History

Extract from map of Donegal by William McCrea,1801

The history of the O’Doherty clan, one of the illustrious Gaelic families of Co. Donegal, and the castles they built throughout the Inishowen peninsula, is recounted in this section. Carrickabraghy Castle, built in the 16th century, was occupied by the Doagh Branch of the Ó Docharthaigh. Gearalt , a member of that family, held the lordship of Inishowen from 1526-1540 and it was probably while he was chieftain that the castle was built. On Gearalt’s death the lordship returned to the Elagh Branch where it remained until the death of Cahir (Cathaoir), the last chieftain of Inishowen in 1608. Drawings, illustrations, photographs are included here with descriptions of the Castle.

Scenic Carrickabraghy from Inishowen: its History, Traditions and Antiquities by Magtochair 1867.

We will now hasten onward, and as we pass through the village of Ballyliffin, pause to take a moment’s notice of the scenery before us. Here we stand on a considerable elevation; on our left, overhanging the main, is Binion Hill, before us,
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Description of the castle from O.S. Statistical Report of Parish of Clonmany, Co Donegal by Lieutenant W. Lancey May 1834.

Carrickabraghy Castle stands on a greenstone dyke in the north west point of the Isle of Doagh, 1 mile east of the island of Glasheady; it is built of rough quartz rock of the same kind as the rocks within a few yards of it.
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Carrickabraghy Castle, excerpt from ‘Twixt Foyle & Swilly’ by Harry Percival Swan 1949.

CARRICKABRAGHY. O.S. Donegal 3 8 1 and 4. Caraghbraughy, Bragh Carick, etc.; Castlebrack on Plan of Six Escheated Counties of Ulster.  O’Donovan assigns to this place the Lords of Carraic-Brachaidhe, who are mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters from the 9th to the 12th century; but the castle cannot be so early, and, like Elagh, the name was probably applied to a district.
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Carrickabraghy Castle, Isle of Doagh. Article by Richard Crumlish from McGlinchey Summer School Proceedings, Vol. 10

According to Joyce’s Place Names[1], ‘Doagh’ is a northern variant of the Irish word ‘Dumhach’ meaning a sand bank, which could be the source from which the isle derives its name. Even though today the Isle of Doagh is not an island, it may well have been at one time, probably following the retreat of the ice at the end of the last Ice Age approximately 14000 years ago.
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Some O’Doherty Castles of Inishowen. Article by Annesley Malley from McGlinchey Summer School Proceedings, Vol. 10

The many castles of Inishowen have always interested me since I came to live in Derry in 1969. Over the years I have tried to find out as much about them from various records. One of the most knowledgeable guides for the area was the late Mabel Colhoun, whose lifetime’s work was the archaeological study of the whole peninsula.
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Ó Dochartaigh : O Doherty The Gaelic Families of Donegal by Fergus Mac Giolla Easpaig from Donegal: History & Society 1995.

The O Dochartaigh family were a branch of the Cenél Conail and traced their descent from Dochartach, who was ninth in descent from Conall Gulban. They were known as the Clann Fiamhain from Dochartach’s grandfather, Fiamhan. We know nothing of either Dochartach or Fiamhan.
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O’Doherty’s Ashes. A short story by Dan Casey from McGlinchey Summer School Proceedings, Vol. 10

It’s beginning to snow, so you search the dashboard for a wiperswitch or a knob. One blade lurches into action, scraping the wrong side of the windscreen, but the defroster responds and, in time blows the lower half of the window clear. By scrunching down and adjusting your glasses, you can just make out the line of the road.
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