Rock of Doon

Inauguration site, Holy well and Mass rock

I returned to Doon Rock eager to show my friend Debbie this awesome site. It was over twenty years since my first visit and quite a while since my last. As I approached on my first trip, a woman was standing next to the well with her dress tucked up and she was pouring water from the well down her legs, I decided to visit the rock first and leave her in peace. The walk up to the inauguration rock was quite a stiff one, but well worth the effort. Although the rock is only 120 metres high the views from here are wonderful, it's not surprising the O'Donnells chose this site to inaugurate the chieftains. It was truly an amazing and magical feeling to stand on the Rock of Doon and survey the surrounding countryside. 25 O'Donnells were inaugurated chieftain here from Eighneachan in 1200 to Niall Garbh in 1603. Oh Boy! was I in for a surprise, the track up to the rock had been newly laid with tarmacadam, but it did not stop there, the tarmac also covered a large area on the top of the rock, I might as well have been standing in Tesco's car-park. Alas that whole sense of history just seemed to be lost. I was shocked that this had been allowed to happen and wondered who had given their permission.

Holy well

The well, one of Donegal's most famous, has not changed much over the years, it was always a bit sterile with a paved area surrounding it, but this in fairness maybe due to the amount of people who visit it. The landowners have always kept the well and the rag tree next to it in excellent condition. A Togher or ancient wooden road was discovered running underneath the bog near Doon Well and bronze age artifacts were also found near the well.

Mass rock

There is also a mass rock situated close to Doon well on the opposite side from Doon rock, also reached by a track laid with new tarmac. The site as a whole is still worth visiting, but for me has lost some of its charm.

Situated: From Letterkenny take the N56 north to Kilmacrennan. Drive straight through here and after 1 kilometre take a left turn for Doon well (sign-posted). Then take the 2nd left also sign-posted.

Discovery Map 6: Doon Well C 1139 1970. Doon Rock C 1144 1987. Last visit April 2010.

Longitude: 7° 49' 19"W Holy Well

Latitude: 55° 1' 29 " N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Mass Rock used in Penal times 1695-1741.

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