My much appreciated neighbour just brought me some pages from last weeks Inish Times, a local newspaper. In the short breaks section they kindly added Inishowen to it under the heading: ‘A heavenly haven’. From it the following quote:
“The name Inishowen comes from the Irish meaning Island of Eoghain. Eoghain was the son of Niall Mor Naoighiallach or Niall of the Nine Hostages, one of the High Kings of Ireland. King Niall was based at the enigmatic site of the Grianán Aileach, a fort or temple that was built to honour the pre-Celt god, Dagda. This fort, which is located at one of the most southerly points of the peninsula, was erected around 1700 BC and is believed to be the oldest monument in Ireland with only the famous fort of Newgrange in Co Meath contesting this fact. …
One of the best vantage points to take in the breath-taking beauty of Inishowen is to be found at the castle, An Grianán Aileach. The castle was one of the famed Clan O’Dochertaigh’s strongholds and is one of the best known castles, which can be easily observed from the Derry to Letterkenny road. You can get quite close to this ancient fortress by taking a side-road off the main road, however, the actual castle lies on private ground.”
Under such impertinent circumstances, for I haven not come across so many blundering mistakes in so few lines, I may be forgiven for feeling utterly disposed of all my senses. Not only seemed the author of those lines unable to google and safely copy and past whole sections, which would have left him or her at least with slightly more clarity on Newgrange, the difference between a fort and a passage tomb and Irish history as such, this writer also managed miraculously to combine the two sites of the structure at Greenan Hill (Grianán Aileach) and Aileach Mor (with the remains of the O Dochartaigh Castle) outside Derry into one location, despite the four kilometres placed between them.
Since an Inishowen paper can’t or wont be bothered to put a little effort into getting the much limited known facts of Inishowen’s past straight, I fear, there is no hope of getting it from the rest of this island. A very enchanted view, of that I have no doubt, of what will survive of our history in a Walt Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ version, may not be as far fetched as one would wish to believe.