The Parish of Termonmaguirc, an upland area, rests gently in the shadow of the Sperrin mountains. Today the parish comprises 38 townlands, each bearing a significant name, purporting its historical value. The traditions of Irish people are the oldest of any race in Europe, north and west of the Alps.
This historic parish has been described as a relic sanctuary, preserving pre-Christian monuments, portal graves and dolmen tombs embellishing the countryside. These and other such monuments are located throughout the parish and demonstrate civilisation as far back as 4,500BCE. Examples of such historic sites are Cregganconroe, Creggandeveskey, Tanderagee, Crockdun and Bauck. Illustrations of the portal tombs and stone markers are seen in Athenree, Loughmacrory, Copney and the dolmen in the car park of St Colmcille’s Church.
St Colmcille’s Church, named after the patron of the parish, was blessed and rededicated by Cardinal O’Fiaich in 1989. The first Church in Carrickmore goes back to monastic times and it stood on the north side of Mullinalap. Another church is recorded in 1786. The present church of St. Colmcille was built under the guidance of Canon Vincent PP in 1846. It was completed in 1859.
St Mary’s Church, Loughmacrory, is under the patronage of the Mother of God. The first recorded Church in Loughmacrory was built in 1833 and in the years to follow many different features were added. On the 14th June 1987 the new St Mary’s Church was blessed and dedicated by Cardinal O’Fiaich.
The Church in Creggan is under the patronage of the 17th century martyred Archbishop of Armagh. Cardinal O’Fiaich rededicated St Oliver Plunkett Church on March 23rd 1986. In 1985 the renovation of the 1940 Church commenced. The first recorded chapel in Creggan was 1832.
Dean Brian Maguirc
One of the outstanding members of the Catholic clergy in Ireland during the 17th century was Brian MacGurk, a son of this parish. He was gifted by God with a long life, excellent health, a good education and great intelligence. He was appointed Dean of the Diocese by St Oliver Plunkett, recognition of his tireless work and energy. Following persecution he died on 13th Feb 1713 in Armagh Jail. His memory is preserved in the parish by the fine Celtic Cross outside St Colmcille’s Church and Dean Maguirc college.