DONEGAL (County of), a maritime county of the province of Ulster, bounded on the east and south-east by the counties of Londonderry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh, from the first-named of which it is separated by Lough Foyle; on the south, by the northern extremity of the county of Leitrim and by Donegal bay; and on the west and north by the Atlantic. It extends from 54° 28′ to 55° 20′ (N. Lat.), and from 6° 48′ to 8° 40′ (W. Lon.); comprising 1,193,443 statute acres, whereof 393,191 are arable land, 769,587 uncultivated, 7,079 plantations, 479 under towns and villages, and 23,107 water. The population, in 1821, was 248,270; in 1831, 291,104; and in 1841 296,448.
In the time of Ptolemy, it was inhabited by the Vennicnii and the Rhobogdii, the latter of whom also occupied part of the county of Londonderry. The Promotttorium Vennicnium of this geographer appears to have been Ram’s Head or Horn Head, near Dunfanaghy; and the Promontorium Hhobogdium, Malin Head, the most northern point of the peninsula of Innisoen or Ennishowen. The county afterwards formed the northern part of the district of Eircael or Eargal, which extended into the county of Fermanagh; and was known for several centuries as the country of the ancient and powerful sept of the O’Donells, descended, according to the Irish writers, from Conall Golban, son of Neil of the Nine Hostages, monarch of Ireland, who granted to his son the region now forming the county of Donegal. Hence it acquired the name of Tyr-Conall, modernised into Tyrconnel or Tirconnel, “the land of Conall,” which it retained till the reign of James I. The family was afterwards called Kinel Conall, or “the descendants or tribe of Conall.” Fergus Ceanfadda, the son of the founder, had a numerous progeny, among whom were Sedna, ancestor of the O’Donells, and Felin, father of St. Cohunt. Cinfaeladh, fourth in descent from Ceanfadda, had three sons, one of whom was Muldoun, the more immediate ancestor of the O’Donells; and another, Fiamhan, from whom the O’Dohertys, lords of Innisoen, derive their descent. A second Cinfaeladh, eighth in descent from Fergus Ceanfadda, was father of Dalagh, from whom the O’Donells are sometimes styled by the Irish annalists Siol na Dallagh, “the sept of Daly, or the O’Dalys.” Enoghaine, Dalagh’s eldest son, was father of Donell, from whom the ruling family took the surname it has borne ever since: his great grandson, Cathban, chief of the sept in the reign of Brian Boroimhc, first assumed the name of O’Donell as chief, which was adopted by all his subjects and followers. Besides the O’Dohertys, already named, the septs of O’Boyle, Mac Sweeney, and several others were subordinate to the O’Donells of Tyrconnel. The chieftaincy of Nial Garbh, who succeeded his father Turlogh an Fhiona in 1422, was the commencement of a sanguinary era of internal discord aggravated by external warfare: this chieftain, after having endured much opposition from his brother Neachtan, and maintained continual hostilities with the English, by whom he was at length taken prisoner, died in captivity.
The first effort of importance made by the ENGLISH to subjugate this territory, commenced by their seizure of the convent of Donegal and a castle of the O’Boyles, this course giving them a temporary command over the adjacent territory, from all which, however, they were quickly expelled by the celebrated Hugh Roe, or Red Hugh, O’Donell, who had succeeded to the chieftaincy in 1592. This powerful toparch, at an early period of his government, marched into Tir Owen against Tirlogh Luineagh O’Neil, chief of the sept of the same name and a partizan of the English, whom O’Donell, although he had recently entered into terms of amity with the Lord-Justice of Ireland, expelled from his principality in 1593, forcing him to resign the title of O’Neil in favour of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, and afterwards compelling the whole province of Ulster to acknowledge his superiority and pay him tribute. He then sent an embassy to the king of Spain to aid him in the total expulsion of the English, and, having obtained a reinforcement of mercenaries from Scotland, carried on a successful war far beyond the limits of his own territory. The English government, after various disasters, particularly the defeat of Sir Conyers Clifford in the Curlew mountains, resolved to transfer the seat of war into O’Donell’s country, for which purpose a large fleet, having on board a force of six thousand well-appointed troops, was sent from Dublin under the command of Sir Henry Docwra. Having landed in Ennishowen in the summer of 1600, they possessed themselves of the forts of Culmore, Dunualong, and Derry. Each of these fortresses was immediately invested by O’Donell, who, while his troops maintained the blockade, made two expeditions into Connaught and Munster. During his absence, his brother-in-law Nial O’Donell, and his brothers, were prevailed upon to join the English, and to give them possession of Lifford, which they fortified: here also they were hemmed in by the Irish, as likewise at the monastery of Donegal, which they had afterwards gained. The landing of the Spaniards in the south, however, caused a total suspension of arms in Ulster; and the subsequent defeat of the invaders at Kinsale compelled O’Donell to proceed to Spain in quest of further succours, where he died in September, 1602, being the last chief of the sept universally acknowledged as The O’Donell.
On the attainder in 1612 of Rory O’Donell, to whom James I. had given the title of Earl of Tyrconnell and the greater part of the family possessions, the district, which had been erected into a county called Donegal by Sir John Perrot, in 1584, was included by that king in his plan for the plantation of Ulster. By the survey then taken, the whole county was found to contain about 110,700 acres of cultivable, or, as it was styled, profitable land. Of these, the termon lands, containing 9160 acres, were assigned to the bishopric of Raphoe, to which they had previously belonged; 3680 acres were allotted for the bishop’s mensal lands; 6600 acres, for glebe to the incumbents of the 87 parishes into which the county was to be divided. 9224 acres of monastery lands to the College of Dublin; 300 acres to Culmore Fort; 1000 acres to Ballyshannon, and 1024 acres, named the Inch, to Sir Ralph Bingley. The remainder, amounting to 79,704 acres, were, after reserving 2204 acres to be noticed presently, ordered to be divided among the settlers or undertakers, as they were called, in 62 portions; 40 of 1000 acres, 13 of 1500, and 9 of 2000; each, with a certain portion of wood, bog, and mountain, to constitute a parish. Of these portions, 38 were to be granted to English and Scotch undertakers, nine to servitors, and 15 to natives. The 2204 acres still undisposed of were chiefly to be given to corporate towns to be erected and entitled to send burgesses to parliament, 800 to Derry, and 200 each to Killybegs, Donegal, and Rath: Lifford had 500 acres assigned to it. The residue of 304 acres was to be equally allotted to free schools at Derry and Donegal. All fisheries were reserved to the crown. The proposed provisions, however, were far from being rigidly observed in practice.
The county is chiefly in the diocese of Raphoe, but parts of it extend into those of Deny and Clogher. For purposes of civil jurisdiction, it is divided into the baronies of Raphoe, Kilmacrenan, Ennishowen, Tyrhugh. Bannagh, and Boylagh. It contains the disfranchised borough, sea-port, and market towns of Bullyshannon. Donegal, and Killybegs, the disfranchised borough and assize town of Lifford; the disfranchised borough of St. Johnstown, the market and post towns of Letterkenny, Ramelton, Raphoe, Carn, Stranorlar, Buncrana. and Moville; the post-towns of Casllefin, Dunfunaghy, Ardara, Dungloe, and Narin; and several other small towns and villages, the principal of which are Bundoran, Mount-Charles, Rathmullen, Glentics, Ballintra, and Killygordon. Prior to the Union the county sent 12 members to parliament; two for the county at large, and two for each of the above-named boroughs; but, subsequently, it has been represented by the two county members only, who are elected at Lifford. The number of voters registered in 1843, was 1331, of whom 238 were £50, 116 £20, and 712 £10, freeholders; 32 £20, and 225 £10, leaseholders; and 8 rent-chargers. It is included in the north-western circuit. Lifford, where the county gaol and court-house are situated, is the assize town; quarter- sessions are held four times in the year at Donegal, twice at Letterkenny, twice at Glenties, and once at Lifford and Buncrana There are bridewells at Letterkenny, Donegal, Buncrana, and Glenties; and sessions-houses at each of those places. The local government is vested in a lieutenant, 21 deputy-lieutenants, and 84 other magistrates, with the usual county officers. There are 29 constabulary police stations, having a force of two stipendiary magistrates, nine chief and 37 subordinate constables, and 189 men, with 10 horses; the expense of whose maintenance in 1842 was £12,099, defrayed equally by grand jury presentments and by government. The district lunatic asylum is in Londonderry, and the county infirmary at Lifford. There are dispensaries at Lifford, Ballintra, Raphoe, Taughboyne, Killybegs, Moville, Clohmany, Killygarvan, Kilmacrenan, Kilcar, Letterkenny, Donegal, Muff, Culdaff, Stranorlar, Rutland, Donagh, Killygorden, Dunkaneely, Ramelton, Buncrana, Careygart, Ballyshannon, Dunfanaghy, Mount-Charles, and Kiltevock, maintained by voluntary subscriptions and grand jury presentments in equal proportions. The amount of grand jury presentments for 1844 was £32,993. In the military arrangements the county is in the Belfast district: there are infantry barracks at Lifford and Ballyshannon; and artillery forts at Greencastle, Inch Island, Rutland Island, and several places along the shores of Lough Swilly, each of which forts, except Greencastle, is garrisoned by a single gunner.
Donegal is the most western of the three northern counties of Ireland. The surface, which is much varied, may be arranged into two great divisions of mountain and champaign. The latter, which is subdivided into two portions by the Barnesmore mountains, comprises the barony of Raphoe, and the maritime parts of that of Tyrhugh round Ballyshannon and Donegal. The mountain region, comprehending all the remainder of the county, is interspersed with fertile valleys and tracts of good land, especially in the baronies of Kilmacrenan and Ennishowen. The most elevated mountains are, Errigal, which, according to the Ordnance survey, rises 2463 feet above the level of the sea; Blue Stack, 2213 feet; Dooish West, 2143; Slieve Snaght, 2019; Silver Hill, 1967; Slieve League, 1964; and Aghla, 1958. There are five others which have an elevation of more than 1500 feet, and twelve more exceeding 1000 feet in height. The most improved and populous district is that on the borders of the rivers Finn and Swilly, and on the eastern confines near Lifford. In the western champaign district, between Ballintra and Ballyshannon, the surface is in some places moory, heathy, and rocky, particularly near the south-east, where, at a distance of three or four miles from the sea, it rises into a tract of mountains ten or twelve miles broad, which sweep round by Pettigo, Lough Derg, and the confines of Fermanagh; from these a range extends westward by Killybegs to Tellen Head, whence a vast expanse stretches by Rutland, the Rosses, and the shores of the Atlantic, across Loughs Swilly and Foyle, into the counties of Londonderry and Antrim. From BARNETMORE towards Donegal and Ballintra, the country is composed of bleak hills, many of which, however, though high, are covered with a sweet and profitable vegetation; while several points in the ascent from Killybegs into the mountains of the north, present fine views of the bay and harbour of that port. Even amidst the wilds of Boylah and Bannagh are cultivated and well-peopled valleys, but the district of the Rosses presents mostly a desolate waste. On its western side is a region of scattered rocks and bills, some on the main land, others insulated: the larger of these rocks are thinly covered with peat and moss; a few admit of some degree of cultivation, while almost all the innumerable smaller rocks are entirely bare. Collectively, this group is known by the name of the Islands of the Rosses. Arranmore, the largest, containing about 600 acres, is two miles from the main land; on Innis Mac Durn is the little village of Rutland; the largest of the rest are Irvan, Inniskeera, Inisfree, Owey and Cruit. North-ward of the Rosses lies the district of Cloghanealy, in Kilmacrenan, entirely composed of disjointed rocks and dark heath, except where, at a less elevation near the sea, a stunted sward appears. On the northern coast of the county, about five miles from the shore, is Tory Island, on which is a lighthouse. The peninsula of Rossguill, formed by the bays of Sheephaven and Mulroy; and that of Fannet, formed by Mulroy and Lough Swilly, are of similar character, except that in the latter the mountains attain a greater altitude, are separated by larger and more fertile valleys, and command prospects of more variety, attracting visitors from distant parts. Lough Swilly, an arm of the sea penetrating far into the land, and receiving at its southern extremity the river from which it derives its name, has on its western shores a tract of rich arable soil losing itself gradually in the mountains, while its eastern side presents a tract of similar character extending towards Derry. To the north of the city of Londonderry lies the barony of Ennishowen, a large peninsula bounded on the east and west by the gulfs of Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly respectively. It consists of a central group of mountains with a border of cultivation verging to the water’s edge: in the mountains of Glentogher is an expanse of 4000 acres of peat and heath. Besides the great inlets on the northern coast already noticed, the shores are indented with numerous smaller recesses.
The islands, except some of those of the Rosses, are very small, the principal being the Rathlin O’Birne Islands, off Malin bay; Innisbarnog, off Lochrusmore bay; Roanish, off Gweebarra bay. Gola Island. Inismanan, Inis-Irhir, Inisbeg, Inisduh, and Inis-bofin, off Kilmacrenan barony; and Seal Island, Ennistrahull, and the Garvilans, off Ennisbowen. The lakes are numerous. The two principals are, Lough Derg, near the southern boundary of the county, celebrated for St. Patrick s Purgatory, a place of annual resort for numerous pilgrims, and the particulars of which will be found in the account of Temple-carne parish; and Lough Eske, near Donegal, a fine expanse of water environed with wild and romantic scenery. The others are, Loughs Finn and Mourne (the head waters of rivers of the same name), Salt, Glen, Muck, Barra, Bee, Killeen, Broden, Veagh, Cartan, Dale, Kest, Fern, Golagh, and Naire, with several round the base of Slieve Snaght mountain; one near Dobeg, in Fannet others in the Rosses; and others near Nairn, Ardara, Glenona, Gleuleaghan, Lettermacaward, Brown Hall, Ballyshannon, and elsewhere.
The climate was formerly cold and unhealthy, with an incessant humidity of atmosphere; but the drainage of some of the lakes and marshes, and the lowering of the levels and deepening of the beds of several rivers, during late years, have produced a very beneficial change, both as to the health of the inhabitants and the increase of arable land. The soils are very various, the richest are those of the champaign district in the south-east. Near Leitrim county the land is coarse, and sometimes encumbered with rushes, but in the vicinity of Ballyshannon it assumes a richer character. The change arises from the nature of the subsoil, here limestone, the bed of which extends to the neighbourhood of Donegal, and supports for the most part a light, gravelly, brown soil; thence to the mountains of Boylagh and Bannagh the soil gradually deteriorates, having a brown clay and rubbly substratum. From Dunkanealy to Killybegs and to Tellen Head the soil of the cultivable glens is a light gravelly till, resting on variously coloured earths and rocks; while that of the mountain region generally, with the exception of a few green spots, consists of a thin surface of peat on a substratum of coarse quartz-gravel, under which are found variously coloured clays, based for the most part upon granite. The soil of the little dales in Fannet is a brown gravelly mould, or a kind of till based on gravel, soft freestone, or clay-slate of various colours: but both here and at Horn Head, to the west of Sheep Haven, the drifting sands, impelled by the gales from the Atlantic, have covered much good land. The soil of the arable lauds of Ennishowen is mostly similar to that last described.
The chief TILLAGE district is the barony of Raphoe, in which, besides potatoes, wheat, oats, and barley, flax is grown and manufactured largely. From Ballyshannon to Donegal and Killybegs, tillage is also general; and in Boylagh and Bannagh much land is now under cultivation, though formerly scarcely sufficient was tilled to supply the inhabitants with potatoes and grain. Oats and potatoes, the former chiefly for distillation, are the principal crops throughout the mountainous districts; but latterly the growth of barley and flax has been encouraged. Agriculture, as a system, is much practised among the resident gentry, by whom great improvements are annually made: they have formed and strenuously support farming societies, have awarded premiums, and recommended improved implements and a better rotation of crops. The effects of their exertions shew themselves in a striking manner at Gweedore, and in the baronies of Raphoe and Tyrhugh, in each of which baronies a farming society has been attended with very beneficial effects; wheat has been raised in these districts with the greatest success. Ballyshannon formerly imported flour to the amount of several thousand pounds annually; during the last two years, considerable quantities of wheat were exported. Turnips, vetches, mangel-wurzel, and other green crops are common. In the two last-named baronies the fences, also, have been much improved; they are now generally formed of quickset hedges, while in most other parts, except the north of Ennishowen, they are sod ditches or dry-stone walls. The iron plough is in general use among the gentry and larger farmers, though the old cumbrous wooden plough is still used in many parts: the angular harrow is becoming very general, and all other kinds of agricultural implements are gradually improving. A light one-horse cart, with iron-bound spoke wheels, has nearly superseded the old wooden-wheel car, and the slide car is seldom seen out of the mountain districts, in which, however, the implements are still rude in construction and few in number, consisting, on many farms, merely of the loy (a spade with a rest for the foot on one side only), the steveen (a pointed stake for setting potatoes), and the sickle.
Good grasses of every species grow in the champaign tracts, but in the mountains, they are coarse and bad. Cattle which have been fed for twelve months on the latter, where the vegetation consists of aquatic grasses, rushes, and heath, are seized with a disorder called the cruppan, a sort of ague that is cured only by removal to better herbage. yet the change of pasture, if long continued, gives rise to another disease, called the galar, no Iess fatal, unless by a timely removal to the former soil. Even the pastures of the champaign parts are unfit for fattening, and are therefore used only for grazing sheep, young cattle, and milch-cows. A peculiar herbage, called sweet-grass, formed of joints from two to three yards in length, grows on the shores of Innisfree, several feet under the high-water mark of spring tides, to which the cattle run instinctively at the time of ebb. In Raphoe, irrigation is general. Besides the composts usually collected for manure, lime is in universal demand: in the maritime district from Ballyshannon to Killybegs, sea-weed and shelly sand are the chief manures, throughout the mountains, alone, except on the grounds of a few gentlemen where lime is used. The character of the cattle has been much improved by the introduction of the English and Scotch breeds, particularly the Durham, Leicester, and Ayrshire. A cross between the Durham and old Irish produces an animal very superior in appearance, but not found to thrive: the favourite at present is a cross between the old Leicester and the Limerick, which, being again crossed by the North Devon, or Hereford, grows to a large size and fattens rapidly. The breed of pigs has also been greatly improved; when fattened, they are by some sent to market alive, by others slaughtered at home and the carcasses carried to Strabane or Londonderry for the provision merchants there. Fowl and eggs in large quantities are transmitted to the sea-ports for exportation. The county is very bare of wood, though there is some good ornamental timber in many of the demesnes, and young plantations, formed in several places, are very thriving. Well-stocked orchards and gardens are to be met with round many of the farmhouses in Raphoe.
Granite forms the summit of all the mountains, and, with the new red sandstone, rests on a substratum of Limestone, mostly of the primitive formation and containing no organic remains, although secondary limestone abounds in several parts. The limestone is found through all the level districts near the sea and elsewhere, and in the mountains forming the manors of Burleigh and Orwell. On the eastern shore of Lough Swilly, and in some other parts of Ennishowen, is a species of calcareous argillite, having the appearance of grey limestone, but containing too much silex to burn freely. Round Carndonagh, in the same barony, is a of valuable Marble have been discovered. One of these, of a pure white free from flaws or discoloration, and capable of being raised in blocks of any dimensions at a trifling expense, has been found in the Rosses. but the want of roads, though the quarries are at a short distance from the sea, prevents its exportation. Grey and black marble of very fine quality have also been found; but little advantage has hitherto been derived from any of the mineral productions except limestone. Lead-ore has been discovered in several places in the barony of Boylagh; in the river flowing from the mountain of Killybegs; on the surface, near the western shore of Loughnabroden; at the foot of the Derryveagh mountains; in the Barra river; in Arran-more and other parts of the Rosses; and at Kieldrum, in the barony of Kilmacrenan, where there is a considerable deposit of ore collected for a lead-work which was carried on a few years since, but discontinued as being unprofitable from the want of experienced miners. Copper-ore and Iron pyrites may be traced in Errigal and Muckish mountains, and detached masses are found in several of the mountain streams, and near Ballyshannon: these areas are abundant; and in several other parts the numerous vitriolic springs indicate larger deposits. Iron-ore abounds in several parts. So long as fuel could be procured from the forests of Donegal, Derry-veagh, Slievedoon, and Kilmacrenan, the mines were wrought, and the ore smelted: the remains of bloom-erea are often met with in the mountains, and the foundations of forges near some of the rivers. Manganese is also abundant. Coal appears in a thin seam at Dromore, on the shore of Lough Swilly, and indications of it are frequent in Innishowen; but no attempts far the most important in a commercial point of view, have yet been made to raise it. The same remark applies to steatite or soap-stone, here called “camstone,” though it is found in abundance in all the mountains of Kilmacrenan and Bannagh: it is mostly of a bright sea-green colour. At Drumarda, on the shores of Lough Swilly, on Tory Island, and in the Rosses, are extensive beds of potter’s-clay, which is used in a small degree in manufacturing coarse pottery. Pipe-clay, and useful clays, are found frequently, but little used. Silicious sand of a very superior description is abundant at Lough Salt, and in the Ards, whence considerable quantities are exported for the manufacture of Glendore, in the parish of Con wall, and, passing by glass. Excellent slates are raised near Letterkenny, and in some other places.
The manufacture of linen-cloth of every kind of a texture, chiefly from home-raised flax, is carried on to a considerable extent: several bleach-greens are in to fall operation, and an extensive factory has been established at Buncrana. Cotton cords, velveteens, fustians, and cheeks, are woven to a considerable extent for exportation, as are friezes for home consumption. Woollen-stockings of excellent quality, manufactured in the barony of Boylagh, are in great demand. Whisky is made very largely, both in licensed distilleries: the latter are chiefly in the Rosses, Boylagh, and Ennishowen, which last district has long been celebrated for the quality of the spirit produced there. The north-western coast fisheries are chiefly confined to Donegal. They had declined greatly for many years a large accession of trade, and become an important in consequence of the herrings, the chief object of capture, having deserted the coast; but in 1830 it was ascertained that the shoals had returned, and the fishery consequently revived, insomuch that the value of the “take” in 1834 exceeded £50.000, and two succeeding seasons was still greater. The coast everywhere affords the means of an abundant summer-fishing; but the want of proper boats and tackle, deters fishermen from venturing to struggle against the stormy seas that break upon the shores during the winter. The white-fishing for cod, ling, haddock, and glassen, and that of turbot and other flat-fish, all of which are in in exhaustible abundance, is little attended to beyond the supply of the neighbourhood. The sun-fish resorts hither, and is sometimes taken: seals are caught in large numbers in Strabreagy bay and near Malin. There are several salmon-fisheries: the principal is that on the Erne at Ballyshannon; there are others in Loughs Floyle and Swilly, and in some of the smaller bays. Eel and trout abound in all the lakes and rivers.
The bays and the harbours are numerous, capacious, and safe. The principal are, Lough Foyle, forming the entrance to the port of Londonderry, and navigable for vessels of the largest draught to that city, and by lighters of 20 tons’ burthen to Lifford, and thence by the fin water to Castlefin; the small but secure bay of Strabreagy, well sheltered by Malin Head; Lough Swilly, the entrance to which is safe and easy; Mulroy; Sheep haven; the numerous inlets in the Rosses; Gweebarra and Lochrus bays; and the capacious bay of Donegal, containing within its scope the smaller harbour of Ballyshannon, on the improvement of which several thousand pounds have been expended by colonel Conolly. The principal rivers are the Foyle, the Swilly, and the Erne. The first-named, which is by far the most important in a commercial point of view, rises in Lough Fin, among the mountains of Branagh, in the parish of Inniskeel, and, under the name of the Fin water, proceeds to Lifford, where, on its confluence with the Mourne from the east, the stream takes the name of the Foyle; flowing along the boundary of the county of Donegal and Tyrone, it enters the county of Londonderry, and at the city of Derry forms a capacious harbour opening out into Lough Foyle. Its tributaries, besides the Mourne and numerous small streams, are the Burndale, the Derg, the Cummin, and the Owenreagh. The Swilly rises in the mountains of Glendore, in the parish of Conwall, and, passing by Letterkenny, forms an estuary between Ramelton and Newtown-Conyngham, which at flood tide appears like a large arm of the sea, but at low water exhibits a dreary and muddy strand. Further on, and opposite to Rathmullen, is Inch Island, beyond which the waters expand into a deep and spacious gulf, which was considered of such importance during the late war with France, as to be protected by numerous batteries and Martello towers. The Erne, anciently called the Samaer, which rises in the county of Cavan, flows through Lough Erne, enters the county from the county of Fermanagh, at Belleek, and after a rapid course, carrying with it the superabundant waters of the lough, falls into the sea down a chasm 150 yards wide. It forms the harbour of Ballyshannon, which should rise in Lough Deel, in the mountains of Kark, and flowing eastward, joins the Foyle; it is navigable to Ballindrait for vessels of 12 tons. The other rivers are, the Esk, Inver, Onea, Barra, Golanesk, Gweedore, Clady, Hork, Awencharry, Lenan, Binnian, Awencranagh, Awenchillew, Sooley, and many smaller streams. The roads, although, in consequence of the Grand Jury act, considerably improved, require much to be done: they are, in general, badly constructed and not properly repaired, notwithstanding that the best materials are in abundance.
Near the junction of the county with that of Fermanagh is a relic called “the Giant’s Grave;” it is a cave, the side walls of which are formed of large blocks of unhewn stone, and the ceiling of flags of limestone. A singular relic of antiquity connected with the O’Donell family is called “the Caah;” it consists of a small box containing the Psalter of Columbkill, said to have been written by the saint himself. Another relic, consisting of a flagstone raised 18 inches from the ground on other atones, perfectly circular, and regularly indented with holes half an inch deep and one inch in diameter, is in the deer-park of Castle-Forward. The ruins of seven religious houses still visible out of 41, are those of Astrath near Ballyshannon. Bally Mac Swiney, Donegal, Kilmacrenan, Lough Derg, Tory Island, and Rathmullen. The principal castles yet remaining, wholly or in part, are Kilbarron, Killybegs, Donegal, Castle Mac Swiney, Dungloe, Ballyshannon, Fort Stewart, Burt Doe, and Green Castle at the mouth of Lough Foyle. The chief modern seats, which are neither numerous nor peculiarly ornamental, are noticed in the accounts of their respective parishes. The farm-houses are comfortable, but defective in cleanliness. The cabins of the peasantry, especially near the coast, are wretched, and extremely filthy, the cattle and swine generally associating with the family, a custom observable at times even in the champaign country. The fuel is, turf: the food, potatoes, oaten bread, and fish, with some milk and butter, the clothing, mostly frieze, though articles of cotton are common, especially for the women’s wear. The English language, pronounced with a Scotch accent, is general in the flat country, but in the mountain region it is little spoken. The most extraordinary natural curiosity is a perpendicular orifice in one of the cliffs projecting over the sea near Dunfanaghy, which, in certain states of the tide, throws up a large jet of water with a tremendous noise; it is called Mac Swiney’s Gun. Not far from Bundoran is a similar orifice, called the Fairy Gun, from which a perpetual mist issues in stormy weather, accompanied by a chaunting sound audible at a great distance. Near Brown Hall is a subterraneous river with numerous caves, the water possessing a petrifying quality: reeds and pieces of boughs are very soon encrusted with the calcareous matter, and large deposits of sulphur are to be seen on the banks. Natural caves are found on the shores near Bundoran, and numerous others in various parts. In Drumkellin bog, in Inver parish, a wooden house was found, perfectly framed and fitted together, having a flat roof; its top was 16 feet below the surface of the bog.