The offices of the Donegal Vindicator were on East Port
but were tossed in recent times
John McAdam founder of "The Donegal Vindicator"
The McAdam family made a wonderful contribution to the town of Ballyshannon since their arrival on East Port in 1889. John McAdam was invited to set up a newspaper, “The Donegal Vindicator” by the Land League and by the supporters of Charles Stewart Parnell. At the outbreak of World War 1 McAdam supported John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party and two of his sons joined the army and fought in the First World War. Eily McAdam, his daughter, was an undergraduate at university in Dublin, in the lead up to the 1916 Rising, and one of her lecturers was Thomas McDonagh, one of the signatories of the Proclamation who was executed in 1916. Her political outlook was different to her father and was influenced by her regard for Thomas McDonagh and the ultimate sacrifice that he and others made.
Eily McAdam editor of "The Donegal Vindicator" Eily McAdam had a more republican outlook than her father and published a weekly pamphlet called “An Dáil”. Her father later appointed her editor of “The Donegal Vindicator” in December 1921. Eily McAdam was actively involved with Cumann na mBan which was established in the Rock Hall in March 1918. She was courageous in her viewpoints and the offices of “The Donegal Vindicator” in East Port were raided by the British military from Finner Camp at 7 a.m. on Wednesday 26th January 1921. The premises were intensively searched but Mr. McAdam was absent on business in Derry. Ms. Eileen (Eily) and Kathleen McAdam were closely searched by a female searcher. Before 8 a.m. Eileen D’Alton McAdam , B.A., was arrested and removed to Derry by the 8.15 a.m. train. She was then sent onto Armagh on the same evening for further interrogation. The military subsequently revisited “The Donegal Vindicator” premises twice on the same day and brought away letters, magazines and piles of papers. No charges were issued against Eily McAdam and she was released a few days later. She maintained the independence of the press in times of great unrest but “The Donegal Vindicator” was in subsequent years raided by the Free State Army and the I.R.A. The raids by different forces reflected the independence of this newspaper and the fears of those who were opposed to its viewpoints.
Eily McAdam Remembering 1916
Eily McAdam sitting at the front in a
For the Easter edition of the Standard in 1953 Eily wrote a personal account of her experience of the 1916 Rising and the news of Thomas McDonagh's execution: "Easter Week, 1916, is passing into the region of history. It is thirty-seven years ago, and yet, to those who were then young, when old heroic days seemed to have come back again, it does not seem so long ago. Odd to think that, with teenage eyes, some of us looked at the blackened ruins of the General Post Office, and saw rubble heaped up in the middle of O'Connell Street....Vivid still the memory of those heart-hurting moments when news came of execution after execution. Most vivid, of course, the memory of the moment when the news was of the death by execution of one's own particular hero--reading in a brief newspaper paragraph the name of Thomas McDonagh, crumpling the paper to a ball as if, by crushing it, one could destroy the reality of what had been announced. And yet it was not a sad time. They had failed. Very well, they failed. But one had a sort of defiant pride in the fact that they had tried....."
A talented newspaper writer, author and poetEily McAdam in the 1930s wrote extensively for Radio Éireann where her plays were frequently performed. Plays broadcast included “The Prince of the North” based on Red Hugh O’Donnell and “The Story of William Allingham” broadcast as part of the Treasure House series. Eily McAdam also wrote poetry including the poem on Easter below. John Ward was the last editor of "The Donegal Vindicator" until it closed in 1956 and he subsequently emigrated to Canada and I acknowledge his wonderful memories of his family and of old Ballyshannon.
Ecumenical Council (An Easter Thought)
"Who will roll back the stone?" the holy women sighed
Bearing, at dawn, anointing unguents to the tomb
Of the Beloved Master in anxious gloom
That turned to joy, for angel hand had set it wide.
He who was dead is risen--It was Eastertide--
He who had woven with mankind, in upper room,
Fabric of mystic brotherhood, which the loom
Weaves ill to-day--the master-piece all blurred by pride.
Wherefore, from Peter's Chair, comes invitation
That Christian men seek Christ as holy women sought
In bond of love, sad for the world's desolation--
To quest the tapestry of one-ness that He wrought,
Bearing the fragrant spice of charity alone,
What joy if angel hand roll back the sund'ring stone.
"Ballyshannon. Genealogy and History" reveals newly researched history and genealogy of the town, extending as far as the Rossnowlagh, Cashelard, Corlea, Clyhore, Higginstown and Finner areas. Includes the parishes of Kilbarron and Magh Ene. It contains the full story of The Green Lady which was performed in Ballyshannon to great acclaim. The genealogy material provides detailed guidelines for anyone tracing their roots in the area or anywhere in County Donegal or Ireland. The book contains 500 pages and is richly illustrated with stunning colour, aerial photography, original illustrations and rare photographs of the area not seen before.
Available in A Novel Idea and Local Hands in Ballyshannon and 4 Masters Bookshop Donegal Town. Also available from Anthony Begley for postal enquiries email email@example.com
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