Big thank you from

The mystery at Darganstown

By The Rambler Ulster Star 10/06/2005

James Dargan - Brother Alban Mary JAMES Dargan was born in Moira, Co Down in 1833, the son of William John Dargan and Margaret (nee Magee). He joined the Marist Brothers, a French teaching order, making his noviciate in Beauchamps in 1860 and was sent at once to London, where he taught for three years before going to Glasgow. This was followed by eight years in Sligo before returning to Glasgow. In 1877 he went to the recently opened house in Jarrow on Tyneside, as 'house headmaster of the school. Six years later he returned to London until 1881 when he returned to Dumfries where he died on 29th July, 1893.

AS my pen name implies I have no agenda.

As well, I am inclined to write mostly about local people and places.

But the speed at which the revolution in communications has moved has launched me on the sea of instant world wide readership.

Our fan, Paul McParlin, in Newcastleupon-Thames, whose letter I referred to some weeks ago, is still on the ball, very much so.

At this request I pin pointed Darganstown House 'DH' Moira on an ad hoc ordnance map which he produced for the purpose.

Since a small holding which has been in the ownership of my family for generations adjoins DH I had no problem save that the map of the site as it is today shows only the truncated remnant of the loan (lane) which led to the ruins which father always identified as Henry Dargan's old house.

Our friend Paul has, by research, discovered that a notable ancestor of his take in enclosures was indeed born at Moira and that he, Paul, hopes to bring his family on a visit to the ancestral pile fairly soon.

IT is a prestigious dwelling on the roadside bearing a suitable name plate and now the property of leading medical consultant.

Darganstown is not a town land. The name probably pre-dates the allocation of town land names when 'clachans', ie. groups of farmhouses, were identified by the names of the principal occupiers.

There are X towns and Y towns and Z towns all over Ulster, relies of bygone years when swains had no wheeled vehicles they tend to go no further than the farm next door for a wife. It happened in my family in the Aghalee./Aghagallon corner of what was Lisburn rural district where no fewer than four families all inter married have owned adjoining holdings for more than a century. But how does one put all this across to Paul who is unfamiliar with Ulster folk life!

If the DOE had left Darganstown Road its traditional name and not changed it to Kilmore Road, lift would have been easier. Locals may remember the ugly rocky outcrop on the bend at Darganstown earning it the name of 'the rocks.'

Before motor traffic increased in volume and speed the rocks were picturesque but eventually mv brother who lived opposite had to help pick up the wreck of a smashed car in his garden every few weeks and the roads authority was forced to blast the impediment. Good riddance!

Incidentally the town land is Kilinioge, named after the first Christian church in Magheralin parish.

PS. For the benefit of Dargans past or present, or still to come, the house that my father showed me as Henry Dargans house was located behind the haggardy 'DH', farmhouse up a short loanen. The large mansion now labelled Darganstown House was occupied latterly by a family named Kerr, a group of elderly sisters.

Ulster Star