Survey Data

Reg No

40843016


Rating

Regional


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural, Artistic


Previous Name

Four Masters Obelisk


Original Use

Monument


In Use As

Monument


Date

1935 - 1940


Coordinates

192923, 378414


Date Recorded

20/01/2008


Date Updated

--/--/--


Description

Freestanding four-sided obelisk/memorial, erected 1934, having cruciform-plan capping/finials to top with gabled/triangular projection to the centre of each face. Constructed of ashlar sandstone and set on ashlar sandstone plinth with chamfered ashlar sandstone coping over. Inscribed with names of authors of the Annals of the Four Masters to base; inscribed Celtic cross motif and Celtic interlacing motifs to each face and having Celtic interlacing motif to each gabled projection. Located in the pedestrianised central square in the centre of the Diamond, Donegal Town.

Appraisal

This attractive and conspicuous memorial monument dominates the centre of The Diamond, Donegal Town, and acts as a focal point in the centre of the town. It was erected to commemorate the four monks (Michael O'Clery, Peregrine O'Clery, Peregrine Duigan and Fearfeasa O'Mulconroy) from the Franciscan friary in Donegal Town that compiled the Annals of the Four Masters between 1630 and 1636 (the Annals themselves are thought to have been compiled at Rosfriar), and whose names are incised into the monument (one to each face). Its form is enhanced by the quality of the ashlar sandstone (from nearby Mountcharles) used in its construction and by the appealing incised Celtic cross and Celtic interlacing motifs that adorn each face of the memorial and give it a vaguely Romanesque character. It was designed by the Dublin architectural firm O'Callaghan and Giron, and was unveiled in 1938 by the Bishop of Raphoe, The Most Revd. Dr MacNeely, at the bequest of Patrick M. Gallagher, solicitor and noted historian, who bequeathed £5,000 for the erection of a monument in honour of the Four Masters in Donegal Town. The monument was estimated to cost £980 with the reminder of the bequest used for the erection of an altar and furnishings at the new Catholic church (Church of the Four Masters - see 40843029) at Donegal Town. This monument is of high artistic merit, and is an integral element of the built heritage of the town.