Darren McGettigan Biography:
Although he is from County Wicklow, Darren McGettigan is a Donegal man when it comes to historical research. Darren’s grandfather Neil McGettigan came from the townland of Meenreagh, which is 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 granduncle John McGettigan who is in his 90s, and John’s family still run the family farm in Meenreagh.
Darren holds a PhD in history from the school of history and archives in University College Dublin (UCD). While researching his PhD Darren was awarded a prestigious Government of Ireland scholarship in the humanities and social sciences awarded by the IRCHSS. Dr McGettigan has been researching the sixteenth century history of County Donegal since 1992, research which culminated in 2004 in his PhD, which took the form of a biographical study of the famous Donegal chieftain Red Hugh O’Donnell and the lordship of Tír Chonaill during the Nine Years War (1594-1603). Darren undertook research in libraries and archives all over Ireland and in the UK and Spain while researching his PhD. In 2005 Darren wrote a very well received book ‘Red Hugh O’Donnell and the Nine Years War’ which was published by Four Courts Press, based on his PhD research.
In 2007 and 2008 Darren researched and presented additional research papers in commemoration of the flight of the earls, which took place in September 1607 and the revolt of Sir Cahir O’Doherty which took place in April 1608. Talks were given to the Donegal County Library, the Rathmullan and District historical society, and Magee University in Derry. Publications based on these talks subsequently appeared in the Donegal Annual (2008) and in a large collection of essays due to be published in 2010. Dr McGettigan also contributed many biographical entries to the very prestigious 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.
In 2008-2010 Dr McGettigan decided to conduct further research on County Donegal history, this time on the seventeenth century history of the county in the years after the Ulster Plantation in 1610. The Maynooth Local Studies series and Four Courts Press published this small book in the autumn of 2010. Darren’s new book is called ‘The Donegal Plantation and the Tír Chonaill Irish, 1610-1710’. While researching this book Darren undertook further research in many libraries and archives in Dublin, Belfast, the British National Archives at Kew as well as the Vatican Library.
With the establishment of this website and genealogy business Darren has decided to put his vast research and knowledge of County Donegal history to the use of descendants of the many Donegal emigrants all over the world who would like to research their family history. Dr McGettigan promises that all research will be conducted from primary sources and original archives with a high premium put on historical accuracy and truthful family records. Please contact Darren and let him research your Donegal family history. You hopefully will be pleasantly surprised by what he will uncover about your treasured family past.