The Lands Of Eogain Festival welcomed local and international speakers to the Market House Clonmany for a weekend of talks, music and discussion.The festival kicked off with a welcome by local archaeologist Rosemarie Doherty, followed by an engaging discussion about Inishowen Heritage between archaeologists; Colm O’ Brien, Brian Lacey and the audience.
The night ended with a wonderful musical performance by the Inishowen Traditional Music Project who brought stunning local songs to life in a perfect blend of harmony using harp, accordion, fiddle and piano.
Lands Of Eogain Festival ~ Near And Far: Early Irish Monks From Inishowen To Mount Sinai
Day two featured engaging talks by experts in the fields of medieval and ecclesiastical study which included; Hermann Moisl,Brian Lacey, Max Adams and Michelle Brown. Keynote Speaker Michelle Brown captivated the audience with discoveries and analysis of medieval manuscripts in Ireland and the far reaches of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Mount Sinai, Egypt.
Archaeologist and author Max Adams brought to life the Viking Age for the audience raising the question; Why Inishowen is rarely referenced in the annals of the Viking age, despite its location on the coast. With this in mind Mr Adams suggested areas of future research to solve some of the mysteries of this period in the Peninsula.
Clonmany, Inishowen: A Journey Through Time
Sunday afternoon brought to the stage local researcher and artist Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh, who, using OSI maps revealed the location and meanings associated with Clachan homesteads in the parish of Clonmany.
Undettered by rain heritage enthusiasts undertook a journey with Local Tour Guide Dessie Mc Callion around Clonmany and the surrounding countryside. The route took us from the Market House along the pinch road, which despite the rain, provided views of a wild and culturally rich landscape. Dessie held the attention of the group with tales of folklore, archaeology and history.
Stopping at Fort Dunree the group were welcomed by Wild Atlantic views and warmed by some hot beverages at the coffee cup. Scaling Mamore Gap, we were given that sense of pilgrimage and connectivity through the ages from the Mesolithic Period to the present to this wild and rugged landscape.
Exploring St. Columba’s Church, Straid, Clonmany ~ Inishowen, Donegal
Last but certainly not least we arrived at St Columba’s Church Straid. The current structure was built in 1772, however there is a layered history associated with this site and grounds. Oral accounts and some early map evidence suggest early Christian activity. With this in mind it thought that Straid is the location of an earlier monastic settlement. What is exciting is the Bernician Studies Group are currently investigating the area to locate the distinctive boundary, typically associated with early monastic precincts. In 2015 the St Columbas Straid Conservation Group was founded to protect and restore the current Church structure.
Bernician Studies Group ~ Uncovering Inishowen Heritage
The Bernician Studies Group have returned to Inishowen to carry out its 6th successive year of field work, the goal to uncover even more about Inishowens rich cultural past. The group continue to work closely with the Lands Of Eogain Heritage Group and local community to identify the presence of monastic sites. To date the team have confirmed the presence of four monastery precincts at Carndonagh, Carrowmore, Cooley, Cloncha and a suspected monastery at Eskaheen. Who knows what their field work will uncover at Straid Clonmany!Lands Of Éogain
Bernician Studies Group