Wh.A McLaughlin's Tour
Sean's family lives in Sharagore,
near Buncrana, in the Inishowen
Peninsula of Co. Donegal. He's a
local expert in the Inishowen area
and will be happy to answer any
questions you may have about
A SUGGESTED TOUR FOR MAC LOCHLAINN VISITORS TO DERRY AND
The conflict in the north of Ireland is based upon differing
to British rule among the local population.
The descendants of the British colonists introduced into the
Ireland in the seventeenth century are usually Protestant by
and tend to be Unionist or Loyalist (ie: pro-British rule) in
The descendants of the native Irish at the time of the
usually Catholic by religion and tend to be Nationalist or
(ie: pro-united Ireland) in political outlook.
A Loyalist is a Unionist who believes in the use of force. A
is a Nationalist who believes in the use of force.
What the British and their Unionist allies in Ireland call
Ireland" is known as "the North" or "the Six
Counties" by most people
in Ireland including Nationalists in the North.
The rest of Ireland is called the Republic or the South by some
is more correctly known as the Free State or the Twenty-Six
Counties as the Republic proclaimed in 1916 covers the whole 32
counties of the island of Ireland. Once you have travelled north
Derry into the Free State you will realise just how ridiculous it
call the Free State the South .
Derry is in the North and Inishowen is in the Free State. They
separated by the only remaining militarised border in Western
Unionists call Derry "Londonderry" while Nationalists
call it "Derry".
Derry is split into two by the River Foyle. The Cityside on the
bank is mainly Nationalist and the Waterside on the east bank is
You will have no problems during your visit to Derry but to be on
1. Do not speak to the British Army or the Police. If you are
by them you are required by law to tell them, if they ask, your
date of birth, current address, where you are going to and where
are coming from. Keep any thoughts to yourself.
2. Do not wear any clothing or insignia that could identify you
being Irish. The Police recently arrested a 12 year old boy for
his name to them in Irish!
3. Do not enter any Unionist areas on foot. These areas are
marked out with British union jacks, red white and blue
wall murals of King William of Orange riding a white horse and
4. Do not talk politics in strange company.
5. Do not park your car outside any Police or Army bases or in
marked Control Zone . If you do, your car will be blown up by the
Once over the border into Donegal, do what you like!
The best way to see the area is to hire a car and buy a Discovery
Series ordnance survey map. Unfortunately you will need two of
detailed maps to cover the whole of Inishowen and Derry:
1. Discovery Series 3 - North Inishowen
2. Discovery Series 7 - South Inishowen and Derry
The central square within the walls of Derry is called the
of the streets leading off the Diamond is Bishop Street.
You can get the maps in a shop called 'Bookworm' in Bishop
shop also has the best selection of local history books in the
A few doors before 'Bookworm' is the 'Derry Genealogical Centre'.
is the local heritage centre. If you have not contacted them
would advise you to call in. They have a lot of records on the
and Donegal areas.
If Bookworm does not have the maps in stock try Easons in the
Foyleside Shopping Centre. To find Easons return to the Diamond
turn to your right along Ferryquay Street until you are outside
walls, it is right in front of you.
Derry Library contains a small genealogical section on the first
To get there from the Diamond go down Shipquay Street, the
sloping street leading down from the Diamond, and turn right once
are outside the walls. The Library is a modern red brick building
the road to your left and is opposite the bus station.
The Museum in the rebuilt O Dohertys Tower is well worth a visit.
tower is within the walls near the bottom of Shipquay Street,
the Guildhall. The original tower was probably the O Donnells
built on the land obtained from the herenagh Loughlina or
You cannot leave Derry without walking a circuit of the walls.
A good place to start is near the Tower Museum. Walk in an
anticlockwise direction and you will soon be overlooking the
If your ancestor came from Derry City he will probably have lived
the Bogside as this was the old 'Irish Quarter' of the city. The
in front of the Bogside was the site of Bloody Sunday in 1972,
people who were killed that day were shot by British soldiers
from the walls.
Below you will see the Free Derry Wall. This used to be the gable
of a house that marked the start of the no go area known as Free
Derry in the early 1970 s. When the area was redeveloped the wall
rebuilt and despite vandalism from British soldiers and Police,
including demolition by an armoured personnel carrier, it is
continually repaired and repainted.
On this section of the wall is the stump of the Walker Memorial.
was a Governor of Derry a couple of hundred years ago, and a
erected here to let the local inhabitants below know who was
IRA fired a rocket at it from the Bogside in the 1970 s and cut
two. It was never rebuilt.
Anticlockwise from here beside the British Army watchtower you
a Catholic church outside the walls. This is the Long Tower
stands on the site of the monastery founded by St Colmcille in
1567 the English were using the monastery as an arsenal and when
exploded the only remains of the monastery was a long tower. The
has long been demolished but the church carries on the name.
Further anticlockwise you will overlook a Loyalist area known as
Fountains . This is the site of the Bishops orchard and garden
held from the herenagh Loughlina or McLaughlin.
In the afternoon drive out of Derry on the Culmore road towards
in Donegal. You will pass a modern day British Army fort on your
at Culmore near the border.
One mile north of Carrowkeel /Quigleys Point in Donegal you will
large white house surrounded by trees situated between the road
Lough Foyle. This is the site of the castle of Garnagall or
where Brian oge lived in 1601. Nothing exists of it now, it was
probably demolished to provide building materials for the house.
Two miles north along the same road is the site of Caire MacEwlyn
Redcastle. This was where the Chief of the sept, Hugh carragh,
1601. It too was probably demolished to provide materials to
house on the site. This house is now a hotel, perhaps a good
base yourself. It is called the Redcastle Hotel and the phone
+ 35 377 82073. The only trace of the castle is an artificially
boss of rock about 15 feet high which the castle was sited on.
The half quarter of Clare, held by Brian oge and his son Donnell
McBrian oge after they lost Whitecastle, is one mile north of
From the hotel entrance travel one mile towards Moville and turn
up a road that enters the main road at a tight angle. Take a
after half a mile to travel up into Clare. Do not go too high
hills though, the road is not too good!
From Redcastle drive north and take the road that forks to your
one mile north of Moville. At the fork in the road you are in
Ballybrack, where Hugh carragh lived after he lost Redcastle in
Follow this road for one mile then turn left at the crossroads by
church. This is the road to Kinnego Bay and is the route that the
Moville McLaughlins eventually took when they were dispossessed
English and moved to the glens around the bay.
The road climbs high into the hills and, as the fields are left
you get a good view of the Foyle and Greencastle below. Once the
of the hill is reached you will see the Atlantic Ocean and will
descend into a few secluded fields at the very edge of Europe. A
of the Spanish Armada sank in the bay here in 1588.
Start at Aileach. Try to go up to Aileach on a clear day, the
great. Try it on a clear night as well. Tradition says that our
ancestor Eoghan son of Niall of the Nine Hostages was baptised by
Patrick in the holy well that lies about fifty yards from the
the opposite side to the entrance.
From here go back down to the main road, turn right and follow
until you come to a roundabout. Take the first exit on the
and follow the signs to Buncrana. You will soon pick up a
driving route called the "Inishowen 100" which is 100
miles long and
circles the peninsula.
It passes through Buncrana where my family is based. If you get
time, call into a bar called "Roddens" ( pronounced
Ruddens) halfway up
Main Street. The owner is called Leo Rodden and is a 2nd cousin
once removed. He has quite a good knowledge of local history so,
is in, you can have a chat over a Guinness.
There is an O Doherty castle in Buncrana near the Crana River.
the castle mentioned in the State Papers in 1601 and it is
similar to how our two castles appeared, nothing at all like the
Go north from here through Desertegney and over Mamore Gap, do
attempt to drive through the gap if snow or ice is covering the
but stop and throw some silver coins into St Eigne s holy well at
shrine just past the highest point of the road.
About five miles further along the route, before you enter
you will see a small roofless Protestant church on your left.
where Donnell/Daniel McLaughlin was Rector. On the same side of
road as the church are the ruins of his house called 'Dresden'.
Follow the route through Clonmany and on through Ballyliffin and
turn left onto a wide causeway leading to the Isle of Doagh. At
of the road on Pollan Strand is another O Doherty castle called
Carrickabraghy. This castle is also mentioned in the State Paper
From here drive through Carndonagh. Along the Carndonagh to Malin
road, about two miles north of Carndonagh you will see a road
to Culdaff on your right which disappears into a clump of trees.
its first mile this road passes through the area called Grallagh.
is where the Clanloughlangrilles held their herenagh lands.
Follow the route around Malin head and through Culdaff and you
eventually emerge back in Kinnego Bay, the end point of your
journey. Continue around back to base.