Ulster Scots Heritage Centre, Monreagh, Carrigans
The manse for the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Monreagh is now an Ulster Scots Heritage Centre. The house ceased to be a manse in 2002 because it was no longer required as the Monreagh Congregation had amalgamated with First Derry Presbyterian Congregation - an arrangement that allowed the sharing of a minister. Monreagh was chosen to be home to the Ulster Scots Heritage Centre because it is one of the oldest settlements of Ulster Scots. The Presbyterian Ulster Scots created a congregation there in 1610 and established Monreagh Church in 1644.
The Ulster Scots Heritage Centre was officially opened 28th May 2009, during a special ceremony, by Éamon Ó Cuív TD and also Winston Patterson. Mr Ó Cuív is the Minister of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Winston Patterson is a Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland. The centre is close to Monreagh Church, a congregation that was created in 1644.
The centre is unique in the whole of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was developed by the Monreagh Ulster-Scots Heritage Association. The centre is a goldmine of information. If you want to learn about some important Ulster Scot descendants such as Davy Crockett, US President Andrew Jackson, US President James Buchanan, William Gregg the founder of Presbyterianism in Canada and Reverend Francis Makemie, who brought Presbyterianism to the United States, it is the place to go and research. The centre brings to life links between the St Johnston and Carrigans area and Canada and the USA.
Jim Devenney at the time of writing is Chairman of the Monreagh Ulster-Scots Heritage Association.
The centre houses photographs of an important historical nature and paintings and other mementos of the rich Ulster-Scots heritage. It will become a place of crafts music and dance and it is hoped that a gift shop and tea room will be built.
Funding was provided by 74,000 Euro from the International Fund for Ireland. 195,000 Euro from the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 18,075 Euro from the Ulster-Scots Agency and 10,000 Euro from the Department of Foreign Affairs