Tulach Dubhghlaise

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Temple Douglas

Tulach Dubhghlaise, Mound of the Dark Stream

Dubhghlaise, al. Dubhghlais, 'Black Stream,' in Tir Luighdheach in Cineal Conaill; it is given as in Magh Iotha in the Salamanca Lives of the Saints (v. Onom.); probably identical with Tulach Dubhglaise now Temple Douglas (popularly Dooglas), mid-way between Gartan and Letterkenny which tradition points to as the place where Columcille was baptised; v. Ra. LXXI.

A Tulach or burial mound was constructed in ancient Ireland to connect between the the living and the other world. Tulach Dubhghlaise, Mound of the Dark Stream, is famous for being the place where Colmcille (St. Columba) was baptized. It is believed he was baptized by Saint Crunathan who is recorded to be his foster father and teacher. Colmcille was born not far from here at the monastic site at Gartan. Ot seems probable that Colmcille rceived his early education at Tulach Dubhghlaise.

Also present in the graveyard at Temple Douglas is a 16th century medieval church rebuilt by Manus O'Donnell on the location of an even earlier church.

The most interesting feature of the church is the window which is unique in Donegal. In the north eastern corner of the graveyard is the ruins of the Abbots house which was much earlier than the church. A turas used to take place here and the stations were, the cairns at the abbot's house, Tobar Douglas holy well near the graveyard, Tobar na Suil which is on Cnocatee, and Colmcille's Footsteps, said to be the area where he took his first steps. Although this site may not be the most attractive visually, it is historically significant for those studying the life of Colmcille.

Templedouglas Townland
 An area of about 10 hectares (26 acres) encompassing the burial ground and neighbouring farmland, within the Templedouglas electoral division of Donegal.




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Sources for this article include:
  • Jim Dempsey; text (part) and photography, with thanks

    Any contributions will be gratefully accepted






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    Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022