History and Legends

There are many historical sites in Creeslough. Such as the home of the Mac Suibhne’s in Doe Castle, the now only ruins of Doe Church, the Viaduct at Barnes Gap and Massinass leaving a monumental structure of the past train service now gone.

The Ards Friary is also full of history with it’s former life as landlord’s home, while Glenveagh has also been a stately home for the McElhinney’s and the Adair whilst also a sad reminder of the famine days.


Have look at some old photos. If you would like to share photos from the town please get in touch.

The Great Railway Disaster

Owencarrow Railway 31 January 1925.

The viaduct was built to carry the train over the broad valley of the Owencarrow river. The worst accident in the history of the Lough Swilly Railway happened on the viaduct near Creeslough on Friday 31st January, 1925. READ MORE

Owen Roe sails up the Lackagh Bridge to help the 1642 rebellion.

Owen Roe O’Neill

Owen Roe O’Neill was in Spain in the mid 1600s once he heard word that he was needed back in Ireland he set sail on the St. Francis out of Santander on June 30th 1642. READ MORE

Turlough and Aileen a love forbidden at Doe Castle.

"Abide at Faugher by the sea: for you'll never thee wed the daughter of Maol Mhuire a Bhata Bhuidhe".



St. Colmcille’s link to Creeslough

There are several ‘Turas’ across Donegal made in honour of St. Colmcille some of these are more well known such Gartan, Glencolumbkille and Tory Island. Our Christian forefathers adapted sacred groves, trees, wells and mountains to the new faith such as Croagh Patrick. Colmcille took a lifelong ‘turas’ to his final resting place in Iona. It is said that the last well he blessed before going to Tory was in Massinass.

The Bell Tower at Doe

The Bell Tower at Doe Cemetery was built in 1918. It was commissioned by Fr Hugh McLoone the Parish Priest at the time and the Architect was Michael O’Callaghan Hugh Coyle senior and junior, grandfather of local woman Patricia McCarry were the builders.

The contract cost of the built was recorded as £235 irish punts. The Bell Tower and grotto were built next to the old Doe Chapel. The remains of the old church are still visible within the graveyard. The actual bell from the Bell Tower was moved to the new Church in St. Michael’s when it was built in 1971.

The Story Of The Cunning Fox

One day a man was travelling back from High Glen with two creels of fish. Along the road, he came across a fox. Believing it to be dead, he lifted it up and put it in beside the fish. In times gone past many families had stuffed wild animals on display in their home such as foxes, rabbits and badgers. 

He carried on his journey through Cashel up the New Line road to Roscad and then into the town of Creeslough. Once there he went to check on his fish, to his surprise much of his fish was eaten and as quick as a flash the cunning fox jumped up and out, he ran up the road, never to be seen again.

The Creeslough Fair.

creeslough fair day

Local people and farmers from all over came to attend the Creeslough Fair day which was traditionally held on the 10th of each month. They often walked from Hornhead, Faugher, Cashel and Brockass to attend the fair day. 

Farmers brought their animals along the road and met others on the way. Sometimes a deal was struck even before they made it to the town.  Read more.

The white lady of Ards

A visitor from England was walking along the path to Lucky shell beach at Ards Friary when she saw a ghost-like woman dressed in a white blouse and long skirt coming up from the beach.

As she passed the visitors, they said hello but the ghost like woman didn’t reply. Recalling the strange encounter to locals later she learned that Lady Ena of the old Ards Estate was sometimes seen walking along that path and it was mostly likely she met that day. Lady Ena succeeded her grandfather A.J.R of the Stewart dynasty of Ards. She married Lt. Col. sir Pieter Canzius von Blommenstein Bam in 1910 and the estate become known as the Stewart-Bam estate. 

Lady Ena Stewart Bam of Ards Estate.

Where Bealach Bioroige gets it’s name.

Long ago there was a one eyed demon from Tory Island who named Balar. He was known as the demon of plague and drought. He had one daughter and it was for told that he would die at the hand of his grandson. Determined that his daughter Eithne would not marry he kept her locked up on Tory Island.

Meanwhile Gaibhneann was making a sword for Cian, the Sun God and Balar came to him in the form of young red haired boy, distracting Cian, Balar stole Gaibhneann’s magic cow.

Cian was unable to face Gaibhneann and sought the help of Biorog the legendary fariy woman or Bean-Si. Plotting together they came up with a plan to rescue the cow from Balar.

Cian dressed in women’s clothing along with Biorog’s help made his was to Tory Island. Once on the island Cian met Eithne and she helped him rescue the magic cow and return it to Gaibhneann. Some time later Eithne became pregnant and gave birth to triplets. Balar was displeased and he threw them into the sea. Two were drowned but the third called Lughlamhfada (the Storm God) was rescued by Biorog. When Lugh grew up he challenged his grandfather Balar (the demon of drought and plaque) and killed him by throwing a thunderbolt into his single eye.

In Ards Forest Park, Bealach Bioroige, a 3KM trail is named after the legendary Bean-Si.