St Johnston and Carrigans Donegal



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Monreagh National School, Parish of Taughboyne

This school opened on 28th November 1852. Back then it was all one room. An extension, a new classroom, was built in 1907 at a cost of around £107. Then in 1931, a house for the teacher was built on to the school. This was later demolished. The school serves children mainly of a Presbyterian background. This school closed down in 2011 and was replaced by a modern new school which was built a short distance away.

Here are some contributions from pupils dating to 1938 – courtesy of Duchas.

Drowning accident at St. Johnston.

On the 30th June 1917 four young lads went out to bathe in the River Foyle they were called Dowds Orr Donnell and Quigley. They went out too far.

A man called Lynch who was working with a lighter told them not to go out there as it was far too deep. They took no heed but went on to a spot called the "widgeon hole.

When night came the boys had not returned home their parents came to look for them but could not see them anywhere. They went on down to the Widgeon Hole and they got the boys clothes lying there. The parents asked Mr Lynch if he had seen them he said he had and had told them not to go to the Widgeon Hole. Their parents went for a diver to Derry. He came and found two bodies Donnell washed up near Derry a few day after.

Written by Emily Wray (age 14)

Derrymore Carrigans.

Material supplied by my mother Martha F Wray (date 20th Feb. 1938

Derrymore Carrigans.

The Local Forge

Robert Robb has a black-smiths forge in Churchtown. It is made of wood and painted black. This man’s father and grandfather were black-smiths too. Roberts brother Sam helps him to work in it. Everyone round the country side bring horses to it for to get shod. There are a great many tools in a forge such as an anvil bellows hammers sledges spanners tongs nippers etc.

People get cart wheels in it too and all sorts of iron work such as ploughs harrows and farming implements made. It contains two windows and one fireplace and a wooden bench. He uses water to cool his iron. This water is a cure for water warts.

The forge is beside Churchtown burn. The winter is a busy time for a black-smith for horses need to be well shod going out in the frost.

Written by Emily Wray (aged 14)

Derrymore Carrigans

Material supplied by my Grandfather (deceased) Wm. Gardiner

Derrymore Carrigans

Dated 2nd Nov 1937

Monreagh N S

My own Townland

I live in the townland of The Haw in the Parish of Taughboyne Barony of north Raphoe. There are 11 families and about 56 people. There are two very old women Mrs Cassie Devenny and Mrs Annie Byers, address. The Haw Carrigans.

The houses are all slated except two. There is the ruin of an old forge at churchtown Bridge. A good many people emigrated to America long ago. There is no song or saying connected with the townland.

There is no wood churchtown “Burn” runs past the townland. The land is flat and good. The Haw means the meadow land beside the river.

Written by Bob Hunter (age 14)

Copied by Gladys James

Monreagh Carrigans Date 16 Nov 1937

The Local Tailor

The local tailor in our district is John Corcoran who lives in the townland of Castlethird about half mile from our home.

People come from all parts of the country to him to get clothes made and some people get suits mended with him. He used to have an apprentice working with him called George Lowry from St. Johnston.

A tailor uses scissors, pressing irons, tapes, thread and a sewing machine. John can make a suit in the average of one week. He has a large bench to work upon. John is never idle. He works from dawn to dark. The only rest he gets is when he is taking his meals. John is a very good tailor and charges a moderate price. Every body is the same to him. He is not a native of this district.

Written by Emily Wray. (aged 14)

Derrymore, Carrigans.

Material supplied by my grandfather

(deceased) Wm. Gardiner,

Derrymore, Carrigans

14th Nov. 1937 Monreagh NS


Townland of Tonagh

I live in the Townland of Tonagh Parish of Taughboyne in the Barony of north Raphoe. It contains 12 houses and about 80 people. The name that was most common was Roulston but that name has almost died out so there are no common names left.

All the houses are slated except 3 2 which are partly thatched and partly slated. The other is an old plantation house it belongs to Miss Simpson of Tonagh as she is a very old woman over seventy. But we an older man called mr Brown of Tonagh he is nearly 100 and only gave up the post-office in St Johnston a short time ago.

Long ago there were not as many houses as there are now and no ruins are left. The Townland is not mentioned in any saying or song.

The land is good and not hilly. There is a good deal of bog.

Tonagh means the field of the good grass. Churchtown Burn flows through part of it.

Written by Gladys Mgt James (age 13)

Monreagh Carrigans

Material supplied by Mrs B Donnell Cross Carrigans

Date 14th Nov 1937