"LIFFORD, a parish, a decayed market town and borough in the parish of Clonleigh, and is the county town of county Donegal, Ireland, 14 miles S.E. of Letterkenny. It is situated on the river Foyle, here crossed by a bridge of twelve arches. The town was anciently called Clonleigh, and is said to have been founded by St. Colomb in the early part of the 6th century, who built a monastery here. It was subsequently the seat of the O'Donnells, who having revolted against the English sovereignty, their castle was seized by Elizabeth, and given by James I. to the Hansards, who obtained a charter for the town. Before the Union it returned two members to the Irish parliament. Although now only an inconsiderable village, it is the place where the county assizes and sessions are held, and is a chief police station and post town. It contains the county courthouse, gaol, barracks, two Roman Catholic chapels, and the parish church of Clonleigh [which see]."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018