Charlestown Historical Society Makes Donation to Save Castle

January 17, 2013
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Mr. Tom Coots, President of the Charlestown Historical Society announced that the Society has made a donation of $1,000.00 to the Carrickabraghy Restoration Society which is attempting to save Carrickabraghy Castle from tumbling into the Atlantic Ocean.   Carrickabraghy Castle is located on the Isle of Doagh on County Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula and is the ancient home of the O’Doherty family and was built more than 500 years ago by the O’Dochartaigh Chieftains of Inishowen.  Urgent work is needed to prevent the collapse of the remaining structure.  Once the restoration is completed, the Castle will be utilized as an educational and tourism facility.

Mr. Coots indicated that the CHS had been contacted by Mr. Marius Harkin, Chairman of the Carrickabraghy Restoration Committee asking for assistance in publicizing the attempt to save the Castle.    In 2006, when the CHS was attempting to raise the necessary funds to produce the documentary film, “The Green Square Mile” Mr. Harkin convinced the County Donegal County Council to make a substantial financial contribution to the film’s production.  In 2009, Mr. Harkin travelled to Charlestown to issue remarks in the Gaelic language at the unveiling of the “Children of the Famine Memorial” at the St. Francis de Sales Cemetery.

Ed Callahan, Chairman of the CHS’s Irish Committee stated “The surname Doherty has been one of the more common surnames in our community for the past 120 years.   The Doherty clan has been at the vanguard of emigration from Inishowen to Charlestown for generations commencing in the 1880’s and have contribute enormously to every aspect of Charlestown life.  We are extremely happy to make a contribution to assist in the preservation of this historic Irish property. “

Callahan further stated, “We are making this donation in memory of Ms. Bridget Doherty who was born in 1906, in the Townland of Magheranaul, which is located on the Isle of Doagh and in the shadow of Carrickabraghy  Castle.   Bridget immigrated to Charlestown in 1928 and settled in with her sister Elizabeth and her Gill cousins on Lexington St.   On November 6, 1929, Bridget was crossing Bunker Hill St. attempting to board an oncoming trolley and was struck by a stolen vehicle travelling at more than 70 miles per hour and killed instantly.  The stolen vehicle was driven by four teenagers who were members of the “Charlestown Loopers”.    We hope that others with ancestral roots in Ireland and in particular with roots on the Inishowen Peninsula will consider making a contribution to the Carrickabraghy Castle Restoration Project in Bridget’s memory. “   For more information, you can contact Ed Callahan at ecall73342@msn.com.