Gaoth Dobhair by Land and Sea

A compelling account of Gaoth Dobhair’s recent history by Cait McBride. Reproduced with the kind permission of Cait’s sister Veronica as a tribute to the memory of her late sister. This generous act is much appreciated and ensures that many more people will be able to enjoy this wonderful book.

About the Author: Cait Nic Giolla Bhride

Cait Nic Giolla Bhride is a retired national teacher. She was educated in Scoil Mhuire, Derrybeg; Colaiste Bhride, Falcarragh and Carysfort Training College, Dublin.

She taught in Letterkenny for ten years and then returned to Scoil Mhuire, Derrybeg where she continued teaclling until her retirement in 1981 .

After her retirement, Cait it took a keen interest in local history and genealogy and has spent many years gathering information from various people whom she is always greatful to.

In rece nt years, Ca it has written various articles as well as Stairsheanchas Ghaoth Dobhair in 1996 and Gneithe de Stair Ghaoth Dobhair in 2002

CHAPTER ONE – A Gola Tragedy

I remember a summer’s day in the 1930’s, the sun shone brightly as we walked to Derrybeg School. We had many interesting things to see, young lambs playing in the fields, a lark soaring high in the sky, a bird’s nest to inspect. As we rounded the hillock at Derrybeg School, we had a full view of the Atlantic Ocean. It spread for miles out towards the edge of the horizon. One long blue placid sheet of water from Aranmore Island to the Foreland Corner in the North West. Three islands stood out in relief, Gola Inismaan and Iniserrar. These three islands were inhabited at this time.

We reached the school early. Our teacher was a hard worker and there was silence in the classroom in the early morning. Things changed on that June morning in 1931. When a senior pupil canle in, the teacher asked her if the Gola fishernlen had been found. She replied that the group of people gathered at her parents’ shop had learned that the fishernlen had drowned. She told how some of the grown ups were crying. The teacher blessed her face in shock.

Silence again prevailed.

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