12 July 2021

Falcarragh, Co.Donegal

These two 3-wall alleys are located beisde Cloughaneely Golf club in Falcarragh on grounde of former Ballyconnell House. The house and grounds were purchased by the Congested Districts Board in 1917, and occupied by the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1921 and the Free State Forces in 1922 during the Civil War. The property was purchased by the Office of Public Works in 1926 and offered to the Loreto nuns 1927 who used it as a preparatory College for female primary school teachers until 1961. It was purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Raphoe, for use as a boys’ secondary school (and boarding school) from 1965 until 1986. In 1987 it was purchased by Udarás na Gaeltachta and was used as a Gaeltacht school\Irish college until recent years. For more information on house and grounds (handball alleys not mentioned) see National Inventory of Irish Heritage: Main House (reg nr. 40812001) - https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40812001/ballyconnell-house-ballyconnell-falcarragh-donegal; Walled Garden (reg nr. 40812005) https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40812005/ballyconnell-house-ballyconnell-falcarragh-donegal The Handball Alleys were constructed sometime post 1917. At some stage the local Mart converted them adding blockwork walls to create animal pens. It is no longer used for this and are overgrown with trees and bushes. The walls of the alleys are in excellent condition. Interestingly the “short lines” for handball are small inserted tiles. Very close to this location is Cloughaneely GAA club which has an outdoor 3 wall alley attached to the club house. The alley has been converted to a storage shed. There is a 40x20 alley inside the club house. Photographs and Information by E.Timoney, July 2021


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