Ulster Scots Heritage on Tourist Trail
Donegal, Ireland's part in the birth of Presbyterianism across North
America is to be celebrated in a heritage tourism initiative linking
the University of Ulster's Institute of Ulster Scots Studies and the
International Fund for Ireland.
The interpretative centre is to be built in the Laggan district, in the
northeastern part of the county. The manse at Monreagh, near St.
Johnston, is just five miles from the Donegal-Derry border, and will be
converted to contain 17th and 18th century artifacts and displays that
tell the story of how Presbyterian communities fled Ulster, seeking
freedom of religion and a new life in the New World.
"This centre will not be a staid mausoleum. It will be a living
attraction which will celebrate an Ulster Scots heritage that will
attract tourists and generate income in the north-west," said Professor
John Wilson, Director of the Institute of Ulster Scots Studies.
William Gregg—the other figure of interest in the growth of the
Presbyterian Church in North America besides Francis Makemie—was born
at Killycreen near Ramelton in 1817. After studying theology in
Edinburgh, he was licensed by the Free Church Presbytery in 1846 and
was immediately sent to Canada on missionary work. Ordained there in
1847, he was Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Canada—usually
called the Free Church—in 1861 when the union took place between it and
the United Presbyterian Church of Canada.
The Laggan district lies between Loughs Swilly and Lough Foyle, and is
centered on the towns of Lifford, Raphoe, Carrigans, St. Johnston,
Stranorlar, and Newtowncunningham.
29 November, 2005
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