History

SAINT DEIRBHILE
The centre is named in honour of St. Deirbhile, who came to this area in the sixth century, while fleeing from a prince in her native Co. Meath. She was of noble lineage and her father was Cormac Mac Daithí. St Deirbhile, accompanied by St Geidh from Inis Geidh and St Muirdeach from Ballina, travelled to the Synod of Bishops in Ballysadare, to meet with St. Colmcille in 585 AD. (Annals of Connacht) According to local lore the prince followed her and finally caught up with her at Fál Mór, where he proposed marriage to her. She questioned him as to why he wished to marry her or what attracted him to her and he replied it was her beautiful eyes. With this, she plucked out her eyes and threw them from her. The prince was heartbroken and departed from the area. Water started to spurt forth where her eyes had fallen and she washed her sockets in the water, thus restoring her eyesight once more. This marks the spot of St. Deirbhile’s well and it is alleged that water from this well has curative properties for eye complaints. A pilgrimage takes place annually to the well on August 15 in honour of St Deirbhile.

NAOMH DEIRBHILE
Ta an t-ionad ainmnithe in onóir do Naomh Deirbhile, a tháinig go dtí an ceantar seo thart ar an séu haois, agus í ag teitheamh ó phrionsa i gcontae na Mí, a háit duchais. Do shliocht uasal í agus ba é Cormac Mac Daithí a hathair Chuaigh Naomh Deirbhile, chomh maith le Naomh Geidh ó Inis Geidh agus Naomh Murdach ó Bhéal an Átha go Sionad na n-Easpaig í mBaile Easa Dara le bualadh le Naomh Colmcille ann sa bhliain 585 A. D. (Annála Connachta) De réir an scéil lean an príonsa í agus cheap sé suas léi ar an bhFál Mór áit ar iarr sé uirthi é a phósadh. Cheistigh sí é, cén fáth a raibh sé ag iarraidh í a phósadh. D’fhreagair sé gur mar gheall ar áilleacht a cuid súl. Leis sin stroic sí amach a cuid súile féin agus chaith uaithi iad. Ar ndóigh bhí an phrionsa croí-bhriste agus d’imigh sé leis. Thosaigh uisce ag teacht aníos as an talamh san áit a thit a súile agus nigh sí í féin leis an uisce agus fuair sí radharc na súl arais. Tugtar Tobar Naomh Deirbhile nó Tobar a’ Dabhaigh ar an áit ó shin i leith. Deirtear go bhfuil sé de bhua ag uisce an tobair seo galar na súl a leigheas. Déantar turas an tobair chuile bhliain ar na 15ú Lúnasa in ómos do Naomh Deirbhile.

WHALING STATION
The Inishkea Whaling station, which is still evident, was set up in 1907 by the Norwegians at Rusheen, a small tidal island to the east of Inishkea South under the management of Captain Bruun. After capture the whale was dragged up a slipway where it was flensed or cut up into pieces, the oil was extracted and the bones were ground into meal. These bi-products were subsequently exported to Scotland. Captain Bruun left the station here in 1910 and established another station on Blacksod Bay to the south of Ardelly Point. The Rusheen station encountered many difficulties including it’s remote location, tidal problems and poor management which culminated in its closure in 1913.

The Blacksod station was run successfully in the initial years due mainly to good management. However whale catches were low up to 1914 the latter being a very successful year. The outbreak of the First World War later in the same year put a halt to whaling as the Admirality took over the station as a patrol base.

Whaling re-commenced in 1920 under a new company known as the Northern Seas Company, which experienced financial difficulties, inefficiency and a weak management structure. In February 1923 a large portion of the station was burned down and by June the company had gone into liquidation, thus bringing to an end an important facet of life in this community. Only traces of the foundation remain today.

STÁISIÚN NA MÍOL MÓR

I 1907 bhunaigh na hIoruaigh stáisiún atá le feiceáil go fóill ar Róisín, oileán beag ar an taobh thoir d’Inis Geidh Theas. An Captaen Bruun a bhí ina bhun. Nuair a tugadh an míol mór i dtír gearradh suas é ina phíosa, baineadh an t-ola as agus rinneadh meilt ar na cnámha le min a dhéanamh. Easportáladh an t-ábhar seo go hAlbain. D’fhág an Captaen Bruun in 1910 agus bhunaigh sé stáisiún eile ag Cuan an Fhóid Dhuibh. Bhí go leor deacrachtaí ag baint leis an stáisiún ag Róisín ina measc a shuíomh iargúlta, fadhbanna leis an taoile agus bainistíocht lag agus cuireadh críoch leis an obair i 1913.

Maidir leis an stáisiún ar an bhFód Dubh bhí bainistíocht maith ann nuair a thosaigh sé. Níor ceapadh mórán míol mór áfach go dtí 1914 nuair a bhí bliain torthúil acu. Cuireadh stop le fiach an mhíl mhóir níos déanaí leis an gCead Chogadh Domhanda i 1914 nuair a shocraigh an t-Aimiréalacht sa stáisiún. Cuireadh tús leis arís i 1920 faoi theideal nua ‘Northern Seas Company’ ach bhí fadhbanna ann ó thaobh airgid, cur amú ama agus bainistíocht lag. I mí Feabhra 1923 dódh an stáisiún agus faoi Mheitheamh cuireadh deireadh leis mar chomhlacht. Leis seo tháinig críoch le gné tábhachtach de shaol na háite. Níl le feiceáil inniu ach rian an stáisiúin.

THE SPANISH ARMADA
Upon the command of Philip II of Spain The Spanish Armada sailed from Lisbon in 1588 to do battle with England. The fleet consisted of 130 ships. After battle off Gravelines in the English Channel, what remained of the Armada escaped around the north of Scotland and to the west of Ireland, suffering many losses due to storm damage and shipwreck en route. Only about half of the original fleet returned to Spain. At least 20 of the fleet were wrecked off the north and west coasts of Ireland. One of these was the La Rata Sancta Maria Encoronada a Genovese merchant ship. Suffering from storm damage, and in need of shelter, provisions and repairs it sought refuge in Blacksod Harbour. The commander and his crew disembarked here taking with them their arms and treasures. Upon hearing that two Spanish ships were anchored off Elly Bay, he burned his own ship and joined them. He later sailed for Scotland aboard the Duquesa Santa Ana which was subsequently shipwrecked in Loughros Mór Bay

ARMADA NA SPÁINNE
Ar ordú Philip 11 na Spáinne sheol Armada na Spáinne ó Liospáin sa bhliain 1588 le ionsú a thabhairt ar Shasana. Tar éis cogadh Gravelines sa Mhuir nlocht bhí ar an cuid a bhí fágtha teiteamh thart chósta thuaidh na hAlban agus thar cósta thiar na hÉireann. Cailleadh go leor acu de bharr aimsir stoirmiúl agus longbhriseadh ar an mbealach. Níor fhill ar an Spáinn ach thart ar leath den chabhlach. Briseadh ar a laghad scór dá gcuid long thart ar chósta thuaidh agus thiar na hEireann. Bhí an La Rata Sancta Maria Encoronada, long ó Ghenoa mar ceann acu seo. Bhí sé ag cuartadh foscaidh i gCuan an Fhóid Dhuibh mar bhí drochbhail uirthi, agus bhí deisiucháin agus soláthair ag teastáil go géar. Thuirling an captaen agus a fhoireann anseo ag tógáil leo a gcuid airm agus a gcuid saibhreas. Nuair a chuala an captaen go raibh dhá shoitheach Spainneach ar ancaire i gCuan Oiligh dhó sé a long féin agus bhuail sé suas leo. Ina dhiaidh thug sé a aghaidh ar Albain ar bhord Duquesa Santa Ana a briseadh ag Cuan Lughros Mór ar an mbealach.