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Donegal’s highest house is revealed

The two storey house revealed by tree felling at Meenaroy.


THE highest house above sea level in Donegal has been attracting much interest since it was ‘uncovered’ by the recent tree cutting at Meenaroy.
Built by Paddy Rua McGlynn almost one hundred years ago, the remains of the once impressive two-storey dwelling re-appeared on the sky-line just off the main Letterkenny to Glenties road last week.
The house, complete with its stone-slate roof, sitting less than forty metres back in from the road dominated the landscape for decades before disappearing behind a forest of trees and falling into a state of disrepair in more recent times.
Paddy Rua had four children, Patrick, Connie, Mary and Kathleen. Patrick, a married man with four children, lived locally in Fintown for a period of time before settling in Wicklow; Connie worked as a teacher in Kingscourt, Co Cavan; Kathleen died very young in America while Mary married Dan McCloskey from Dunkineely. Mary was also a teacher and her family operated a business in Dunkineely.
In the early 1960s the three surviving siblings rented out the house and land to Jim McConnell, who was from over the hill in Glendowan, before he emigrated to England with his family at which point it was sold on to the forestry.
Charlie McMonagle’s father Hughie grew up in the house next door to McGlynn’s.
“Dad says it was known locally as ‘Burdon’s House’ and we were always told that it was the highest house above sea level in Donegal. The forestry must have planted that land about forty years ago,” Charlie McMonagle explained.
When the house was sold to the forestry the roof was sold separately, such was the value of its cut stone slates.
Well known Glenties post-man Joe McCloskey is a grand-son of Mary McGlynn.
“I didn’t even know the house was there myself until a few years when I working as the local relief post-man in Fintown. The people of the area were welcoming me back to my roots and I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about. It was only when I went home and asked Mummy (Zita) and she explained that granny originally came from there that I really understood what they were on about.
“I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t mind having it now mind you. It would be some spot to renovate and do up,” he laughed.

The house at Meenaroy which came into view recently.

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