Colgan Heritage ‘Bringing It All Back’ weekend

Members of the Colgan Heritage Group with chairperson Tish Doherty who are busy preparing for the Colgan Weekend in Carndonagh.
Members of the Colgan Heritage Group with chairperson Tish Doherty who are busy preparing for the Colgan Weekend in Carndonagh.

The 4th Colgan Heritage Weekend which takes place this weekend in Carndonagh will celebrate the town’s most famous scholar John Colgan and Carndonagh’s heritage with the theme this year ‘Hearth and Homestead – Bringing It All Back’ An energetic committee have compiled a fantastic programme of events for the weekend which includes talks and walks, exhibitions, a book launch, drama, gala concert and much more.

The Heritage Weekend will be officially opened tonight by the Honourable Mr Justice Michael White of the High Court who is from Carndonagh and journalist Paul Drury. During the evening there will also be a presentation of prizes to Transition students from Carndonagh Community School for their project “Emigration from Carndonagh 1950-Present” as well as a musical interlude with The Donagh Choir under direction of Dr Helen Haughey and local historian Maura Harkin will launch her photographic exhibition – Do You Remember? which features photos of people and places in Carndonagh and surrounding areas.

Tomorrow’s events will begin with an invigorating four mile walk on the theme “Glentogher Revisited” – with guide Dessie Mc Callion. Buses leave the Colgan Hall at 9.45am and due to its success last year booking is essential. Contact the Colgan Hall on 074 93 29377 and wear comfortable footwear and clothing.

As part of the weekend there will be also be a special outdoor market in the Diamond Carndonagh from 12 noon – 3pm tomorrow. The best in Inishowen produce and crafts will be available and there will also be a number of pop up shops featuring work from The Men’s Shed and other local craft workers.

The focus will then turn to the Colgan Community and Resource Centre at 2pm with a presentation by Malin Head/Carndonagh native Desmond Doherty, formerly of the E.S.B. entitled, Rural Electrification, Bringing The Light To North Inishowen which will be of interest to many.

Book lovers will want to call at the Book Shop, Carndonagh where local book enthusiast Peter Doherty will have an extensive variety of books on display and for sale. One of the highlights of the weekend will be the launch of a new book, ‘Inishowen Co-Op – The first 50 Years’ which willbe launched tomorrow afternoon at 3pm in the Colgan Hall. The book which has been compiled by Sean Beattie, Margaret Farren, Eoin Farren and Jason Harkin has more than eighty colourful photos and the speaker at the launch will be Ray Gallagher, 2012 winner of the Plunkett Award for Co-operative Endeavour.

Saturday’s packed programme comes to a close with a performance of ‘The Twilight Court’ by John Ward in the Courthouse, Carndonagh at 8.30pm. This drama, produced by Geraldine Mooney, exlores belief in superstition, fairies, omens, signs, customs etc. Admission is 5 euro.

On Sunday afternoon between 2pm -3pm, participants from the History Links project – a local history project that has twinned Inishowen with Limavady - will read and perform drama from their new book Forging Friendships. There will be a Folklore Exhibition featuring work by national school children from local schools from the 1937 school collection. The afternoon will conclude with what promises to be a most interesting talk by Brian O’Doherty, Greencastle on the life story of Rosa O’Doherty- a contemporary of John Colgan - in Louvain, Belguim.

The grand finale of the weekend will be the Gala Concert on Sunday night at 8pm. This will be an evening of song, music, dance and drama featuring prize winners from Feis Domhnaigh 2013. Admission is 10 euro, children 5 euro.

The Fourth Colgan Heritage Weekend truly has something for everyone. So make your way to Carndonagh this weekend for a fun filled entertaining and educational weekend that celebrates Carndonagh and the Inishowen peninsula.