Heritage Hike to celebrate Water Heritage Day 2020
August 2020 – Local heritage expert, Dessie McCallion, will lead a heritage hike of the Meendoran and Lough Fad area above Clonmany village on Sunday 23rd August to celebrate Water Heritage Day.
Funded by the Local Authority Waters Programme, the hike will be an exploration of the peatlands area discussing many aspects of the area including the catchment of the Clonmany River, the area around Meendoran and the old viaduct, Lough Fad and the heritage treasures that can be found in the area. Dessie is a popular tour guide and has many years experience guiding locals and visitors alike around Inishowen and County Donegal.
The 3 hour hike begins at Meendoran Bridge and will take us across small country lanes and up a steep incline to get to the uplands. Strong footwear and weather appropriate clothing should be worn and please bring a pack lunch. Due to social distancing, numbers will be limited and participants are required to register in advance on Eventbrite (https://irt-heritagehike.eventbrite.ie) or by ringing 087 647 8183.
After the Event
23 August 2020 – Maybe it was appropriate that it was such a wet day last Sunday. Afterall it was Water Heritage Day! At 12 noon a hardy group of hikers started out on our 4 hour hike around Meendoran, Lough Fad, Lough Namin and the old railway viaduct. Despite the terrible weather it was great to listen to our guide Dessie McCallion recount the history of the area and the significance of the two loughs. The loughs are linked by a small stream that runs under the mountain road between Carndonagh and Drumfries. Lough Namin has two islands – one accessible by a causeway – and sits below the King and Queen of the Minitaghs. Lough Fad is the drinking water source for Clonmany and we could see the water treatment facility high on the hill to our left as we walked towards the lough. A special word of thanks to the landowner who gave us access to the viaduct that still stands intact above the Clonmany River. The 3 arch viaduct was built with the help of the skilled stone masons, the Bonners of Kincasslagh, and the line (Carndonagh extension) was opened in 1901 and closed in 1939. You can read more about the Lough Swilly Line in an article by Sean Beattie, featured in the book ‘Hotels, Holidaymakers and Heretics’ edited by Rosemarie Doherty (2012).
Many thanks to all our participants for coming along on the day, to our guide Dessie McCallion and to the Local Authority Waters Programme for funding. This event was dedicated to the Mullan family of Moville in remembrance of their tragic loss to Lough Foyle last week. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.