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Dúchas Thír Chonaill

Donegal Heritage

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December 2015

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The Turf Drawing

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Bringing home the turf to Carrickfinn c1920

‘Twas me an’ Dennis rose this morn or ever it was day,

For we had to take the boat up wi’ the tide to Annagrey,

The way we’d bring the winter’s turf across to Carrickfin-

Oh! Early in the mornin’ as the flood was comin’ in,

The grey an’ early mornin’, as the flood was comin’ in.

 

An’ all the island boats were out, for the spring tides would be high,

An’ that’s the only time they’d get to where the turf was dry

An’ waitin’ by the lough, for sure ‘tis shallow water there-

Oh! Sweet the Autumn mornin’ wi’ the first chill in the air,

Aye! Fair an’ sweet the morning’, though a chill was in the air.

 

We tacked the narrow water all across from shore to shore,

Till round the bend, where the lough is wide, ye could hear the breakers roar,

Where the sea broke through o’er the ridge o’ sand that mostly does be dry,

Oh! The white-topped, tumblin’ water, ‘neath a misty mornin’ sky-

The silver, shinin’ water wi’ its white crests ‘neath the sky.

 

Along the edge o’ the land we tied the white boats in a row,

Where the bank was piled wi’ turf down from the bog a week ago,

An’ all day long the girls an’ men were workin’ wi’ a will,

For the turf is aisy handled, yet a boat takes long to fill-

Oh! The turf, the brown, sweet-scented turf, each boat must have its fill.

turfboat

An’ all the day the little waves were dancing’ in the sun,

An’ some boats made two journeys, an’ some could do wi’ one,

Oh! The lough was gay wi’ brown sails as they would come an’ go-

Grey herons were about the rocks an’ the seagulls circled low-

Och! The owld grey herons on the rocks while the gulls were sweeping low.

 

An’ if the work was hard, sure there was fun and laughin’ too,

For the day’d be long to an island man if his work was all he’d do;

An’ the ones that got their loadin’ done would help them that were last,

Oh! Quickly up at Annagrey the golden hours passed-

‘Twas sweet an’ fair Annagrey as the golden hours passed

 

turfboat 2
A turf laden yawl leaving Annagry with McCloskeys Pub and Forker’s Shop in the background c1934

 

An’ now the day is wearin’ through, an’ the tide is past the turn,

An’ the boats put out from the bank, wi’ turf piled high from bow to stern,

Till there’s hardly room to work the sails, but the breeze has dropped away,

An’ it’s driftin’, driftin’ wi’ the tide we come from Annagrey-

Oh! Driftin’ down wi’ the fallin’ tide we come from Annagrey.

by Elizabeth Shane

 

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Cnoc a’ Diarraigh

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Ó oíche is lá a smaoitim ar chuid sléibhte Dhún na nGall

An fraoch ag fás go líonmhar agus an t-éan ar bharr na mbeann,

Sé ar ball a bheidh mise ag seoladh tharr uisce gharbh dhomhain

Le feicéal arís an tírín atá mílte fada uaim.

 

Insím díbh radharc aoibhinn a ba mhaith lion scríobh le peann,

‘s é sin ó Chnoc a Diarraigh go hard os cionn an Ghleann,

Is iomaidh tráthnóna samhraidh a chaith mé ar a bharr,

Ba dheas a d’amharc an Mhucais i bhfad sior os cionn Ghaoth Dobhair.

 

Is deas an áit sa tsamhradh go h-ard ar bharr an tsliabh,

Ag breathnú amach ar Thoraigh, ar Gabhl

a ‘s Inis Fraoich,

Ó sin go hUaigh ‘s Arainn Mór ar bhadaí dul faoi sheol

Tá sin ar radharc go h-aoibhinn is chonaic mé go fóill.

 

Is cuimhneach lion na gleanntáin ‘s beidh siad liom go brath

Nuair a smaoitim ar mo óige ar an ard os cionn na trá,

Crónan caoin an bharra agus na héanacha ar gach crann

‘s mé mo shuí ar chnoc an Mhurlaigh ag amharc anonn ar Bhun na mBeann.

 

Ach insím díbh radharc eile agus briseann sé mo choí,

Sé sin ó Chnoc a’ Diarraigh ag amharc amach ar Inis Fraoich,

Ag coimhéad ar loing ag seoladh go tapaidh siar ó Uaigh

Tabhairt cailíní óga na héireann amach an Oileán úir.

 

Tá gleanntáin deas in éireann agus sléibhte tá go leor,

Agus coillte glasa fasta ag fás le taobh an ród,

Ach níl sé i dTír Chonaill níos aoibhinn nó níos fearr,

Ná an áit i lár an Ghleann sin bhfuil an cuileann glas ag fás.

 

Mar tógadh mé ar an ghleann seo – sé an áit is fearr liom ann,

Ach nuair a tháinig an Samhradh b’éigin damh a chaitheadh as mo cheann,

Mar bhí mé bocht i néirinn, d’fhág mise le na linn,

Gan súil le pilleadh arís go mbeadh an duilléir de na crainn.

 

D’fhág mise an baile i néirinn san bhlian naoí déag fíche trí,

Ba sin ag tús an tSamhraidh ar an seisiú lá den mhí,

Ach bhí  mé óg as éirinn agus níor éirigh le mo shiúl

D’fhág sin mé fada ón tírín ar chaith mé tús mo shaoil.

 

An lá sin a d’fhág mé an baile is orm a bhí an chuaigh,

Da mbeadh mo phocaí follamh, sé chaitheann  é a shiúl,

Ach bhí mé ar bord an oíche sin ag seoladh síos Moville,

Ba dheas a d’amharc Tír Chonaill isteach ó bharr na dtonn.

 

Ba dheas an tráthnóna samhraidh é ag fágáil dúinn an ché,

An ghrian ag soillsiú go glórmhar agus gan scamall ins an spéir,

Do chluinfeá an chuach ag scáirtí agus na héanacha ceol go binn

‘S mé ag fágail mo dhiaidh Tír Chonaill a raibh agam grá agus cionn.

 

Is anois ag críochnú an amhrán, tógam suas mo cheann,

Mo chroí lan den bhuaireadh agus mo shúile druid le cuaidh,

Ach beidh an lá ag geallú a mbeidh mise ar mo shaille,

Le cuairt a thabhairt ar an tírín ann ar chaith mé tús mo shaoil

le Johnny (Neddy) Ó Dubhthaigh (Annagry West)

The Way We Were

Mary Cannon
Máire Cannon’s public house in Annagry, now Caisleáin Óir Hotel. Máire’s daughter Mary is in the doorway.

 

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The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago

and talked the lamplit hours away across the firelight glow,

proud men, strong men, the stock of mountain soil,

they never priced a favour, or were sparing in their toil.

We shall not see their like again, wherever we may go.

The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

 

They never courted honours, their simple life was shared a

trust in god’s forgiveness, when sins were humbly heard,

and if, at times, the will was weak to bend the knee and pray,

they knew that god was patient for the things they had to say.

The fears that haunt the scholars, were not for them to know the men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

 

They drove their cattle to the fair and haggled all the day

for prices that were double what a prudent man would pay.

and then, by stages, slowly, as the jobbers understand,

they’d take the best on offer, and slap the proffered hand.

the deal was sealed in whisky when the evening sun was low

by the men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

 

They tilled their stony acres with a pride unknown today,

for they were ozone friendly ere the world had lost its way,

and life had simple blessings, like children growing tall;

a harvest in the haggard and a turf stack by the wall.

Ecology was not a word one needed then to know-

The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

 

Till, one by one, the children left to lands across the sea,

to follow life’s ambition, or.some fortune yet to be,

and soon the nights grew longer for those they left behind a

silence in the lamplight where a lonesome mother pined.

And men would watch the clock and leave the fire burning low,

and walk the miles to Máire’s, fifty years ago.

 

The postman’s welcome visit brought a letter now and then

to tell that life was bountyful- and pounds by five or ten,

and news to give the neighbours, of meeting Pat or Joe,

and things of no account at all, unless you want to know.

But best of all, the promise, that by Lammas they would go

and toast their friends in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

 

But man being merely mortal, the reaper comes in time,

to harvest all of humankind to·haggards more sublime.

And one by one they left us to their blessings and reward,

to fill their wonted places as the neighbours of the lord.

But oh, to have them back again to tell us all they know-

The men who drank in Máire’s, fifty years ago.

By Dinny Duffy (Annagry West & Letterkenny)

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Gallagher

Tadgh Gallagher born ©1770, died 1844 and is buried in Cruit Island. His wife may have been Susan McGarvey from Ranafast. They lived in Carrickfinn.

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Family: 1. Hughie Gallagher, 2. Tadghín Gallagher. 3. Sean Gallagher 4. Female (Teague Boyle Dunmore’s mother

  1. Hughie Gallagher born 1799, died 1869. He wasn’t married.
  2. Tadghín Gallagher born 1804, died married Mary ?

Family: (i) Nancy Thadghín, (ii) Hudie Thadghín, (iii) Jack Thadghín, (iv) Susan Thadghín, (v) Nuala (Fanny) Thadghín, (vi) Mary Thadghín.

(i) Nancy Thadghín born 1844, died 1895.

(ii) Hudie Thadghín born 1846, died 1897.

(iii) Jack Thadghín born 1857, died 1908.

(iv) Susan Thadghín born 1842, died winter of 1922.

(v) Nuala (Fanny) Thadghín born 1850 died on November 24th 1932.

(vi) Mary Thadghín born 1848

Nuala or Fanny Thadghín emigrated to the US but retired home to Carrickfin. Nuala left her home and Carrickfin by horse and cart and traveled to Leabha Naomh Dubhthach in Calhame where she slept for the night in the search for a cure for her T.B.  Nuala was then about eighty years old. She died in the 1932. She was the last of the family.

  1. Sean Gallagher born 1821, died 1887 married Peggy Forker from Cruit Island.

Family: (a) Paddy, (b) Maggie, (c) Dan (1), (d) Mick, (e) Daniel (2).

(a) Paddy married Anne Bonner

Family: Dan, Dinny and John.

(b) Maggie born 1870

(c) Dan (1) born 25th November 1868

(d) Mick born ©1877

(e) Dan (2) born ©1875

Alcorn

William Alcorn born 1772 died in Carrickfin on the 14th November 1868. John Alcorn registered his death.

A James Alcoran was recorded in Carrickfin in 1804 Sea Fencibles List 

John Alcorn born ©1809 in Carrickfinn, died about 1884 married Jane Dudgeon (see Dudgeon Carrickfinn) born in Carrickfinn in 1820.

Family: 1. James Alcorn, 2. Thomas (Tammy) Alcorn, 3 Katie Ruadh Alcorn, 4. Maggie Alcorn, 5. Mary Ann Alcorn, 6. Elizabeth Alcorn, 7. John Alcorn, 8. Jane, 9. William, 10. Margaret.

  1. James Alcorn born in Carrickfinn in 1843, died March 27th 1912 married Elizabeth (Bessie) John Dickie Boyd born in Carnbuí in 1855, died March 14th 1942.

They lived beside the Church.

Family: (i) John Alcorn, (ii) Bella, (iii) Willie Alcorn, (iv) Catherine Alcorn, (v) Jane Alcorn, (vi) James Alcorn, (vii) Maggie Alcorn, (viii) Lizzie Ann Alcorn, (ix) Richard Alcorn, (x)  Cassie Alcorn, (xi)  Tommy Alcorn, (xii) Mary Ann Alcorn, (xiii) Fanny Alcorn.

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Tommy, Mary Ann, Fanny and Willie Alcorn taking home their turf before 1921.

(i) John Alcorn born 26th March 1876, died in 1953 He emigrated to USA before the others and married Tommy Christie Boyd’s (Carrickfinn)sister Maggie in USA..

(ii) Bella married Andrew Hamilton in Longfield Ardara on March 18th 1909 and lived there. When her husband died her brother Richard lived with her.

(iii) Willie Alcorn born 11th October 1877, He lived at home. He wasn’t married.

(iv) Catherine Alcorn born 11th January 1878 .

(v) Jane Alcorn born 12th August 1879 emigrated to the USA and married William Campbell. Family: Sarah, Elizabeth, Robert and others.

James, Maggie, Lizzie and Richard emigrated to the USA together.

(vi) James Alcorn born October 1st 1882, died July 19th 1944 emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913 and married Louise Ziegler. Family: Lillian, Ruth and James.

(vii) Maggie Alcorn born ©1881, emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913, died 1962. She married James Wilson and returned for summer holidays. Family: James, Harold and another.

(viii) Lizzie Ann Alcorn born ©1883, emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913, died in 1926married David Reid. Family: Raymond.

(ix) Richard Alcorn born 1892, emigrated to Weaver Iowa USA on June 22nd 1913. He retired home on September 9th 1939, the week WWII was declared and died on November 1969 aged 77. He was unmarried.

(x) Cassie Alcorn born ©1888, died in 1971, emigrated to USA and married Thomas Irvine. Family: Male and Female.

(xi) Tommy Alcorn born in 1894, died April 1982, lived at home and wasn’t married.

(xii) Mary Ann Alcorn born in 1896, died October 25th 1982 lived at home and wasn’t married.

(xiii) Fanny Alcorn born © 1899, died in March 1975 lived at home and wasn’t married.

 

  1. Thomas (Tammy) Alcorn born © 1856, died in 1919 lived in Carrickfin. He wasn’t married.

3. Katie Rua Alcorn born ©1855, died in 1928 lived in Carrickfin.

April 2012 ...A Carrickfin Farm with Gola Island in the background

Family: (a) Cassie Rua Alcorn (b) Annie Tammy Alcorn

(a) Cassie Rua Alcorn born 11th January 1878, died 6th September 1939 married Johnny Jimmy Hughie Boyd from Carrickfinn.

They lived in Bunbeg.

Family: (a1) James Johnny, (a2) Hugh Johnny, (a3) Jack Johnny.

(a1) James Johnny married in Co.Down.

(a2) Hugh Johnny married Florrie and lived in Bunbeg.

Family: Alan, Richard 

(a3) Jack Johnny married Nan and lived in Bunbeg.

Family: John, Mardi

(ii) Annie Tammy Alcorn born ©1884, died late 40’s early 50’s. She was a monitor at Given’s School and wasn’t married.

  1. Maggie Alcorn married John Patterson from Dunfanaghy on November 6th 1883. They emigrated to Iowa, USA with their one year old child in 1885. Family: John, William, John J, Maggie Jane, Mary Ann, Robert and Emily.
  1. Mary Ann Alcorn born abt 1853, died 1909 married Andrew Smullen from Drumatinny, Falcarragh on April 15th 1873 and lived there. Family: James, Bessie, Jane, John, Mary and Fanny.
  2. Elizabeth Alcorn born March 14th 1837

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  1. died in Wawayanda Township, New York on April 21st 1916 married William Dudgeon (son of Thomas and Elizabeth Mahon) Mullaghderg on the 8/2/1855. They emigrated to New York State USA in 1882.

Family: (i) Elizabeth Dudgeon

(i) Elizabeth Dudgeon born in Mullaghderg on 11th February 1877 and may have emigrated to the US.

Family: Catherine, Thomas, Jane, John, Fanny Ann 1, James 1, James 2, Fanny Ann 2 and Elizabeth.

 

  1. John Alcorn
  2. Jane married Thomas Patterson
  3. William born in 1835 died in Australia in 1910.
  4. Margaret

 

 

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