BY SEÁN P. FEENY
A COLLECTION of articles on the parish of Mevagh will be launched in Carrigart tomorrow (Saturday). Máirtín Ó Monacháin is a tour guide in Letterkenny and it was through this work that he was inspired to compile the Mevagh Miscellany over the past two years, a collection of articles on people, events and places of note from his native parish.
While doing research in his role as a tour guide, Máirtín came across Mevagh native Rev John Dolty McGarvey who supported the building of St Eunan’s Cathedral who inspired him to look into further stories connected to Mevagh.
“Rev McGarvey was responsible for getting a large amount of money for the cathedral in Letterkenny. When I found out that he was from my own parish of Mevagh it inspired me to find out more about him. He ended up with a colossal amount of money and some of it went to court to be challenged and all of it is in this book,” said Máirtín.
Máirtín didn’t just cover historical members of the parish. He spent a lot of time interviewing people currently in the public eye, which includes no less than three former Donegal Persons of the Year, who all hail from the parish of Mevagh.
Those are Carrigart hotelier Dermot Walsh (Donegal Person of The Year 1980), multiple award-winning athlete Hugh Gallagher (1996) and John Carr (2007). There are also numerous politicians, journalists and broadcasters featured.
Máirtín said you think you know your parish until you get into it. “It was a great journey for me and it’s always nice to discover new things. I really found the story of the St John the Baptist Church in Carrigart very interesting and how it came about it.
“I have also featured Cardinal Michael Logue, who was longest-serving cardinal in the See of Armagh; nobody has attained that length of time to the present day.
“Canon James McFadden, the patriot priest, who fought for the rights of the people of Gaoth Dobhair and was subsequently jailed is also featured,” he said.
Máirtín said Mevagh can holds its high very high amongst the parishes of Ireland. “For so many people from such a small place to have achieved so much is just incredible,” he said.
Members of the public are very welcome to the launch of Máirtín Ó Monacháin’s Mevagh Miscellany tomorrow night (Saturday), December 14, at the Carrigart Hotel, 8.30pm.
It will be available in Letterkenny at both Eason’s stores, Universal Books, Clarke’s Newsagents, Veritas and County Dry Cleaners; McCafferty’s Shop, Termon; Whoriskey’s Eurospar, Ramelton; the Gift Shop, Caife na Sráide, Boyce’s Centra and Mickey Joe’s Country Store in Carrigart.