CIMS Outing 6 June 2009


About thirty members visited Donegal by coach on a sunny Saturday at the beginning of June. Gathering members in Belfast, Lisburn, Portadown and Armagh we then proceeded to the Mellon Country Hotel near Newtownstewart for morning coffee.

We then travelled via Strabane and Stranorlar to Laghey, a small village on the south bank of the Laghey River about four miles south of Donegal town. The name Laghey in Irish means “Muddy”, a description probably referring to the fact that in wet weather the village suffered from mud and gravel cascading down from the nearby Laghey Hill. From a few thatched cottages in the 17th Century Laghey village grew and early in the 19th Century the residents were numerous enough to declare themselves a separate parish and to build their own church.

Arriving at the church we were immediately struck with how orderly and tidy the surrounds were with a modern church hall at the rear. However, it was on entering the church which produced the greatest gasp of surprise and admiration. Quite literally the interior of Laghey church had been restored from top to bottom – from the ceiling to the floor. From the handsome small organ to all the furnishings and fittings everything was new and done with taste and elegance. It was a paradigm of how a church should look.

The Revd Ken McLaughlin, from the adjacent parish of Inver, assisted Dean Rooke in a celebration of Holy Communion.

Members of the congregation then served an appetising home cooked lunch in the church hall.




After lunch we then proceeded to the harbour in Donegal town where we embarked on the Donegal Waterbus for a guided tour of Donegal bay.

On this journey, which can only be made at high tide and follows the river channels, we were shown the friary, the embarkation quay and offices for the immigrant "[coffin" ships, and the seal colony.

After a short break in Donegal town we proceeded through Pettigo to the Lough Erne Hotel in Kesh for our evening meal.