St Johnston and Carrigans Donegal



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Carrigans School

The school was built from funds bequeathed by Colonel Robertson, willed in 1790, and belongs to the Church of Ireland. The Schoolmaster used to have living quarters above the school. Due to the reducing number of pupils grants were cut off and the school closed in 1949. The Roman Catholic children at that time started leaving the school and going to Coxtown School instead. The old School building was renovated in 1985 and again in 2005 and is used as Killea Parish Hall.

Here are some 1938 stories from the school courtesy of Duchas.

A Forge

There is an old forge in the village of Carrigans. The people that own it are called Gardiners but it has not been in use this last two years as Mr. Gardiner is too old to work in it. He is about eighty four years of age. There is another forge at Churchtown owned Mr. Robb. It is about a mile and a half from Carrigans. It is in the middle of a good farming district and he get a good amount of work. Some people have got to shoe horses that have a thing called “shivers.” If the blacksmith lifts one leg the horse will fall so they have to tumble him and tie his legs with strong chains. Some people have to sit on his body and his head to keep him down. In this way the blacksmith is able to shoe the horse. The smiths tools which he uses is a punch which is for boring holes in the shoe for cogs, a toe knife for cutting horses feet, a vice which is for putting the shoes into it so that he can tighten it and a file the shoe. The smith also uses buffer which is for taking off shoes. It has a sharp side and a pointed side. He uses the pointed side to straighten the nails which he put on the previous time. Then he is able to pull of the shoes altogether with the pinchers.

The blacksmith uses coal, but it is not like the coal we burn. It is like slack and its called “Smitty” coal and the smith wets it / he burns it.

The anvil is made of iron and it is for shaping horse shoes on. Then he has a water trough for cooling his shoes and irons. The sledge which is for striking the iron and shaping the shoes.

Carrigans NS No name


Burning of Carrigans Mill

Carrigans mill was burned in the year 1920. it took fire at night. The oatmeal bags and everything were burned. It is not known how this fire started.

People who were a few miles off saw the light in the sky but nobody knew what it was. The ruins of this mill can still be seen. They were going to build it up again but they thought it would take too much money. I think they are going to tumble the old walls as they are afraid that they might fall and kill someone.

Written by Emily Wray (aged 14)

Derrymore, Carrigans.

Material supplied by my mother

Martha Wray,

Derrymore, Carrigans Date- 16th Feb 1938