DERRYKEIGHAN

 Old Vault Room The Derrykeighan Stone   Churchyard

The old Church and graveyard at Derrykeighan is situated a few miles out of Bushmills on the  Ballymoney Road. Here you will find a replica of the Derrykeighan Stone, it may date from the Iron Age and has Celtic designs similar to other finds dating to the third century AD. It was discovered built into the wall of the seventeenth century church and removed in 1982 (for further study) by the Ulster Museum leaving an 'uncharacteristic' plastic replica in its place. It may have been a standing stone or part of an early ritual site, some suggest it is Druid. An early Christian monastery was founded here in the 6th century and the area known as Daire Caechan  or Ceachain,  meaning  'Oak wood of Ceachain''. One of the Abbots of that monastery was St.Colman (Colman Muillin) whose name lives on in the nearby village of Liscolman (Fort of Colman). There is also an ancestral connection here to William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States. A relative, Francis McKinley who came from the family home at Conagher was involved in the United Irishmen movement in 1798 - he was arrested, and executed in Coleraine for his involvement, his body was laid to rest in Derrykeighan. President William McKinley was assassinated shortly after his re-election in 1901 at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo by Leon Czolgosz a follower of the anarchist Emma Goldman. The family home at Conagher is unfortunately no longer there, it was shipped away to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra - a plaque is all that's left behind to remind us of his ancestral roots to this location.

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