St Johnston and Carrigans Donegal



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St. Johnston No.2 National School (St. Baithin’s)

This school opened in 1931 having a Roman Catholic ethos. It was situated at an area known locally as “The Blue Ball”. It served the pupils of the community until its closure in 1980 when the current St Baithin’s School was opened in St. Johnston. Mr Sean McBride composer of The Homes of Donegal and the Crolly Doll was one of its principals. The school was demolished in May 2008.

By Hugh Doherty

Here are some essays from the school courtesy of Duchas.

My Townland

The - that I live in is called Castlethird. It is situated in the parish of St. Johnston. There is a few government cottages being built in it at present. Most of the people are living in cottages. Their names are - Marshall, Corcoran, Mc Gee, Roulstone, McCready, Logan, Moore, Coyle, Hunter & Robb. Here are the names of those who live in thatched houses; Gamble, McSorley, Payne, Devenny, Duffy. There is the ruins of an old house in Castlethird in which a cripple named Latta used to live with his sister.

Castlethird got its name from the ruins of an old castle which stand in it. My granny is over 83 years old and has known Castlethird most of her life. Another old woman who lives near us is Annie Byres. They have no Irish but I daresay they could tell some stories.

Here are their names and addresses, Mrs Cassie Devenny, Churchtown, Carrigans, Co. Donegal & Mrs Byres, The Haugh, Carrigans.

The most common names in my parish are Mc Gee & Devenny.

There is only about a couple of old ruins in Castlethird. About 20 years ago, some people emigrated to America. No one has gone lately. A lot of young men have gone to Scotland. They are working in some quarry there.

This is a verse about Galbraith’s mill, which is situated in Churchtown. Some of the Church town boys made it.

About two miles from Carrigans,

And a mile from Dooish Hill.

There stands a famous building

And they call it Galbraith’s mill.

Mc Sorley is the miller.

Although he’s very wee.

With book and pencil in his hand

He’s as busy as a bee.

There is a sort of plantation in Churchtown. Great masses of bluebells grow in it every summer. Foxes and badgers live in it. It belonged to Dr. Gamble. He died some time ago, and so his property is going to be sold. There is another small plantation in Tyroddy and it belongs to Mr Jim Gallagher.

There is hardly any flat land in our parish. It is all rather hilly. A lot of it is pasture-land.

Pupil’s name - Nellie Corcoran,

Address: Churchtown, Carrigans, Co. Donegal

Date - 11th Oct 1938