by Catherine Brooks


Donaghmore, from the Irish `Domhnach M�r,' means `The Big Church.' The Church of Donaghmore, now Church of Ireland, was, it seems, founded by St. Patrick and is of the greatest antiquity. The title `Donagh' or `Domhnach' was applied to all churches founded by the Saint.

Our Donaghmore was called "Donaghmore of Moy Cova" to distinguish it from other places with the same name. Moy Cova, the name of a district extending from Dromore in the north to Drumiller (Mount Mills) in the south, was much larger than Donaghmore Parish. In the third century, the place was known as `The Plain of Prince Eochaid Cova' - Moy Eochaidh Cova - and the tribe name for the people of the territory was Uibh (the descendants) Eochaidh, from which we get the modern Iveagh. The sixteenth in descent from Prince Eochaidh was Mac Aongus (Mag = son, aon = strength, gus = excellent), from which derives the name Magennis and, hence, the Magennises of Iveagh, who were chiefs of Moy Cova in the 12th. Century.


The splendid but weathered ring-headed cross of granite, south of the present Church of Ireland in Donaghmore churchyard, may not be sited in its original position. Fragments of what were presumably two separate crosses were re-erected in 1891, allegedly on top of a walled-up souterrain, and stand on a base of two steps on a plinth 95cm square. The shaft is 1.65m high, 49cm wide and 38cm thick and tapers only slightly. The east and west faces bear Figure sculpture, the north and south faces each have a single subject with panels of interlace ornament. The west face of the head is occupied by a crucifixion with a large centre Christ with attendants. The sides have figures of Adam and Eve, the Ark, Moses and David. It is among the earliest Christian monuments in Co. Down and has been included in the interesting, original Coat of Arms of Most Rev. Dr. Francis Gerard Brooks, retired Bishop of Dromore.


Donaghmore Church

Of all the churches of Donaghmore, the most interesting one historically is, without question, the Church of Ireland at Donaghmore. It is one of the oldest churches in Ireland, dating back to the time of St. Patrick. The present church is a newer structure but is built on almost the same hallowed spot as the old church.

Elaborately decorated with biblical images, Donaghmore Cross stands prominently in the cemetery of the
Church of Ireland Parish Church.

Donaghmore Church is beautifully situated. It surmounts a small hill or rath which nestles among the fertile hills and rolling plains of the area. No wonder the chieftain built himself a fort here! The fort formerly covered one and a half acres, it seems, and there are a number of forts in the surrounding countryside. St. Patrick may have evangelised the chief, his family and retainers who lived on the rath and then founded a church for them. Donaghmore had its religious community and tribal bishop, St. Mac Erc (son of the red-haired one). Monasteries and bishoprics were adapted to the civic, tribal conditions then prevailing in the country. St. Mac Erc appears to have been of the family of Milchu, with whom St: Patrick was in bondage in the valley of the Braid, near Slemish Mountain, Co. Antrim, some decades previously.

In the Ecclesiastical Taxation of 1306, the Church of Donaghmore was valued at 20 shillings and the name appears again and again in the Registers of various Archbishops of Armagh in the 14th. and 15th. centuries.

Although nothing very definite is known about the original church of Donaghmore, it is thought that it stood on the site of the large Celtic Cross which is in the middle of the present churchyard and that it was erected to the memory of St. Mac Erc over 1400 years ago. It followed the pattern of St. Patrick's churches, running from east to west (like the present one), and rectangular in shape. It was a wooden structure like all the other buildings on the fort. In all probability, it was built of oak wood and thatched with reeds - there was a supply of oak locally in Derrycraw and Corgary, while the reeds were plentiful in the surrounding bogs.

St. Mary's Church, Barr

This church was built in 1830, just after Catholic Emancipation (1829), during the pastorate of Fr. John Carter (1825-1843). It was dedicated by Dr. Blake on 21st. June 1835. St. Mary's, Barr was built beside the former church, which, we are told, was on the wooded north boundary of the present graveyard, about 15 yards from the road. There is a tradition that there was a Mass House here before that. Was this perchance the Mass House which official records say was built in these parts in 1701? There is no townland of Barr. The Irish word 'Barr' means `top' and expresses very well the location as Barr stands 385 feet above sea level and is exposed to the elements on all sides. The present site was donated, it would appear, by the landlord, Savage, who lived in Lurganare.

St. Mary's Church was notably repaired by Fr. Magennis P.P. in 1903, when the original parochial house was built. Before that time, the priests lived in Glenn. When in Barr, they had breakfast in the upper room of the old coach house, the pillars of which are still visible in the graveyard wall at the south end along the road. The coach house was finally demolished in 1959.

St. Mary's Church was again extensively renovated and the graveyard extended to the west in 1969, during the pastorate of Fr. John McCauley. Dr. Eugene O'Doherty, Bishop of Dromore, blessed the church. The panel then installed over the front door was executed by Mr. Ray Carroll of Dublin. The theme of the panel is taken substantially from the carvings of

the early Celtic Cross in Donaghmore churchyard. The panel briefly portrays the history of salvation, beginning with the entrance of sin in the Garden of Eden. The basic Christian rule, the Ten Commandments is represented by the Ark of the Covenant, which is being carried through the desert of Sinai on the forty-year journey to the Promised Land. David, the human ancestor of the Redeemer, is also represented with his somewhat triangular harp,. praising the God of Israel. A Cross, raised against a darkened sun, represents the fulfilment of the Promise and the redemption of mankind by the sacrifice of Calvary. There is a hill on either side of the panel. The hill near the Ark could be taken to represent Samaria and the other, Jerusalem. They recall Our Lord's words in John 4:22, that neither in Samaria nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father, for the Old Law is being replaced by the New, represented by the Cross on the hill of Calvary. Another more simple explanation of the panel is as follows: The theme is the Visitation - a very suitable theme for St. Mary's; Barr. Our Lady visits her cousin, Elizabeth. David, the human ancestor of the Redeemer, is portrayed in the background, symbolised by the harp, the crown, the sword and the Ark of the Covenant being carried into the Citadel of David (2 Sam.6). The hills on either side are added to fit in with hills surrounding Barr Chapel.

The oldest inscribed and legible cross in Barr churchyard is erected to the memory of John McEvoy, Drumiller, who died in 1820. A feature of the graveyard is the number of fine old slate memorial tablets, the work of John Connolly of Burren and a good example of local craftsmanship in the last century.

The beautiful stained-glass windows on either side of the altar were donated, as indicated on them. The elegant Sacred Heart candelabra is of ancient vintage

St. Mary's Church, Barr, stands 385 feet above sea level. It was extensively renovated in 1969 and refurbished, again, in 1995.

and was donated by a donor from Colorado Springs, U.S.A., in memory of his parents. The statues are French in origin and are now valuable. The wood-carved Stations of the Cross were executed by John Haugh of Newry and, after the 1969 repairs, replaced the coloured, glazed Stations in the Irish language which had been in use until then. In 1995, after a fire, the church was completely refurbished and nine new inscribed stained glass windows installed.

The Church of St. John The Evangelist, Glenn

Glenn is a shortened form of Gleannagan (little glen), which referred, it seems, to an area comprising nine or twelve townlands, extending from Poyntzpass to Mount Mills in Drumiller.

The present Glenn Church of St. John the Evangelist in Ballyblaugh was erected during the pastorate of Fr. John McDonnell (1851-1870). It was begun in 1863 and stands near the site of a former church. According to a document written by Fr. Martin Ryan PP., Donaghmore, dated 3rd. December 1847, the former Glenn Church took the place of a temporary fixture which stood in former times on rising ground adjacent to Dromantine House, which, in the language of the day, was called `bohug,' derived from the Irish `both�g'. For historical reasons, after 1760, generally speaking, hidden, secluded places for Mass were no longer strictly necessary. It was rather a matter of finding somewhere suitable to say a public Mass as churches were not available. The `bohug' must surely have been such a place. The ground for the first church in the Glenn was donated outright by Arthur Innes (1755-1820), or given by him in lieu of the bohug, probably around 1800. The site for the present building was given by Arthur Charles Innes, later, Innes Cross (1834-1902) shortly before 1863.

The old Parochial House in Glenn was begun in 1848, and finished in 1850. It was demolished in 1982. Its construction is documented by Fr. Ryan P.P, in the old parochial registers. Little remains of the old church, save a one-armed cross which surmounted it and which is now included in the new complex. The building known as `Glenn Loft' would seem to have used some of the window stones of the old church.

The Church of St. John the Evangelist, Glenn, was erected in 1863. To the right of the Church we see an old granite cross preserved from an earlier Catholic Church at Glenn.

Glenn Chapel is a neat, solid, stone-built, oblong building, measuring 86 feet by 36 feet. It is, perhaps, typical of many of the churches around Catholic Emancipation time. The clean lines of the woodwork ceiling and supporting beams are very beautiful and the tall Gothic windows with diamond panes, give a pleasing cloistered effect. Glenn was renovated in 1982 by Fr. Frank Treanor and as many as possible of the old furnishings were incorporated into the new design. The large stained-glass window behind the altar was presented in memory of James McCartan (of `the Fourmile') by his family. The window depicts St. John the Evangelist holding a chalice with a snake coming out of the chalice. The symbol refers to the legend that St. John was at one time offered a poisoned chalice in an attempt to take his life. The symbolic representation consists normally of a gold chalice and a silver serpent on a blue field. On Sunday, 6th. February 1983, the Church of St. John the Evangelist was re-opened and solemnly blessed after extensive internal and external renovations had been completed. These included a re-designed sanctuary with a new altar, lectern, tabernacle and celebrant's chair, new sacristies, toilets and a large meeting room. Some historical items from the parish have been included in the external renovations: the Mass stone in the forecourt wall, the Mass Rock at the side of the meeting room and the granite cross (with one arm missing), from the former church. The ceremony of dedication was performed by Most Rev. Dr. Francis Gerard Brooks, Bishop of Dromore. Further renovations were undertaken in 1995 when fifteen new leaded windows, with inscribed stained glass insets, were installed.


Dromantine House and estate passed into the hands of the Society of African Missions in April 1926 serving as a training centre for students for the priesthood for the African Mission. In the early 1970s, in accordance with the ideas prevailing on seminary training, the students were transferred to a purpose-built seminary on the Maynooth College campus. From the opening of the seminary until its transfer, 587 Dromantine priests were ordained for the Society by Dr. Mulhern and Dr. Eugene O'Doherty. Since 1972, as well as housing the S.M.A. community, Dromantine College has also been a house of mission promotion and animation and a retreat and conference centre. Major renovations have taken place and the fine building has been restored to its original splendour. The influence of Dromantine world-wide is our parish example of the growth of Christianity.

The College Chapel is of simple, even austere, exterior. Inside, there are gracefully-curved Romanesque arches everywhere and an artistic, life-sized carving of the Saviour. The high altar is of polished, black, Wicklow granite. The seating is oak. The upper windows, which present fifteen of the mysteries of the Rosary, are unique in that the figures and scenes were sand-blasted on to the glass of these large single-paned windows. The Stations of the Cross are carved of Austrian wood and are quite valuable. The chapel is dedicated to St. Patrick and St. Th�r�se of Lisieux and was consecrated by the Bishop of Dromore on the 18th. May 1937.


St. Mc. Erc: Son of the Red-haired Fellow, son of Bronach, the daughter of Milchu, the master to whom St. Patrick was sold in bondage, was the first Christian missionary in Donaghmore. He must have worked here in the second half of the fifth century and, presumably, founded a church at the request of St. Patrick. Reeves, in his `Ecclesiastical Antiquities' says that the feast of St. Erc was formerly observed on the sixth of July.

There is, unfortunately, a break of some 900 years in the line of succession here.

Sir John McCrela (Sir was an ancient equivalent of Reverend), was appointed in 1408.

Rev. Gelacius O'Mackrell became rector in 1440.

Rev. John O'Mackrell was rector in 1487.

Rev. Donald O'Mackrell was vicar of Donaghmore and died in 1534.

Rev. Peter O'Mackrell succeeded Rev. Donald O'Mackrell.

In pre-Reformation times, the O'Mackrell, McCrelas, McGreals, Mackrells etc. were Herenachs which seems to stand for land-steward, sacristan etc. Often, some members of the Herenach's family took Holy Orders and, in the case of the O'Mackrell family, succeeded to the parish of Donaghmore for many years. There follows a substantial break which would correspond roughly to the worst of the penal times when records became very sketchy or nonexistent.

Rev. John Temsy is mentioned in the will of Arthur (Galta) Magennis, Viscount of Iveagh, who lived in Corgary (Donaghmore). He is mentioned as Parish Priest, presumably of Donaghmore. On the other hand, he may have been Parish Priest in Dublin, where Arthur Galta died on 30th. April 1683.

Rev. Iaver Magennis is also named in this will as chaplain to Arthur Magennis.

Rev. Cormac O'Hare, a native of the parish and ordained by St. Oliver Plunkett in 1672, was registered in Downpatrick as a "Pretended Popish Priest" on I l th. July 1704. He was then aged 55 years and resided with his relatives.

R.ev. James McDonnell was similarly registered in 1704 as Parish Priest of Aghaderg and part of Donaghrnore. He was 36 years of age and lived in the townland of "Dromanteam."

According to a report submitted to the House of Lords around this time, there were three priests residing in Donaghmore in 173 I. One of these was, in all probability, the Parish Priest of Aghaderg and Donaghmore. This report also states that there was a Mass House built in the parish around 1701.

Rev. .John Malone, of Malonestown, Ballymacarattymore, was Parish Priest of Aghaderg until he died in 1814.

Rev. James McKay, Parish Priest of Donaghmore, died in 1765. He resided in Ballyblaugh. The name of Fr. McKay's successor is not known but a report to the House of Lords, dated 22nd. March 1766, states that there was a "Popish Priest" residing in Donaghmore at the time.

Rev. John O'Hagan of Clonduff became Parish Priest in 1793 and died in 1810. He was educated in France, had to flee during the French Revolution and was ordained by Dr. Lennon, Bishop of Dromore.

Rev. Patrick Cosgrove, a Newry man, was ordained by Dr. Derry, Bishop of Dromore, in the Old Chapel, Newry and appointed Parish Priest of Donaghmore in 1810. He died of typhus fever on 3rd. October 1817.

Rev. Peter McCarthy, said to be a native of the parish, succeeded Fr. Cosgrove. He died in 1825.

Rev. John Carter, a native of Newry, came next, in 1825. He, too, was ordained by Dr. Derry. He built the church in Barr. He died in 1843 and is interred "in the graveyard annexed to the Barr Chapel". Some say that his grave is under the present pathway, to the right of the church.

Rev. Martin Ryan was raised from C.C. to Parish Priest in Donaghmore in 1843. His records of the pastoral and administrative life of Donaghmore are very detailed, beautifully written and preserved, and make most interesting reading. Fr. Ryan built the Parochial House in Glenn and returned to his native Limerick in 1851, where he died as Parish Priest of Athea in 1888.

Rev. John McDonnell was appointed Parish Priest in 185 I . He died on 21st. April 1870 and was interred in Glenn Church, which he began building in 1863. He was known to be a great advocate of total abstinence from alcoholic drink. No evidence of the actual grave was recorded during the 1982 renovations.

Rev. Felix McLoughlin of Clonduff came as Parish Priest in December 1870. The eight-month delay in his appointment was due to the absence of Dr. Leahy, who was in Rome for the First Vatican Council. Fr. McLoughlin died on 29th. January 1901. He, too, is buried in Glenn Chapel, in a grave with arched cover, built by John O'Hare, stone mason, Tullymore, which is directly beneath the first window outside the altar rails on the B.V.M. side.

Rev. Felix Magennis became Parish Priest in December 1901. The long vacancy in this case was caused by the death of Dr. McGivern. In the meantime, Rev. William Maginn of Clonduff was Administrator. Fr. Magennis began the constructing the Parochial House in Barr in 1901 and was transferred as Administrator to Warrenpoint in 1907.

Parishioners gathered in Glenn Chapel. Sanctuary renovations undertaken in 1982 can be seen here.

Rev. Patrick McConville became Parish Priest of Donaghmore on 16th. February 1907. Still affectionately remembered as Fr. Pat, he was born in Drumgath parish, educated in the Propaganda College, Rome and ordained in the Lateran Basilica. He was made Canon in 1925 and died on 23rd. December 1932 and is interred in Barr.

Rev. Henry McGivern succeeded Canon McConville in 1933. A native of Annaclone and a nephew of Dr. McGivern, Bishop of Dromore, (18901900), he was educated and ordained in Rome. He was an army chaplain in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War. He was made Canon in 1939 and resigned in 1952. He died in 1954 and is interred in Barr.

Rev. Thomas Carvill was appointed Parish Priest on 11th. November 1952. A native of Clonallon, he studied at Maynooth and the National University of Ireland. He became a Canon in 1960. A dedicated pastor, his main hobbies were the native language, electronics and a study of the writings of Cardinal Newman. He died on 29th. March 1967 and was buried in Barr.

Rev. John McCauley, a native of Ballynahinch, was Parish Priest from 2nd. May 1967 until his retirement on 31st. December 1979. He had a distinguished career at the Irish College in Rome and was ordained by Dr. Pasetto, Archbishop of Iconium in the Chapel of the Leonine College in 1938. He was appointed to Donaghmore in May 1967. During his pastorate, he renovated Barr Chapel and his plans for a major overhaul at Glenn - which is now completed - were well advanced. His main hobby has an apostolic flavour: like the Apostles, he is a dedicated fisherman!

Rev. Francis Treanor, a native of Clonallon Parish, was appointed on 16th. January 1980. During his pastorate, Glenn Chapel was extensively renovated and the new parochial house built. He retired in August 1994.

Rev. Jarlath Cushenan, a native of Newry, was appointed Parish Priest in August 1994. He had previously been Dean in St. Colman's College, Newry for ten years and was, later, attached to Seapatrick and St. Peter's, Clonallon. He resides in the new Parochial House at Ban-, built on the site of the old house, which was demolished.


John McHugh, 1835.
Francis J. Blake, 1849 - 1850.
John McDonnell, 1850 - 1851.
Michael McConville, 1872 - 1874.
Stephen McAnulty, 1874 - 1879.
Abraham McNamara, 1886 - 1894.
Thomas McGrath, . 1894 - 1895
William MacGinn, . 1899 - 1901
Edward McConville, . 1910 - 1913
Patrick Keenan, 1913 - 1916.
Patrick J. Markey, . 1923
James J. Lennon, 1923 - 1931.
Aloysius J. Sweeney, 1931 - 1934.
Hugh Fegan, 1934 - 1938.
Edward McRory, 1938 - 1946.
Charles O'Hagan, 1946.
James Bernard McCartan, . 1946 - 1952
S�amus Reid, . 1962 - 1966
Patrick J. McAnuff, . 1950 - 1956
John Murtagh, 1956 - 1958.
James Magee, 1958 - 1959.
Anthony Davies, . 1959
Arthur McNeill, 1959 - 1962.
Gerard McCrory, 1966 -. 1967.
Charles Byrne, . 1980


Within the grounds of Glenn Chapel this large 'Mass Stone' has a place of honour. It came from the townland of Derrycraw

1. Kilracan Fort is one such centre. Fr. Ryan P.P., Donaghmore, on 3rd. December 1847, pointed out that the site of the first Glenn Chapel was given by the Innes family, either as "an equivalent for the temporary fixture which stood in former times on rising ground adjacent to Dromantine House, which in the language of the day is called a bohug and wherein our ancestors adored the God of their forefathers, or, as a free gift and made without any regard to the erection alluded to." Kilracan Fort is said to have been on what is now called `the horseshoe field,' so named on account of its shape. We think Kilracan was the site of the `bohug' or Mass shed to which Fr. Ryan referred.

2. By the kind permission of the owners, a very large Mass Stone, weighing about three tons has been taken from O'Hare's Glen. It has an honoured place in the Glenn Church grounds. There are no markings on it as, according to tradition, it dates back to the early Penal days when there could be no indication on the stone concerning its use.

3. According to the late great-grandfather of the present Kennedy Family, Mass was said on Harpur's Hill in Dromantine demesne, opposite what is now called Rice's Lane. In 1974, during repairs to the bridge on Rice's Lane, a largish flat stone of slightly brownish texture, weighing about 1cwt. was found in the bridge. (A similar quality of stone is found in the quarry on the Glen river). It had a crudely-cut cross or crosslet, about ten inches by ten inches, sculpted on it. The sculpted cross would indicate its use as a Mass Stone in later Penal times, probably after 1760. It is proposed that this is, in fact, the Mass Stone used on Harpur's Hill. It was, seemingly, at some stage built into the bridge for safe keeping. For safer keeping, it was removed to the home of J.P. Morgan and decoratively built into a wall there. It is now in the Forecourt of Glenn Chapel.

4. It is said there were around Barr, at different times, two Mass Rocks and one Mass House. One Mass Rock was in Carrickrovaddy. It was at a spot well hidden from the Red Road and convenient to a number of 'pads' which converged there. The other Mass Rock was nearby, according to tradition. Here there was an outcrop of rock, split by a stream running through it. There is now no trace of the rocks, unfortunately. It is said that it was here, too, that the first Catholic school after Penal times was located and that people following the `pad' could walk from Glenn and beyond to this school in Barr without climbing a steep hill. It would seem that, at some time, a Mass House was built on wooded Barr Hill, perhaps in the present cemetery. The present Church of St. Mary's, Barr was built on approximately the same site in 1830.

5. Some people are quite definite that Mass was said, at one period of the Penal times, on Cooley's Fort. This is a view favoured by Dr. A. Glynn S.M.A. in Dronantine in Days Gone By.


The Dane's Cast

The Dane's Cast is a notable physical feature of the parish of Donaghmore. Why it is called the Dane's Cast is difficult to understand as the Danes seem to have nothing to do with it. The three brothers called the `Three Collas' came north as mercenaries of the High King of Tara in 332 A.D. and, in a seven-day battle which was so great that the corpses lay scattered from Drumiller to the Clanrye, defeated Fergus, King of Ulster, and went on to take Armagh. Lurganare (`the ridge of slaughter'), would seem to have got its name from this battle. The remnant of Ulstermen withdrew to Down and Antrim (Ulidia) and, to defend themselves, built a ditch and bank stretching from the Clanrye almost to Lough Neagh. Lough Neagh and the Bann river helped in their defence the rest of the way. This bank and ditch is commonly called the Dane's Cast. In the parish of Donaghmore, parts of it can be seen at the Barracks in Knockanarney and also in Dromantine townland, not far from Dromantine back gates. A research team from the Ministry of Finance, Belfast, worked on the latter site a few years ago. There are other theories about the origin of the Dane's Cast but the above is the likely one. The Irish name of the Dane's Cast seems to have been Gleann na Muice Duibhe, i.e. `the Glen of the Black Pig.'


Barr School

There was, we are told, a Hedge School at one time in Barr, in the Boot Field, now owned by Peter Smyth in the townland of Knockanarney.

Barr National School

There was a school at Barr in 1820 with 80 pupils, fees 1 l/4d. per week, the teacher being Jane Madool. The present Barr School was founded and the building erected in 1839. There was probably a school held at Rafferty's dwelling which was just opposite Carraigroe on the Red Road. In 1839, another school with a teacher's residence was built on Barr Hill. When the present new school was built in Lurganare in 1962, the old school was sold. Miss Fegan taught in Barr School for many years. A principal of this school, Mr. L.Trodden, was prime mover in starting the Glenn G.A.C. (November 1931). Mr. Donaghy was the first principal in the new Barr School (St. Mary's), at the Carney Corner.

Derrycraw National School - Glenn School

The Derrycraw School House was erected about 1818 by the Corrys, who owned the adjoining property. The first teacher was D. O'Gorman, whose salary amounted to �8 per annum plus the fees of the pupils, i.e. two pence per week each! In 1820, he had 21 Roman Catholics, 6 Established Church children and 3 Presbyterians as pupils. The school was connected with the National Board in 1848, as a male and female school. Amalgamation occurred in 1889.

The following is the succession of teachers as far as can be known from existing records:

Girls' School Mrs. Isabella Rooney, (1848-1869 and 1879-1888), Patrick Murray, (1869-1878), Daniel Byrne, (portion of 1889), James Byrne, (portion of 1889-1900). Amalgamated School: Patrick McGennis (1891-1918) and Mrs. Ellen McGennis (1900-1918). Later teachers (appointed January 1, 1918) were Owen Finegan (Principal) and Miss McNulty - later, Mrs. Finegan - as assistant.

The present Glenn School, St. John's, Aughintobber, was opened on 1st. January 1955.

Corgary - Dromantine School

There was formerly a good school in Corgary townland known as Dromantine School. The schoolhouse, a fine, imposing building in spacious grounds, was erected in 1847 at a cost of � 1,500 and was, most likely, built and financed by the limes Family of Dromantine House. It was opened as a National School in 1848. There were girls' and boys' schools. The first teachers were Mrs. Cuthbert and her husband, who were succeeded by Mrs. Francis and her husband. Dromantine School in Corgary is still in existence although it has long since been unused for educational purposes.


Baptisms date from 1835.
Marriages date from 1828.
Deaths date from 1839 (with lacunae)

The Parish Registers are kept at the Parochial House, Barr. Duplicate copies are filed in the Bishop's Archives at Newry.


The population of Donaghmore Parish is about 1,000 and is expanding with many new houses in the area. The parish enjoys the existence and support of groups and societies in many different fields such as the Legion of Mary, St. Joseph's Young Priests Society, Lourdes Committee and Apostolic Workers. Eucharistic Ministers, Readers, Choirs, Mass Servers, Collectors and an Altar Society exist in each of the churches.

Parishioners sit as governors for each school. The G.A.A. has a flourishing programme in the Glenn Complex for parents and toddlers, football for six teams from the under-10s to seniors, bowls, the B&G Women's Group, badminton, Irish dancing, ballroom dancing, crafts, a girls' club and a boys' club. A separate pre-school Play Group also operates with voluntary help.

Senior Citizens are catered for by the Legion of Mary Dawn Friendship Club which meets each month in Glenn Church meeting room. The busy Comhaltas Gleann Branch consists of about forty musicians with a total of about seventy singers and dancers from 4/5 year olds to adults. Set dancing is an innovation. Parishioners are very supportive of the S.M.A. Fathers in Dromantine, who are very much part of the parish.

The parish is blessed by good relations with neighbouring parishes and cross-community groups. In recent times, the Donaghmore Heritage and Preservation Society arranged a reception for fifty Americans who are descended from the area and invited our parish to help and take part in the festivities which where held in Saval - our neighbouring parish.

Primary Education in Donaghmore continues to be delivered at two locations. St. John's Primary School, Glenn (above) was built in 1954. St. Mary's Primary School, Barr, (below), followed in 1962.

The old and the new blend at Dromantine. This former House of Missionary Formation is maintained by the SMA Fathers as a Retreat and Conference Centre.