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2023 Archives Service News

NEWS: June 2024

Contract Project Archivist sought- July- September 2024


The Archives Service of Donegal County Council is seeking the services of a professional archivist for a short term contract, working on a landed estate papers collection (Lord Leitrim), 18th- 19th century archive.

For Brief and More information please see:  Brief for short Donegal Archives contract






Frances Browne Literary festival:  


Presentation by Archivist (Niamh Brennan) on Stranorlar Workhouse and the Poor Law: 


Stranorlar Workhouse Presentation



Stranorlar Workhouse presentation text




Archives, Museum & Arts Decade of Centenaries Artist-in-Residence Programme


Donegal County Council’s Archives Service, County Museum and County Arts office were delighted to be able to engage renowned poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin as our Artist In Residence last year. This was possible through Donegal’s Decade of Centenaries Programme, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Initiative. 

Annemarie’s remit was to respond to collections of archives relating to the last years of what has been called the Decade of Centenaries, from 1919 to 1922, specifically the collection of archives relating to the end of the Poor Law System that built eight workhouses in Co Donegal, from the 1840s to the 1920s.  The Workhouse is synonymous with the purported social care system that existed in Ireland prior to Independence, but its role in society has often been overlooked and under researched. The archives of the Donegal Workhouses tell the human stories of those families and individuals who spent time in these institutions. 

Annemarie carried out research in the County Archives especially looking at Stranorlar workhouse records as well as the relevant chapter of the Mother & Baby Home Commission relating to the County Home  in Stranorlar, and has reimagined women’s institutional life in 20th century Donegal through her beautiful poems which she’s given the title of Ghostgirl. The Council is proud to be partners with the Frances Browne Literary Festival for the formal launch of the pamphlet on 13th October at Kees Hotel, Stranorlar, 3pm.


frances browne



JUNE 2023


The National Famine Commemmoration was held in Milford, Co. Donegal, on 21 May 2023, below is the programme including essay on the history of the Famine in Co. Donegal by Dr Hilary McLoughlin- Stonham.


National Famine Commemoration Programme 2023



MAY 2023

TALK for Decade of Centenaries Programme:


'I want Nothing only What is Just': Southern Irish Loyalists and the Irish Grants Committee, 1922 - 1923


Niamh Brennan, Archivist with Donegal County Archives (Donegal Co. Council) delivered a presentation in the County Museum, Letterkenny, on 24 May 2023:


‘I want nothing only what is just’: Southern Irish Loyalist Refugees & the Irish Grants Committee, 1922 - 1929


The Irish Grants Committee (IGC) was set up by the British government to assist people who fled from Ireland to England during the Civil War and were received there as southern Irish loyalist refugees.  The IGC investigated and compensated thousands of people who claimed compensation. Claims included for personal and business property destruction or damage, personal injury and assault, in some cases murder or kidnapping of a family member, threats to family and property, confiscation of land, driving of cattle, injury to animals and boycott of businesses.


Among those who sought compensation were landowners, small farmers, tenants on estates, former policemen, civil servants and their families, business people; there were men and women, Protestants and Catholics, from across the country. Many if not most of the claimants would not have regarded themselves as political. Many did not regard themselves as loyalists. Each applicant had their own file and each file is held in the National Archives in London. The IGC finally wound up in 1928 following six years of work.


This talk will try to answer the question as to who were ‘southern Irish loyalists’ and what happened to them during the revolutionary years? What was the IGC? What did it do to assist refugees and why? Who were their supporters? The talk will also look at a number of the applicants claiming compensation, including some from county Donegal. 


Speaker: Dr Niamh Brennan, Archivist, Donegal County Council, and author of Ph.D. thesis: Compensating Southern Irish Loyalists after the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1922 - 1932





County Donegal Heritage Office Project: Donegal Emigrant Working Lives in Scotland, brief in link below. Closing date is Friday 5 May, 4pm.

Donegal Emigrant Working Lives in Scotland



NEWS: FEBRURARY & March 2023


In honour of St Brigid and Ireland's first holiday to celebrate her life and the life of women in Ireland, and for Mother's Day and International Women's Day (March) we have uploaded on our (Donegal County Council) YouTube Channel a narrated and illustrated Powerpoint presentation on Women in the Archives; exploring local collections which feature the lives and histories of women over the 19th and 20th centuries who feature in Donegal County Archives Collections. 

See Women in Donegal County Archives (Feb 2023 Presentation) - YouTube 



NEWS: March 2023


Dongal County Archives and Museum are delighted to announce that Dr Hilary McLaughlin is our 2023 Historian in Residence (to write essays and give talks on the Great Famine in Co. Donegal).  



Head to our 'Digitised Archives' pages on this website to see our latest uploads 

-Daniel Doherty (Emigrant to Massachusetts in 1900s) Archive, c 1917 - 1977.

-new Uploads of Bundoran Urban District Council Minutes of meetings, 1914 - 1926

-new uploads of Buncrana Urban District Council Minutes of meetings, 1913 - 1916; 1920 - 1924

-Final uploads for Letterkenny Rural District Council Minutes of meetings, 1899 - 1925 

-Completed Londonderry no. 2 Rural District Council Minutes of meetings, 1900 - 1920




In 2018 Donegal County Council Archives Service was very fortunate to acquire the archive collection of the work of Ms Ann Doherty, renowned photojournalist. Ann Doherty worked as a photojournalist across the globe from 1994 – 2005. The photographs feature ordinary people often living in extraordinary situations across the world from Ireland to Sierra Leone, from Italy to Armenia, Ukraine to Egypt. Ms Doherty's images from the late 1990s & early 2000s bring the lives of people from many different nations and cultures sharply into focus against backgrounds of conflict, poverty, social deprivation, hardship, trauma and remoteness. The cataloguing of this important collection will ensure the permanent preservation of and widespread access to this collection.


In May 2022, Donegal County Archives & Donegal County Museum received a Heritage Council Stewardship Fund grant to catalogue and display this unique collection.


Curator Ciaran Walsh, working with Ms Ann Doherty and the County Archives and County Museum, has catalogued the collection, digitized elements of it and assisted in development of an Exhibition at Donegal County Museum (Letterkenny) which was launched on 22 September. The exhibition of 74 photographs and related ephemera is on display currently during normal opening hours in the Museum (Autumn - Winter 2022).



For updates on all our projects, follow us on Twitter or Facebook,   




Decade of Centenaries, Artist in Residence 2022:  Annemarie Ní Churreáin

Renowned Donegal poet, Ms Annemarie Ní Churreáin was Decade of Centenaries Artist in Residence at Donegal County Archives for Summer and Autumn months of 2022, for updates, see Facebook or Twitter or this website.



Poster for Workshop Artist Ni churreain








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