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The outlines of the Parish, therefore, are of a kind that make intercourse with outsiders difficult and consequently throw the inhabitants to quite an extent upon their own resources, giving them special facilities to conserve the old traditions and manners.

The strands around the Parish - Leenan, Tullagh, Binion and Poland - are among the longest and finest in Ireland and are much frequented by bathers in the Summer; and Poland, in addition, enjoys the distinction of having one of the best race-courses in Ulster, National events many times having been held there. Easterly from Poland and almost entirely surrounded by the Bay of Strabaga, lies the Isle of Doagh, in which is located the Castle of Carrickabraghey, one of the show-places of the North and mentioned in Irish history in connection with important happenings. Tullagh Black Rocks and the frowning hills of Clonmany are not the least of Inishowen's natural wonders. Many of the minerals are known to exist beneath the surface of the Parish, and gold was recently discovered in the neighboring Parish of Carn. In the Urris section of Clonmany there was one time a flourishing salt industry.

The area of the Parish is 24,000 acres and the population about 4000. The climate is salubrious and longevity is the rule, many living to a very advanced age.

The number of ancient monuments within its extent furnish evidence that Clonmany was inhabited from a very early date, and these monuments exhibit marks of considerable civilization in their construction and dimensions. This year, 1911, there was found in the townland of Mindoran two urns that must go back to pre-Christian times. They show considerable artistic skill in their formation and were found beneath the surface of a tilled field in two carefully constructed spaces, each covered with a smooth flag. As far as could be observed there were no characters sunk on the stone covers.

According to Archdall, a very flourishing monastery existed in Clonmany, named Bath-Chonais, that is, the house of Chonais, probably established by the latter. This Chonais was the husband of Daverca, sister of St. Patrick, and the father of two distinguished Bishops of the early Irish Church. O'Donovan fixes the site of this monastery at Binion, marked by an old grave-yard and situated on a narrow inlet of Tullagh Bay on a spot a sea king of old might fitly choose as the location of his stronghold.

The Patron Saint of Clonmany, St. Maelisa O'Brolchaine ( Bradley) belonged to this monastic house. He died in 1086 at a very ripe age, for it is said of him that he had no sickness but gave back his soul to God. He is called by the Four Masters "The Learned Senior of Ireland, a Paragon of Wisdom and Piety in both Languages." Colgan speaks of him as a very learned man, the author of many books replete with genius and piety, which were preserved in the neighborhood of Bath-Chonais in Colgan's time, but are now lost.

Colgan himself, a very distinguished Franciscan monk and writer of a work of great merit, "The Lives of the Irish Saints," was a native of Cregamullen on the outskirts of Clonmany near Donagh, which is also the undisputed birthplace of an eminent Bishop of Derry, Most Rev. Dr. Colgan.


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