, "wait 5 minutes and the weather will change."  I heard that saying wherever we lived -  Maine, Oregon, Alaska, even in NY.

23 February, 2016

load them up

Walking by the harbour, I happened to be passing while a fishing boat was unloading their fish.  It was interesting to see how the workers make it look so easy.  Hook up the vacuum tube and feed the fish through it and in to a truck container then delivered to where they need to be.

22 February, 2016

Killybegs Play Space

Killybegs Play Space is Ireland’s first architect-designed play space that was commissioned by Donegal County Council  in partnership with the IAF and is designed by Lotus Architects.  It has
mirrored tunnel and pillars, the full-length zip-wire and terraces linked by slides.

The entrance is to the left of the map which shows the west coast of Donegal and its fishing area.

21 February, 2016

Maritime and Heritage Centre

 The 14th and last stop of the Heritage Trail

The Maritime & Heritage Centre is located here in the Carpet Factory building where the world famous Donegal Carpets are made. These luxurious carpets are hand knotted in the highest quality material, and go back to 1898 when Alexander Morton introduced them to Killybegs. The carpets grace some of the most prestigious buildings and homes around the world, including Aras an Uachtarain, the White House and Buckingham Palace. A fine example can be seen in Glenveagh Castle, which is open to the public.  Come and see the longest loom in the world, and partake in live demonstrations of hand-knotted carpet making. Enjoy hands-on experience in a fishing trawler wheelhouse. Browse through a display of works by local artists.  There is a craft and coffee shop on the premises.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

Photos from inside of the Carpet Factory

longest hand-knotting loom in the world

 Factory workers circa early 1900s

Chart put up against a corner mirror
a donegal carpet

20 February, 2016

St. Catherine’s Well and Kit’s Castle

These are the 12th and 13th stops on the Heritage Trail.

 The folklore suggests that Christian devotion to this well dated from the 6th century.This valuable source of pure spring water may have decided the original religious community to settle here, thereby founding the first ‘Killybegs’.  Tradition states that a party delivered safe from a raging sea dedicated the well to St Catherine of Alexandria.  November 25th each year is dedicated to St Catherine’s Day, and pilgrims come here, some from great distances, to ‘make the station’.  There is a strong belief in the curative properties of the water, and the well retains its special air of prayerful solitude for all who visit and respect the setting.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

 On the hill above St Catherine’s well is the Tower of ‘Kit’s Castle’  The manor house built by bishop Patrick McMonagle around 1355.  Several bishops of the Raphoe diocese lived there.

19 February, 2016

St. Catherine’s Old Church and Burial Ground

The 11th stop on the Heritage Trail.  St. Catherine is the patron saint of seafarers.

The view from St. Catherine's Well
The ruined church which was founded in the 15th century as a Friary for the Franciscan Third Order (Regular). (built over an older 12th century church]. It was used by the Planters up until 1828.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

 The entrance to the church and graveyard

St. Catherine's Church

Some of the old graves still standing.

One of the old graves.  The last burial in this cemetery was in 1902.

18 February, 2016

Killybegs Tourism College

The 10th stop on the heritage trail. 

This educational establishment is a training college for the tourism and catering industry.  The building was erected in 1896 as a Marine Industrial School from where the boat building industry
began a few years later.  During World War II the building served as a barracks for the Irish Army, and was later used a refuge for 88 displaced German children.  From 1950 it operated as a
Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and prior to its present function served for a time as Killybegs Hotel and Catering College.

17 February, 2016

Bruach Na Mara

 The 9th stop on the heritage trail.

The much altered Philadelphia town house is the headquarters of Killybegs Fishermen’s
Organisation (KFO], one of the most powerful grouping of fishermen in the country.  The building was once the retirement home of bishop John Bernard MacGinley of Killybegs.
He was a son of Thomas Colin MacGinley, schoolteacher and author, whose wife’s family, the Sinnotts, had erected Bruach Na Mara in the early 1900’s.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

The entrance from St. Catherine's Road

 View of back from St. Catherine's Road

The view from shore road

16 February, 2016

Robertson School House

The 8th stop on the Heritage Trail

This former schoolhouse is located on St Catherine’s Road, and is one of the few 19th century buildings in Killybegs which has retained it’s original appearance. It was erected in 1819 as
the first formal school in Killybegs, and served as the only school for that
part of the town until 1842.  The school is to a standard design,  having the schoolroom on the first floor which is accessed by a stone staircase on the gable, and living accommodation below for the teacher and family. The garden surrounding the school provided vegetables for the table. It was later used as Methodist Meeting House.  Today it is in private ownership.  It was established by the Church of Ireland authorities with grant aid  from Bible Societies and the
Robertson Fund.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

15 February, 2016

The Corn Store

 The 7th stop on the Heritage Trail

This building was originally a corn and grain store, dating from late 18th century. It was possibly erected by the Nesbitt family, prominent Killybegs planters and was in the ownership of the merchant Blain family for most of the 19th century.  It fronted onto a small river dividing Killybegs town, and ships delivered cargoes of grain directly to the store at high tide. This happened before the present Main Street bridge was built.  The old bridge behind the Corn Store was built in 1757, after which the street was named (at the cost of £9 pounds!).  The store was used by the Government Commissariat to hold Indian meal for distribution during the Great Famine.  Up until 1933 it was in the ownership  of the Spillers & Bakers firm who stored flour to supply the main bakers in the town. The building was originally a storey higher.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

14 February, 2016

Forester's Hall

The 6th stop on the heritage trail.

The Foresters were founded in England in post-medieval times and were known as the Ancient Order of Foresters.  The word ‘Foresters’ conjures up visions of Robin Hood the poor man’s friend, the protector of the oppressed, and that is precisely the reason the Foresters came into being.  It was, and still is a mutual aid society, helping fellow Foresters in times of distress or death – very important when there were no State or welfare benefits. This started a world-wide Foresters’ Organisation, spreading to America, Canada, Australia and Ireland.
When the Order came to Ireland, it became the Irish National Foresters and their motto is the same as the parent organisation – ‘Unity, Nationality and Benevolence’. It is non-political, nonsectarian, and does not support, encourage or discriminate against any creed or class.

The Killybegs branch was formed on Sunday 19th August 1906, and was called the Niall Mor Branch. At that time there was no hall, and the branch rented rooms on Bridge Street. The present site was purchased in 1909 for £11.00 and the hall opened for the first time on Monday 1st August 1910. The entertainment for the evening was by J. Dowds’s band and the charge was 5 shillings.  From that time it became the centre of entertainment for the area. Today it still runs as a community centre and a meeting place for many organisations.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre

13 February, 2016

McSwyne Grave Slab and St. John's Church

These are the 4th and 5th stops of the Heritage Trail.

The McSwyne Grave Slab in encased in a display case that has some condensation on it. The right side is a reflection of what's behind me.  I kind of like it.  This carved stone was brought from the Friary at Ballysaggart, St John’s Point  Monsignor Stephens PP transported it to Killybegs in 1868 and set it against an interior wall. It was erected in its present position in 1953 when the church was re-plastered.  The figure in the upper left-hand panel is said to represent Niall Mor McSwyne,  Chieftain of his clan who died in his castle at Rahan on 14th December 1524.  The slab is of 16th century character.

The building of St John’s church commenced in 1825, and it was consecrated and dedicated to St John on 6th June 1828 by William, Bishop of Raphoe.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure

12 February, 2016

St. Mary's Catholic Church

This is the 3rd stop on the heritage trail.

The foundation stone of this church was laid on 2nd February 1842. The first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Day 1843. The church was not finally complete until 1854.
The formal dedication by His Grace the Most Rev Dr Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin, was
postponed until 6th August 1854 on account of the Great Famine.  Alexander Murray, landlord of that part of Killybegs, had St Mary’s designed by his architect John Buonarotti Papworth. Murray also provided the site, and gave the single largest donation of IR£100. The church was built by the Very Rev William Drummond, P.P. As a Catholic church it is unique in Ireland and still
retains some of its original simplicity of design and character.  The present bell in the tower was
hung in 1950, being donated by the late Charles McIntyre of New Row.

Courtesy of the Maritime & Heritage Centre Brochure
I'm going to link this to Inspired Sunday, so come along and check out the others who participate.