Darren McGettigan Biography:
Darren McGettigan is a Wicklow man but with Donegal connections. Darren’s grandfather Neil McGettigan came from the townland of Meenreagh on the slopes of Lough Salt Mountain, very near to the village of Kilmacrennan in north County Donegal which has such a rich history as the inauguration site of the O’Donnell chieftains. Darren’s cousins, his granduncle John McGettigan's family, still run the family farm in Meenreagh. (John and his loving wife Bridget both sadly passed away in early 2014).
Darren holds a PhD in early modern Irish history from the school of history and archives in University College Dublin (UCD) and is now an independent scholar. Darren is the author of four books and many journal articles and collection chapters.
Darren's first book Red Hugh O'Donnell and the Nine Years War (Dublin, 2005) was based on his PhD research and is now available online in e-book format. Darren's second book was The Donegal Plantation and the Tír Chonaill Irish, 1610-1710 (Dublin, 2010).
His third book was a foray into medieval Irish history (another of Darren's hobbies), The Battle of Clontarf, Good Friday 1014 (Dublin, 2013). Darren was very busy throughout April 2014 speaking at many events held to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of this famous battle that took place all over the country. (Wicklow, Dublin, Monaghan, Killaloe, Clontarf and Galway). He was also interviewed a number of times for radio and tv.
Darren's fourth book, Dún Loaghaire Vocational Education Committee: A Commemorative History Part I: 1900-1945 (Dublin, 2013) was researched and written during his time at the DLVEC. (Part II will hopefully be published soon).
Darren is also the author of many journal articles and chapters in historical collections. Many of these articles have appeared in the Donegal Annual the journal of the County Donegal Historical Society. Darren's latest chapter is 'The Principality of Tír Chonaill in the early sixteenth-century' which is included in the recent Atlas of County Donegal (Cork, 2013). Dr McGettigan has been researching the sixteenth and seventeenth century history of County Donegal since 1992, and over the years has undertook research in libraries and archives all over Ireland and in the UK and Spain.
In 2007 and 2008 Darren presented papers in Co. Donegal and Derry City at events held to commemoration of the flight of the earls (1607), and the revolt of Sir Cahir O’Doherty (1608). These talks were given to the Donegal County Library, the Rathmullan and District historical society, and Magee University in Derry.
Dr McGettigan also contributed many biographical entries to the Dictionary of Irish Biography, published by the Royal Irish Academy in 2009. These entries included biographies of well known O’Donnell chieftains such as Manus O’Donnell and other prominent members of the O’Donnell family as well biographies of many other well known Donegal people from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These include Lughaidh Ó Cléirigh who wrote a biography of Red Hugh O’Donnell sometime after 1616, and Sir Cahir O’Doherty, the leader of the rebellion of 1608.
Darren is no longer working as a genealogist having realised he much prefers to research as a historian and author. However, he has agreed to act as historical adviser to the very interesting Irish DNA Atlas project.