The Diamond in Donegal Town, with the prominent obelisk – a memorial to the Four Masters. This would have been in the middle of the Gaelic Football season, hence the bunting and flags in Donegal’s green and gold colours.
After stopping briefly at Murvagh Beach on the drive back from our holiday on Achill Island, we stopped again in Donegal Town. There was shopping to be done, so I passed the time by taking a quick photo walk round some of the historic features of the town.
The name Donegal is an anglicisation of the Irish Dun na nGall which means the Fort of the Foreigners. The name probably dates from Viking activity in the area in the 9th century. The town is also associated with the Annals Of The Four Masters, a historical chronicle compiled in the 1630’s. The obelisk in the Diamond is a memorial to the Four Masters.
My next stop was just off the Diamond, the 15th century Donegal Castle. I didn’t have time to enter the grounds and fully explore, having to make do with a few shots through the railings.
I re-crossed the Diamond then, and visited the ruins of the Franciscan Donegal Abbey, also from the 15th century. The ruins are close to the mouth of the River Eske as it joins Donegal Bay.
Walking back towards the town centre, beside the mouth of the river, was a statue of one the most famous figures in Donegal and Irish history – “Red Hugh”O’Donnell, or Aodh Rua Ó Domhnaill.
In this representation, I couldn’t help seeing a resemblance to the late, great Lemmy from Motorhead!
There was time for one final piece of history before I left, the nearby anchor from the French frigate, Romaine. The ship was moored nearby at Mountcharles, giving French support to Wolfe Tone’s 1798 rebellion. When the ship was spotted, the crew cut the anchor cable and escaped. The anchor was later recovered and now sits beside the harbour.
The anchor from the French frigate Romaine.
A lot of history squeezed into an hour or so, and a small area.