An Tiarna George Hill agus Pobal Ghaoth Dobhair
George Hill was a landlord in the Gaoth Dobhair area in Co. Donegal in the 1800s. The hotel that he built there, An Chúirt, is still in business in Gaoth Dobhair. Many competing stories survive about George Hill and it’s difficult to determine what type of landlord he was or indeed, what type of person he was. In 1838 Lord George Hill bought half of the parish of Gaoth Dobhair, and embarked on an ambitious project to improve the area – building Bunbeg Harbour improving roads, and introducing farming reforms.
In this book, Cathal Póirtéir gathers facts and opinions about Lord George Hill along with their historic and personal contexts to try to give an even assessment of George Hill’s legacy in Gaoth Dobhair.
A pamphlet was published in 1845 titled ‘Facts from Gweedore’ which greatly helped Hill’s reputation. It gives his account of work that he did in Gweedore, as written by James Dombrain. Not everyone was of the same opinion about the work done by Hill in Gaoth Dobhair. In the 1850s a disagreement arose between the landlord, the priests, and the Gaoth Dobhair community and there’s been debate about it ever since.
CATHAL PÓIRTÉIR is a prolific writer and broadcaster focusing on Irish-language literature, folklore, and history.