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 Clonmany Parish 1840's


Extract from the Clonmany Festival 25th Anniversary Souvenir Booklet 1992

Clonmany has 1166 families. 770 of those families or 3,920 people are O'Doherty. About 40 are emigrating to America from the parish, some occasionally go to the looms. There are upwards of 100 looms for linen blankets, flannel and druggets. Hand spinning is general in cottages.

  1lb of flax is spun into 4 hanks of yarn and sells for 15d a spangle, not much flax grows. Woollen cloth sells for 4s a yard, of very good quality.

  Blankets 16s. a pair

  Druggets are used for petticoats and waistcoats, red and blue narrow stripes for 1s a Yard. There aren't 10 women in the parish who do not wear this article and waistcoats are very common among the men.


  Fairs at Ballyliffin four times a year principally for amusement. First on St. Patrick's Day, second Midsummer, third Lammas (12th August) and last on 1st November. Markets at Derry, Carn and Buncrana are outlets.

  Flax is sown at the rate of 32 gallons an acre, produce will sell for 2 guineas on the ground.

  A cart can be hired for 2/6 a day.

  Rabbit skins are procured at Leenan - sell for 2/= a dozen.

  24 st. of potatoes sell for 2/6, and 5/= a sack.

  Oats sell for 7d. a stone.

  Barley sells for 8d. a stone.


  Farm servants receive 3 guineas for six months.

  Women servants receive half that, plus board and lodging.


  A pony sells for 12, mountain sheep 16s.

  Well bred cattle 4 a head, pigs 12/=.

  Seaweed for manure sells for 2-4s. a cartload.


  55 men are employed fishing when there is nothing else to do.

  8 boats between Urris and Dunaff. Each boat has 6 - 7 herringnets, and 3 fathoms or 160 meshes deep.

  3 boats between Dunaff and Binion.

  Binion to Carraigabraghey 3 boats, no nets.

  Isle of Doagh has 12 boats, used for carrying turf from Malin, seldom used for fishing.

  Clonmany boats have five hands.

  Seasons for catching fish:-

Cod: from October;
Haddock: October - March;
Salmon: April - Sept.;
White 'Irout: May - July;
Seals seldom taken come August - September;
Porpoises are there all year but not taken.

  Salted Herring sell for 30s. a barrel.

  Salted Ling and Cod are sold at Buncrana for 6d. a piece.

  Seals, up to 20-30 at Glashedy are sometimes taken for oil and skin (later dressed In Derry) for 2, not followed much.

What changes will another 150 years bring?

Mary McGeoghegan.



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