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Neighbours in Pettigo

Dan Dowling

The River Termon divides Pettigo both geographically and politically. Half of this small Ulster village is in County Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland, and the other half is in County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland. Since Plantation in the sixteenth century, the population has been divided, too, between Catholic natives and Protestant settlers.

Over the centuries, the two communities have lived side by side as good neighbours, but occasionally tension has spilled over into violence. The most serious outbreak of conflict was in 1922, when British and Loyalist troops fought Irish Republicans in what became known as the Battle of Pettigo.

In Neighbours in Pettigo, Dan Downing traces the historical divisions among Pettigo’s people in the years leading to the battle, which was not only a momentous event in the history of the village but also a significant episode in the struggle for Irish independence. Drawing on official records, government and military correspondence, and many contemporaneous personal accounts, Downing details the events in the week before the battle, the battle itself and the military occupations that followed.

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