Abbey of Donegal


This page, I hope, will start a conversation about the abbey of Donegal and its place both in history and today’s world.
I have studied the abbey and its history for some years and would like to share this information with anyone who has an interest in this area.

Queries about people buried in the Old Abbey are also welcome.

14 thoughts on “Abbey of Donegal”

  1. Greetings,
    I am doing some genealogy work on my husband’s family, and I am wondering if Joseph Alexander Caldwell born 09 Jan 1657, died 03 Sep 1730. His burial information shows Ballybogan, Donegal. But it also shows Ballybogan in Lifford Parish. I hope you can give me some information.

    Thank you, Arlene Coppin

  2. Dig for remains of Red Hugh O’Donnell finds skull and coffins
    from the Irish Times Tue 26th May 2020
    The Dig in Valladolid
    Spanish archaeologists searching for the remains of Red Hugh O’Donnell have discovered two coffins, a skull and a complete body at the site they believe is his last resting place.
    The excavation of Constitution Street in Valladolid in northwest Spain has revealed the walls of what is thought to be La Capilla de las Maravillas (the Chapel of Wonders ) where O’Donnell was buried in September 1602.
    On Tuesday, the seventh day of the dig, the Mayor of Valladolid Óscar Puente posted a tweet. It showed a photograph of the excavated site with a human skull and bones and the caption: “In the Chapel of Wonders, in the exact place where Red Hugh O’Donnell is believed to have been buried as well as Christopher Columbus, some remains and two coffins have appeared.”
    Both Columbus and Red Hugh were buried in the chapter (chapel) of the Franciscan monastery which disappeared in the middle of the 19th century.
    The remains of Columbus were moved to Seville, but the coffin which has been discovered may be the original one in which he was buried.
    The archaeologists, who are employed by the City of Valladolid, began their dig on Monday last week. Their communications manager Carlos Burgos said the “importance of the excavation is growing every day” and though the body has yet to be identified, he added that “we are certain that here is the burial place of a great Irish leader and part of the history of Spain too”.
    Red Hugh died en route to the city, then the capital of Spain, while waiting for a response from Spain’s King Philip III to letters imploring him to send another army to Ireland to fight against the English.
    Mayor of Valladolid Óscar Puente posted a tweet of a photograph showing the excavated site with a human skull and bones. Photograph: Mayor of Valladolid/Twitter
    Red Hugh and his father-in-law Hugh O’Neill instigated the Nine Years War (1594-1603) which came close to ending the English presence in Ireland, but eventually foundered.

  3. I am interested in purchasing the book. My family, by heritage – surname Draper – is from Dunegal. I am starting my journey to trace as far back as possible. I live in California, south of Los Angeles. San Juan Capistrano to be exact. I plan on traveling to see my heritage in person when time permits.

    1. Carolyn,
      First of all thank you for purchasing my book and I really hope you enjoy it. If you are interested in Irish history and have connections with Donegal I am sure you will.
      The book will be dispatched right away.
      If you have any information in relation to the Draper name such as townland name or grave information I would be happy to look it up for you.
      Best Wishes
      Seamus

  4. Séamus,
    I just ordered your book and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I will be in Donegal Town, God willing, for the O’Donnell Clan gathering in September, 2020. I was wondering if your book is available in book stores there so I might purchase another copy for a friend while I’m visiting.
    Regards,
    Betsy Witt

    1. Betsy,
      First of all thank you for your order which I received last night and I intend posting right away. It was wonderful to see an order coming from South Carolina which I visited a few years ago while traveling on the East coast down through the Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, etc. I had a great time visiting the battle fields etc. Great memories.

      While I now live in Dublin I am from Donegal and travel down there quite regularly. Glad to hear the O’Donnel clan gathering is planned and hopefully it will go ahead when this current pandemic has passed. My book “Abbey of Donegal – Headstones & Heritage” which was published in Nov 2019 is available in bookshops in Donegal and Dublin. The charge for posting to the USA is actually greater than what I am charging but I cover part of the cost myself. So at least the copy in Donegal won’t be as expensive for you.

      I do hope you enjoy it and that your trip works out for you. Thank you again for the purchase and I hope you enjoy the read.

      Best Regards
      Séamus

  5. Comhghairdeas Séamus; always a mind for (technological) innovation, but never thought you would be into hard copy production, and especially about historic interests. What a man, well done.

    Best Wishes

    Peter

  6. Congratulations Séamus, well done, a brilliant contribution to the history of Donegal Town and its people.

    Úna, Canberra.

  7. Hi Seamus, your forthcoming book sounds fascinating, I look forward to it very much. I am very interested in the older graves in the Abbey graveyard and would love to know more about the people buried there

    1. Thanks Niamh. I was glad to hear of a fellow lover of this beautiful site. The book contains photos and listings of all the legible, and some illegible, graves as well as the early burials of the O’Donnell chieftains and sub-chieftains. I am hopeful that the book will be published at the end of this month or early next. It is now at the printers so please check in from time to time for updates. Again thanks for your comments.
      Séamus

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