A retired US lawyer came to spend 8 weeks in West Cork to write a book and was a regular on Saturdays at Skibbereen Farmers Market, where we got to know him. During his stay, he immersed himself in local history and the Irish Famine became a particular focus. He learned about a riot that took place in Skibbereen in 1846, when it was discovered that the government was abolishing a road works scheme that was the life blood for many workers. These roads are now known as Famine Roads.
Donagh was commissioned to paint an oil sketch depicting the Riots that took place outside a government building in North Street. Coincidently, the building became a school and was Donagh’s school from the ages of 13 to 17. Donagh knew that an extra floor had been created in the building in the 1970s by lowering the ceiling on the ground floor and raising the floor on the upper floor, so this modern alteration was removed to make it historically accurate.