‘One Family’ and their fight for Drenagh

Photos from 'One Family' by Henry Macrory. (DERR0604SJ2)
Photos from 'One Family' by Henry Macrory. (DERR0604SJ2)

A new book detailing a 13-year legal saga over one of Limavady’s most famous estates has been published.

‘One Family’ by Henry Macrory tells the story of Drenagh Estate; “a tale of division, devotion and restitution”.

'One Family' by Henry Macrory.

'One Family' by Henry Macrory.

“Told for the first time - how one man’s religious conversion and the unworkable legal ruling that followed - threatened to tear apart one of County Derry’s foremost land owning family,” said a spokesperson.

Told mostly through letters between the main characters, ‘One family’ explains what happened following Capt Conolly McCausland’s conversion to Catholicism, which not only sparked widespread condemnation in Protestant-dominated Ulster but also meant that he automatically forfeited all his interest, and that of his children, in Drenagh and so the property was passed to his elder sister Helen.

At the beginning, Conolly reluctantly acquiesced to his father’s unusual, indeed possibly, unique stipulation but he subsequently changed his mind and began court action to win Drenagh back.

The 13-year battle cost the family a vast sum of money in legal fees and threatened to tear it apart.

The book, which features photos of family members, staff and visitors, and a number of letters, is avilable at Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre in Limavady and The Derry Visitor and Bureau Centre in Foyle Street.