About Us
& Josie’s cottage

Inishowen Peninsula
1 mile from Carndonagh
4 Rooms, 8 Guests
Starting @ £49/night
Uncle Pat


We thought you’d enjoy to read some of the history behind Josie’s Cottage. On the left is Uncle Pat and on the right is Aunt Lizzy.

Aunt Lizzie

Carndonagh, Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal

We thought you might like to know a little of our history in this area and how it became “Josie’s Cottage” .

Our family have been on this land since the 1800s, Patrick Hirrel (1872-1947) was  born in Glentogher.  He was the fourth son in a family of ten sons and one girl and  in  1910 he married Elizabeth McCloskey (1886-1983) who had grown up on a farm alongside him in Glentogher.  They  chose to remain in Ireland and moved to Ballyloskey to build a little thatched cottage, the remains of which lie just down the lane.

Johnny Hirrel (1873-1929)   was the fifth son and like most of his brothers he emigrated to Boston.  In 1912 he married Margaret Hirl (1879-1919) from Meenolin Glentogher and in spite of the similarities in surnames the two families are they say unrelated.  They had two children, Mary Josephine (1915-2003) and John Donald (1917-1999) both born in Roxbury Boston in the County of Suffolk USA. 

In October 1919 Margaret died suddenly leaving  John to raise  his two small  children aged four and two years.  John was a teamster working for Highland Spring Breweries Boston and Prohibition was looming.  He had brothers around him but when the family back in Ireland began to call him home he came to a decision.  In April 1920 Johnny, Josephine, and John D left Boston and set sail from New York Harbour on the SS Columbia.  Things went well for three or four years but Johnny never really settled down to life as a farmer and as the lustre faded he grew restless.  In 1924 he returned alone to Boston  leaving behind his promise to return for his children as soon as he was settled.  That day sadly never came.   In 1929 Johnny died by which time Josephine and John D were living in Ballyloskey with Uncle Pat and Aunt Lizzie who had never been blessed with children of their own.  The troubles of the twenties scarred the landscape and young  John D was returned to Glentogher to live with his grandmother.  Josie stayed in Ballyloskey.  A strong bond grew between herself and her wise Uncle Pat who knew well the laws of the land where the male inherited all.  He made a promise to Josie to  that she would inherit  a plot of land when the time came.

  Aunt Lizzie as we all knew her, lived in the two roomed cottage for many a long  year after Uncle Pat died in 1947 and its where we as children spent our  long blissful summers throughout the fifties and early sixties. 

It’s where we grew to love Ireland but especially Inishowen.  It’s where many of us have kept a piece of our hearts.  Sometime around the mid-sixties this cottage that we now know as “Josie’s Cottage”   was built by our family and Lizzie lived here for many years. 

Josie inherited the cottage on her plot of land just the way “Uncle Pat” had envisioned and our family  return year upon year to our little piece of heaven.  

We know too that it would be beyond her wildest dreams if you enjoyed yourselves here as much as her next generation have.

Josie left 4 children and many grandchildren and now even great grand children many of whom all love to return here to were it all began. In turn we now share that with you.

You are very welcome 😉 

Your Hosts

Jess will be your main contacts during the reservation and booking process. Having spent so much of her childhood in the cottage and then  many decades visiting the area her experience and insight will help you have the very best stay.

Jess +44 (0)7956 214914
Carndonagh, Inishowen Peninsula