History of Dunlewey

Gleann Nimhe  ......  Poison Glen
Poison Glen

Legend has it that Lugh, the Celtic Sun God, killed his grandfather, Balar, in this Glen. He pierced Balar’s evil and poisonous eye with his magical spear, an chlaidheamh solais  ( sword of light).

The poison from the evil eye splashed onto the hills  its red stain embedded for eternity deep in the granite. Clearly visible in nearby hill, Creag na Feola ( Flesh Rock). While the poison in the river ran deepening the lake and forming a route to the sea.

* Dún Lughaidh  (Lugh’s Fort) as gaeilge reflects the sound of Dunlewey which is the anglicised version of the place name.

* A arched bridge across the river c.200M is worth a look. About 600M brings you to the erratic rock that split as Balar’s blood poured from the wound.

* The glen was also the walking route to  hiring fairs and for emigrants as it provide a short cut to Letterkenny.
* Deep into the glen remains of huts which served as shelter for those who cared for the cattle during summer season. This custom of booleying gradually came to an end early 1900’s.

Srath na Cille  .........  Field of Cells
Standing Stones Dunlewey Near
Archaeologists recorded 5 circles with a 15ft diameter each. The beehive monastery remants date from probably about 7th century. Little accurate records lead to speculation that a connection may exist to Colmcille and Gartan ( about 2hours walk through Gleann Nimhe).

The standing stones may record a burial site. The etching on the larger stone is now fading. A clearer version of the etching is now found on the place name stones as you approach Dún Lúiche.

Some believe the etching represents a cross and mark a burial site. Others speculate that the etching is of a ley-line. ( straight lines joining two landmarks, of pre-historic origin).

The christian occupation of pagan and druidic sacred sites may give credence to both theories.
The lost Magical Garden of Lugh perhaps became the site for monks seeking peace and solitude near a stream for food and water.

Teach a'Dúín  ......  Dunlewey House

Dunlewey House
Built almost 200 years ago by Mr Dombrain who was attracted by scenery, fishing and hunting. He worked with Coastguard and Lighthouse services.

Through the following years others occupied the house. Including James Russell and family, his wife paid for the building of the Church in his memory. Another resident Mr Ross who owned mills in Belfast provided funds for building of the local chapel.

Mrs Crankshaw from Cork, now buried at chapel, is still remembered by some of our senior citizens. Her final husband who was laid to rest in the church graveyard.

A relation of Glenveagh McElhinney was resident for a very brief period followed by Major Cooper. He extended the planting of trees with much of the present day coniferous forests. 

At presents the  estate in owned by Guinness family who enable use of house for  visit and coffee morning during Féile an Earagail.

A visit to the area use for car-park will reveal the buildings formerly used for stables, byres, the sheep yard and laundry house. The bells tolled to announce the regular meal-time to those working or wandering in the woods.

 ..... Church of the Sacred Heart
Church Sacred Heart Dunlewey

An tSean Eaglais   .........   The Old Church

Old Church Dunlewey