Last year, instead of issuing an annual journal we issued a "Guide to Creggan Church and Graveyard". We did this because of an increasing interest in Creggan and the increasing number of visitors to it.
This year, we are back on course again with the third issue of our annual journal. There are nine articles and two features in it.
Two of the articles are written by regular contributors, Michael McShane and Kevin McMahon.
Michael begins a new series on ancient monuments in South Armagh by taking a fresh look at some forts and crannogs in Creggan parish and to commemorate the Cornonagh evictions of just over one hundred years ago Kevin presents a compilation of newspaper reports on the affair.
Seven of the articles are written by new contributors to "Creggan".
T.G.F. Paterson, the late Curator of Armagh County Museum and one of Co. Armagh's greatest-ever historians, writes about the Creggan Vestry in the 18th. century and we are very grateful to Roger Weatherup, the present Curator of the museum, for giving us permission to publish such a fine piece of historical research and writing.
Until now, very little was known, or was written, about the noted Creggan Gaelic poet and scholar, Doctor James Woods, but Sean Duffy, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, puts that right with his iii-depth and scholarly article on the Doctor's life and work.
In an excellently-researched and very well written article on Belmont Barracks, Kevin Murphy paints a vivid picture of events in Forkhill parish in the late 18th. century - and especially of the events leading up to and including the 1798 Rebellion and outlines the barracks' central and notorious role in these events.
An tAth. Réamonn ÓMuiri, a native of Lower Creggan, one of the leading historians in the Archdiocese of Armagh and the current Editor of "Seanchas Ard Mhacha" presents a document on the Rural Deanery of Creggan in 1798, thus adding to the growing body of knowledge on the mother-church of the parish.
The younger generation know little or nothing about flax or the manufacture of linen but they will find a lot of interesting and useful information for school projectwork in Bernadette Miroudot's fine article on scutch-mills.
Last year was Australia's Bicentenary and to celebrate the occasion with our "twin down-under" we are pleased to present a pictorial feature on Cardinal Tomás ÓFiaich's visit to Crossmagien, New South Wales, in 1986 and Frank Short's account of his visit there in 1987, together with a "Dundalk Democrat" report of the exciting sequel to Frank's visit.
In 1838, John Donaldson, Cloghoge, wrote the standard and much-quoted history of our district, "An Account of the Barony of Upper Fews. . ." Now, one hundred and fifty years later, another of the clan, Ronald bán Donaldson, of Kansas City, U.S.A., is continuing the family tradition by writing about the family's Irish-American connection and we look forward to reading and, perhaps, publishing some extracts from his forthcoming family history.
In future issues of our journal we hope to publish documents relating to the history of Creggan parish and we begin this year with an extract from a document on the sale of McDonnell's Scutch-Mill, in Crossmaglen, in 1884.