The town or village or Ardara, or Hill of the Fort, takes its name from a very conspicuous earthen fort which stands on a hill about 200 perches to the north-east of the town. The “Nesbitt Arms Hotel” offers every inducement to tourists or anglers, and the scenery is magnificent. Two splendid salmon rivers empty into Loughros Bay. Inniskeel, in Gweebara Bay, must be visited. In the Monasticon Hibernicon it is described as “an island lying off the coast of the Barony of Boylagh and Bannagh. St. Connell Gaol was Abbot of Inniskeel, and is honoured here on the 12th of May, St. Dallan wrote a work in his praise. He was killed by pirates about the year 590, and was interred with his friend. His festival is held on January the 29th. Here is a celebrated well which, with the church, is dedicated to St. Connell, and yearly visited by a great concourse of pilgrims on the 12th of May.” St. Connell’s Bell is now in the British Museum, where it was discovered by Mr. W. J. Doherty, St. Muras, Fahan. It disappeared for some years after the death of Major Tredennick, who purchased the sacred relic from the chief of the Clan O’Breslin. In a.d. 1611, according to the Annals, Niall ‘Boyle, Bishop ot Baphoe, died at Gleneanny, and was interred at Inniskeel.
Scenery & Antiquities of North-West Donegal (1893)
Photos from The Lawrence Collection