Bundoran Co Donegal Day Trips Part 6

2 Unique Attractions Near Bundoran Co Donegal

Monument To The Four Authors Of 'The Annals Of The Kingdom Of Ireland'Monument to the four authors of 'The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland'

Take a short drive inland to Mullinaleck Bridge to view a historic monument over the river Drowes, commemorating four remarkable Celtic heroes of the seventeenth century (NB See Important Update below, before you go there).

Continue your journey to a special craft shop, specializing in exquisite handcrafted fine Irish bone china.

Both of these attractions, like many of the others featured in this six-part series, are within easy reach of Bundoran Co Donegal.  You could easily tie them in with trips to Ballyshannon, Rossnowlagh beach and friary, or the historic ruins of Abbey Assaroe, Kilbarron Church and cliff-top Kilbarron Castle...

Within 15 Kilometers of Bundoran Co Donegal

Celtic Weave China

Shamrock-Decorated Basket By Celtic Weave China, South Donegal, IrelandShamrock-decorated basket by Celtic Weave China

If you like fine chinaware, you'll love visiting this unique pottery workshop in Cloghore, South Donegal.  Cloghore is just west of the pretty Northern Ireland village of Belleek.

Look for intricate basket-weave gift and heirloom pieces with colorful raised, life-like floral and shamrock embellishments.  This collection of exquisite Irish bone china combines echoes of Ireland's rich Celtic heritage with the beauty of Donegal nature.

Every piece is meticulously master-crafted, decorated and painted by hand, right in their workshop, by the Celtic Daly family.  The collection can also be viewed on their website, www.celticweavechina.com/shop.

Within 5 Kilometers of Bundoran Co Donegal

Four Masters Memorial

Important Update

This monument was recently removed and the bridge is closed due to flood damage.

This monument by James McKenna is on Mullinaleck Bridge, on the boundary between Counties Donegal and Leitrim.  It overlooks the popular fishing river Drowes which, further on, empties into Donegal Bay just south of Bundoran Beach Resort.

Legacy of the Four Masters

The monument commemorates a group of heroic Celtic authors known as The Four Masters, for the remarkable legacy they left for humanity.

That legacy is a priceless manuscript called 'The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland', popularly called 'The Annals of the Four Masters'.  It contains a record of the history of Celtic and pre-Celtic Ireland, starting from before the great biblical flood.

Monument To The Authors Of 'The Annals Of The Kingdom Of Ireland', Left Side DetailFour Masters monument, left side

The Four Masters were...

  • Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
  • Cú Choigríche ÓCléirigh
  • Cú Choigríche Ó Duibhgeannáin, and
  • Fearfeasa Ó Maoil Chonaire.

Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh

The chief scribe among the Four Masters, Franciscan Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh (Michael O'Cleary), traveled extensively throughout Ireland on a special mission.  The learned historian gathered records of key historical events in the ancient Celtic Kingdom of Ireland, from numerous original manuscripts.

Brother Michael collected those records in grave danger to his own life knowing that the ancient manuscripts, and the precious knowledge they contained, would soon be destroyed under hostile foreign occupation.

Compiling the Annals

Then, from 1632 to 1636, Brother Michael O'Cleary, together with the other three Masters, laboriously transcribed those ancient Celtic records.

Monument To The Authors Of 'The Annals Of The Kingdom Of Ireland', Right Side DetailFour Masters monument, right side

They worked at Franciscan refuges at Lough Eske, and near the river Drowes because the Franciscan abbey at Donegal Town had already been destroyed in 1601.  From 1610 the abbey ruins were in the possession of English captain Basil Brooke, and his son Sir Henry Vaughan Brooke from 1633.  Captain Brooke had used the scattered stones of the friary to build his new mansion at Donegal Castle.

Once completed, the annals were then shipped to another Franciscan refuge in Louvain in Belgium for safekeeping.  That's where the popular title, 'The Annals of the Four Masters', originated.

Failing the timely action of those four Celtic heroes, future generations would have been denied key knowledge of their awesome Celtic roots, forever.

Where to See the Annals

Thanks to the success of that courageous mission, you can see a copy of 'The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland' in the museum room at Rossnowlagh Friary.  Rossnowlagh is less than twenty kilometers from Bundoran Co Donegal.

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Bundoran Co Donegal