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Donegal Heritage 'Life & Lore' Collection

Donegal Life and Lore Launch

Launch of the Donegal Heritage ‘Life & Lore’ Collection in May 2010. Front row (left to right): Jean Dickie (Rathmullan), Packie Manus Byrne (Ardara), Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan & Donegal Person of the Year), Evelyn Cunningham (Killybegs), Hugh Herrity (Glendowan), Joe Gallagher (Letterkenny). Back row (left to right): Michael McLoone (former County Manager, Donegal County Council), Jimmy Carr (Gleann Cholm Cille/Glencolmcille), Helen Meehan (Mountcharles), Charlie McConalogue (Deputy Mayor of County Donegal), Joseph Gallagher (County Donegal Heritage Office), Maurice O’Keeffe (Irish ‘Life & Lore’), Charlie McMonagle (Letterkenny), John Connaghan (An Fál Carrach/Falcarragh), Seamus Harkin (Creeslough), Pat McEniff (Bundoran), Seamus McHugh (Gort an Choirce/Gortahork)


The Donegal Heritage ‘Life & Lore’ Collection was launched by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan & Donegal Person of the Year in May 2010. The collection of 64 CDs of oral recordings tells part of the story of County Donegal through the lives, and in the words, of some of its residents. These diverse accounts of life, heritage and culture in County Donegal were recorded by Maurice O’Keeffe and make an important contribution to capturing our sense of place. The Donegal Heritage ‘Life & Lore’ Collection was commissioned by the County Donegal Heritage Office, Cultural Services, the County Donegal Heritage Forum and The Heritage Council as part of the County Donegal Heritage Plan.

People involved in landmark County Donegal industries were interviewed including Lynn Temple from ‘Magee’s of Donegal’, Desmond Doherty from ‘Oatfield Sweets’ in Letterkenny, Evelyn Cunningham from ‘Donegal Carpets’ in Killybegs and Edward McDaid from ‘James McDaid & Sons Ltd.’ soft drinks company in Ramelton. Key figures in the Donegal Historical Society (Declan O’Carroll & Helen Meehan), An Taisce (May McClintock), Oideas Gael (Liam Ó Cuinneagáin), Glenveagh National Park (Joe Gatins) and Donegal County Council (Michael McLoone, former County Manager) recall aspects of their careers. Family traditions and skills such as thatching (Kilpatricks from Raphoe) and boatbuilding (McDonalds from Greencastle) are remembered. Accounts from a variety of people from different parts of the county involved in teaching, music, sport, politics and shopkeeping also form part of this oral history collection. Insights into traditional ways-of-life on the farm, on islands and in historic homes in County Donegal are captured in the accounts of those recorded.

The interviews recorded as part of the Donegal Heritage ‘Life & Lore’ Collection will prove to be an important archive in the future and serve to highlight the work that still needs to be done in documenting the heritage, folklife and culture of the county. Copies of the collection are available to consult free-of-charge through the County Library Service. For more information, please contact the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council on (074) 917 2576 or by e-mail at


Donegal Heritage ‘Life & Lore’ Collection (Catalogue)


An Action of the County Donegal Heritage Plan

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