Colgan Hall Community & Resource Centre

Our Heritage

A History of the Colgan Hall
The Colgan Hall has been a focal point in Cardonagh and indeed Inishowen since its foundation over 100 years ago in 1914 by the efforts of local people. Since that time it has served the community well in a number of rolls including technical school, diocesan college, dance hall, cinema and community school.
In more recent years it has been fully renovated and refurbished thanks once more to the support of the local community and enjoys a new lease of life as a cultural, social and business hub for the whole of Inishowen. 


Colgan Heritage Weekend

At the end of every June the Colgan Hall hosts the Colgan Heritage Weekend. This is weekend dedicated to the memory of John Colgan whilst celbrating local heritage and promoting the local community.
Every year guest speakers, exhibitions, talks and entertainment enthrall, entertain and educate those who attend.
For details of this years event please visit our Facebook page in the weeks preceeding June.

Colgan Hall and the Arts
The Hall has always been intrinsically linked to the Arts in Inishowen throughout its 100 years. This link continues to this day and has grown stronger over the years. An exhibition by local artists is held annually while music and drama events and classes are a cornerstone of life within the Hall.

The Story of John Colgan
John Colgan was born c. 1592 at Priestown near Carndonagh. He joined the Franciscan Order and was sent to study in the Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony of Padua in Leuven (Irish: Lúbhán, French and historically in English: Louvain) in present-day Belgium in 1612. He was ordained as a priest in 1618. Here he is said to have acted as professor of theology for some time, but he soon forsook the professorial chair to devote himself to the Irish studies for which that college was famous.
In 1652 Colgan resigned as a professor, dying at St. Anthony's, Leuven, on 15 January 1658.

Colgan's work on Irish hagiology is of undoubted value. Though unfortunately of very weak constitution, he was a man of great ability and industry, and with a sound critical sense. His knowledge of the Irish language enabled him to turn to good account the vast collection of manuscripts (now for the greater part lost) which had been collected at the instigation of Ward, while his acquaintance with the traditions existing among the native Irish of his time, about the various names of persons and places, gave him an advantage over writers of the present day. Colgan, though a fluent Irish speaker, had not, and from the nature of things could not have, a knowledge of the grammatical forms of Old Irish and Middle Irish. Hence his judgments about the dating of the manuscripts and about the meaning of certain difficult expressions ought not to be put forward as irreversible. In other words, Colgan should be judged by the criteria of his time; from this point of view his work on the ecclesiastical history of Ireland is unequalled. But his opinions are not decisive.