Golan church to celebrate 150 years with special mass

A SMALL church in the Kilmacrennan Parish will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Friday, December 2, with a special Mass led by Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian.

St Brigid’s Church in Golan had to delay its celebrations because of the Covid-19 pandemic and then more recently postponed the event in recognition of the Creeslough tragedy which claimed the lives of ten people. Three generations of the Sweeney family have been sacristans in the church and continue that legacy to date. Eddie Sweeney Senior, known as Eddie George, now retired, was sacristan in St Brigid’s for many years.

Speaking to the Donegal News, Eddie Sweeney senior said he was looking forward to the anniversary celebration and certainly hoped to be there.


“My late father Denis was the sacristan there and clerked away until he was in his late eighties. Then I took over but in recent years had to step back because of my health. Now my son Eddie looks after it on Sundays. I have many happy memories of the Golan Church. My late wife Julia and I were married there on September 5, 1967. Sadly she passed away twenty years ago. There have been many memorable occasions in the church which local people have a great connection to.

“For a 150 year old church it does look well. We did our best and my father before me and now my son Eddie,” Eddie senior said.

He explained that if going to Carrigart, to get to St Brigid’s you turn left at Bunlin Bridge and it is approximately one mile up that road.
According to local parishioner Eunan McGlynn most of the Gortmacall district of Milford town, including the former Loreto Convent, are actually in the Golan end of the Kilmacrennan Parish and a number from that area still attend Mass in Golan.
Coole Church in Cranford is also in the Kilmacrennan Parish and the congregation there also attended Mass in Golan until they got their own church at Coole back in 1954.

Both now have small congregations and Parish Priest Fr Paddy Dunne has to cover these two churches in addition to his home base in Kilmacrennan.

The Golan Band from years gone by. Front L/R Barney Mc Gettigan, Meenreagh, Willie Mc Fadden, Golan, John Ferry, Screen, James Boyle, Court, Milford, Pat Mc Glynn, Gortmacall,Milford, Mickey Mc Fadden, Golanwith Fr Pat Deeney CC Golan. Second Row: Denis Friel, Goaldrum, Termon, Frank Mc Gettigan, Meenreagh, Henry Mc Gettigan, do, Eddie Sweeney, Letterfad, Termon, James Culbert, Carnasaul, Kilmacrennan, Brian Boyce, Carnasaul, Anton Mc Garvey, Labadoo, Milford, James Sweeney, Letterfad, Willie O’ Donnell, Cashlennan, Termon, Mick Mc Bride, Golan, Dan Mc Gettigan, Meenreagh, John Kelly, Carnaganaghan, Milford, Joe Sweeney, Skreen, Charlie Mc Gettigan, Meenreagh, Edward Mc Gettigan, (uncle of the five Mc Gettigan members) Willie Kelly, Labadoo and at rear is Hugh Mc Bride Golan.

Fr Paddy confirmed the Mass will be at 7pm in St Brigid’s Church, Golan on Friday evening, with refreshments served afterwards in Logue’s of Cranford.

“It is a real celebration of the faith of our forefathers who have gone before us. It is also a celebration of a great community in Golan and that rich heritage.


“Back in the day people would walk out past the Loreto Comprehensive College and take a short cut through the wood to the church in what became known as the Golan Pad. Now every Good Friday the Golan Pad Charity Walk takes place along that route and raises funds for charity.” Fr Paddy said.

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