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Darren McGettigan

Darren McGettigan

Darren is an established Author and Genealogist from County Wicklow, Ireland. He provides genealogy services to help you discover your family history in Ireland.

Website URL: http://www.familyhistoryireland.com E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Donegal people sometimes have heated debates about officially changing the name of their county to Tír Chonaill. Many inhabitants of the county who are very proud of their local history wonder why the name is not easily changed while others, probably a minority (but a sizeable one), point out that the peninsula of Inishowen and the flat lands around Lifford were not part of historical Tír Chonaill and so the county name should remain Donegal. The answer to this question is that both arguments are correct, depending on what period of history people are interested in. In medieval times up until around the year 1350 AD Inishowen and the plains to the south were actually part of the lordship of Tyrone. Inishowen (from Irish Inis Eógain or Eoghan's Island), was actually the original territory of the Cenél nEógain people before they struck out across Lough Foyle in medieval times to gradually conquer the modern counties of Derry, Tyrone and Armagh from the original Ulster people who were dispossessed and corralled east of Lough Neagh and the river Bann. However, after the year 1350 the Cenél Conaill family of O'Doherty conquered the Inishowen peninsula and as sub-chieftains of the O'Donnell lords of Tír Chonaill, the Inishowen peninsula did indeed become an integral part of the early modern lordship of Tír Chonaill. As an early modern historian I would naturally enough like the county name to be changed to Tír Chonaill, but can understand why others prefer things to stay as they were, although I do think these people like to conveniently ignore the O'Doherty conquest of Inishowen for the Cenél Conaill.

As someone who has tried to access the earliest volumes of the Donegal Annual and often been told, even in our largest national libraries, that many of the earliest volumes are missing, the publication by the County Donegal Historical Society this year, of the first seven volumes of their journal, the Donegal Annual, covering the years 1947 - 1953, is very welcome indeed.

Hello Everybody. As a piece of market research I recently sent an e mail to all the subscribers to my newsletter, asking for ideas on my website and genealogical research in general.

Most people interested in Irish genealogy or the history of Irish surnames are probably aware of the process, that appears to have been strongest during the late 1700s whereby many families, all over the island of Ireland, changed their fine Gaelic Irish surnames, for whatever reason, into English surnames or even literal English translations of the Irish meaning of their names.

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  • Tel: (+353) 086 8825824
  • Email: darren@familyhistoryireland.com
  • Website:www.familyhistoryireland.com

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