Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary Ireland comprises of several counties, cities, boroughs, parish and villages – with historical and statistical descriptions – of Ireland.
ContentDONAGH, a parish, in the barony of ENNISHOWEN, county of DONEGAL, and province of ULSTER, containing, with the post-town of Carn, 5357 inhabitants.
The ancient name given to Donagh by St. Patrick was Domnach-Glinne-Tochuir, "the Sabbath-House of the Glen with Fountains :" there is but a slight variation in the former portion of this title, and the latter is still the name of the valley where the silver mines were formerly worked. From the book of Armagh and other authorities it appears that a religious establishment was founded here, in 419, by St. Patrick, of which he appointed McCarthen, brother of the saint of Clogher, bishop, or abbot : of the several crosses which marked the limits of its sanctuary one only remains ; the saint's penitential bed, and other relics, having been preserved here, this place was much resorted to by pilgrims on St. Patrick's day.
The parish is situated on the shore of the bay of Straghbregagh, or Strabreagy, and is intersected by the roads leading from Londonderry to Malin and Malin Head, from Moville to Buncrana, and from Londonderry to Clonmany. It comprises, according to the Ordnance surveys 25,259.50 statute acres, the greater part of which are mountain and bog, incapable of being cultivated; small detached portions of land, under tillage, at the foot of the numerous mountains, extending from Glen Tocher to Strabreagy, yield oats, tax, potatoes, and some wheat and barley. Slieve Snaght, or the mountain of Snow, is the highest; according to the above survey, it rises 2019 feet above the level of the sea. From its northern side issues a small river, which runs through the town of Carn and near the foot of this mountain is a pretty cascade, called Earmaceire. The mountains are mostly of schist, and slate and excellent flagstones are also found in them, besides extensive knolls and ranges of blue limestone. The limestone in Glen Tocker is remarkably good ; the silver mines there were worked by an English company about 1790, but owing to the intimidation of the miners they were abandoned, and the attempt to work them has not been resumed. Two small tuck-mills employ about 12 people, but the greater part of the inhabitants are engaged in agricultural pursuits and in fishing. The parish contains numerous good houses, the principal of which are noticed under the head of Carn, which see.
The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Derry, and in the patronage of the Marquess of Donegal : the tithes amount to £365. The glebe-house is situated in the midst of a bog, one mile from the church, on the shore of the bay : sixty acres of good land were reserved, for the glebe of this parish, in the grant of the barony of Innishowen, by Jas. I., to Sir Arthur Chichester; the glebe now comprises 169 Cunningham acres, about 50 of which are under cultivation, and more are being reclaimed. The church is a small neat edifice, erected in 1769 ; the walls were newly raised, newly roofed, and otherwise improved in 1812.
The Roman Catholic parish is co-extensive with that of the Established Church, and is called Carndonagh; there is a large and handsome chapel in the town of Carn built in 1826 at a cost of £1200.
At Carn is also a large meeting-house for Presbyterians in connection with the Synod of Ulster.
Besides the school at Carn, there are others under the National Board at Glen Tocher, Glengennan, and Glasalts; also one private and two Sunday schools, one of which is in connection with the Presbyterian meeting-house. A stone cross, six feet high, hewn out of a solid block, and ornamented with numerous scrolls and shamrocks, stands near the church ; close adjoining which are the square shafts of two others, having on each side the figure of a human head. There are several forts in the parish.