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of 1938

Story (Famine)

The value of the Irish language in Ireland many years ago during the famine in Ireland. The English people offered soup and bread to the people of Clonmany on conditions that they would go two Sundays to the Protestant church. The poor people would not turn against their god and preferred to die of starvation rather that part with their faith handed down to them by St. Patrick. One poor woman with fourteen of a family that lived in Straid yielded and agreed to go to the Protestant Church. The second Sunday she went when service was over the minister called her up in front of the pulpit.

She went up and according to the rules of the protestant church it was necessary to cover her with a black cloak in order to make her a perfect Protestant. The woman refused to put on the cloak. The minister asked her why then did she come to church. She replied I only came until the new potatoes will come. The next Sunday the soldiers drove the people of Straid and Gaddyduff and the surrounding townlands into the Protestant Church by force. The minister approached them with a long dish having on it small pieces of common white bread which he called Holy Communion. One big fellow shouted in Irish dont take it from him. With that the big fellow caught a loaf of bread that was on the dish struck the minister on the head. An uproar got up. The Minister was tossed and the dish was trampled on. After a furious fight the poor fellows were driven back to their cells badly wounded. But it had the effect that the English soldiers never attempted to convert the people of Clonmany again by force. This story was told to my father by James Doherty Terhoran the latin teacher who died forty years ago.

Told by
Joe Doherty,
Cloughfin,
Clonmany,
Donegal

Mary Doherty, Terhoran


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