Parish Priests

The following priests served in the parish of Clonmany and during penal times most of these were O'Morrison.

The calendar of State Papers 1601 gives "Amerson O'Muireasan" as Vicar of Clonmany.

1609 Cornelius O'Miureasain is given as Vicar of Clonmany and Rector of Desertehney.

1630 Eoghain O'Muireasain is given as Rector of Clonmany.

1682 despite the penal laws, the church in Inishowen has a semblance of organisation, for in that year John Humble, Protestant Minister of Donagh writing to Ezechiel Hopkins Bishop of Derry says "They (the priests of Inishowen) held a formal visitation and paid their accustomed dues to one Manus O'Merisan as their superior and Vicar General". He goes on to say that there are many friars serving in the peninsula and mentions Fr. McColgan, Fr. Hegarty and two Fr. O'Dohertys (Brian Bonnar, Derry, an outline history of the diocese pg. 172, 173.)

The church as an institution was still trying to survive and the faith was kept alive with the help of wandering friars for a further hundred years and the first official appointment was Fr. Corr in 1790.

Parish Priests. The following is a list of priests who served the parish since that time as given in "The clergy of the Diocese of Derry, an Index" by Edward Daly and Kieran Devlin:-

1794 - 1829 Charles O'Sheil. He built St. Mary's Church, lived in Tirmaine and died 14th Oct. 1829. Buried in Clonmany.

1829 - 1856 William O'Donnell. (The Waterloo Priest) lived and died in Crossconnell 10th Feb. 1856. Buried in Cockhill.

1856 - 1858 John O'Doherty. Born in MaIm. his father built for him the present parochial house in Cleagh. He died 26th July 1858. Buried within St. Mary's Church.

1858 - 1873 John McLaughlin. Died 28th April 1873. Buried in Clonmany.

1873 - 1900 William O'Doherty. Died 28th April 1900. Buried in Clonmany.

1900 - 1933 James McGuire. The Royal Commission on Congestion in Inishowen established in 1906 visited Buncrana where Fr. McGuire went to represent the Bishop of Derry, Dr. J.K. O'Doherty and according to Sean Beattie in 'Derriana" 1980, he gave a resumé of the boards' activities in his parish. Among the things he mentioned were - drainage at Ballyliffin, roadworks at Crossconnell, loans for boats and the provision of slipways. Fr. McGuire went on to say that only 14 smallholders in his parish had become owners of their farms under the terms of the Ashbourne Land Act and the Wyndharn Land Act. He criticised the board and the newly established Department of Agriculture for their neglect of home spinning and weaving in the parish. Fr. James McGuire was unique in that he came to Clonmany from his native Knocknoyle as a newly ordained priest, in l878 served 22 years as curate and 33 years as parish priest, 55 years in all. He is said to have described poteen making as "a nice little industry" and was known as the "Law of Clonmany".

1934 - 1947 Joseph Devine. Died 24th Dec.1947. Buried in Strabane.

1947 - 1957 William Devine. Known as "The major". having served with that rank in the British Armv. He died 16th Oct. 1959. Buried in Clonmany.

1957 - 1976 Michael Douglas. Died 16th Dec.1976. Buried in Clonmany.

1977 - 1978 Brendan Chapman. Died 15th Dec. 1983. Buried in Clonmany.

1978 - 1988 Hugh Gallagher. Died 9th June 1990. Buried in Urris.

1988 - 1996 Joseph Morris. Moved to P.P. in Culdaff.

1996 - Jack Farrell.

  St.Mary's Church Refurbishment

  Bishop's Introduction
  Acknowledgement and Thanks - Priests of Clonmany
  Clonmany (History of the Church)
  Architect's Account
  Refurbishment Team
  Parish Priests

  "St.Patrick" Stained Glass Window
  "Ave Maria" Stained Glass Window

Comments, problems, feedback? Send email to:

Copyright © Inishsoft Limited. All Rights Reserved.