Donegal County Council Logo


Home > Culture > Archives > Quotes from the Archives

Donegal's Archives - Facts and Quotes

Did you know ? 


*The oldest document in the Archives dates back to 1682.


*Emails, Facebook messages and tweets, even the texts of today could be the archives of tomorrow.


*We have over 10,000 catalogued items in our database and many, many more unlisted items.‌


*Minister Mary Hanafin, in launching the Flight of the Earls Study pack in 2007 described it as ‘a good way of making schoolchildren focus on that part of our history which they don’t normally learn much about’.


*The Archives has many photos, but cannot identify all the persons in the photographs. A recent exhibition of these photos helped to identify some of the faces and places unknown.


*Dust, damp, water, mice and insects are all the enemies of archives.

*The Archives collection includes photos of Roger Casement, John Hume, Mary McAleese, John Wayne and William Allingham.


James Grove World War 1 letter page 1

Letter from James Grove (page 1) to his mother following Battle of Gallipoli, 1915 


Quotes from the Archives

'The population of this wild mountainous district who have almost all small holdings of land are not likely to afford as many applicants for workhouse relief as the population of other districts of the county,' C. G. Otway, Poor Law Commissioner, addressing the Glenties Board of Guardians, February 1842.


“The deep and heartfelt interest Lord George Hill is now, at such an awful crisis of distress and famine owing to the total failure of the potato crop, showing to alleviate the probable wants of his tenantry... would to God there was a Lord G Hill in every parish in Ireland." Gweedore Hotel Book, visitor writing during the Famine, 1846.


‘At the same time rather than disgrace them by an eviction he is willing to send them to America provided they go without causing any further trouble’, Lord Leitrim’s ultimatum to two troublesome tenants, 1865.


“I was grieved to hear of your illness. I hope and trust the change of air and the precious care of your sister may soon restore you. You ought not lightly to expose yourself to cold. Your life is too precious. The cause of our country shall require your help and the prestige of your name”. Isaac Butt writing to Michael Davitt, 1876.


“I am writing this on board the hospital ship Guildford Castle with my left hand…I got shot in the right one by a bullet which went in at the back of the hand.’ James Grove, writing after the Battle of Gallipoli, 1915.


“I was employed for 3 months on the London Daily Express. When I say it’s owned by Pearson you’ll understand how glad I was to leave,” Patrick MacGill, poet (undated).


“ The winter has set in with all its horrors for the needy poor. May I claim a crumb from the table of the Board?” Man from Ballyshannon, seeking help from the Ballyshannon Board of Guardians, 1915.


‘We demand for the withdrawal of the military occupation which confronts our country and that a copy of this resolution be sent to foreign countries through the ministers of Dáil Éireann to compel England to withdraw her army of occupation and allow the elected parliament of the people of Ireland to function’, Resolution of the Glenties Board of Guardian during the War of Independence, June 1920.