Rathcoole, County Dublin

Rath Cúil

Main Street

Location in Ireland

Coordinates: 53°16′58″N 6°28′22″W / 53.2827778°N 6.4727778°W / 53.2827778; -6.4727778Coordinates: 53°16′58″N 6°28′22″W / 53.2827778°N 6.4727778°W / 53.2827778; -6.4727778
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County South Dublin
Elevation 148 m (486 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
  Urban 3,421
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
  Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference O019268
Website www.rathcoolevillage.com

Rathcoole (Irish: Rath Cúil, meaning "ringfort of Comhaill") is a suburban village, south west of Newcastle, Ireland, in South Dublin. It lies just off the N7 national primary road. It borders the nearby village of Saggart.


There is a park maintained by South Dublin County Council at the eastern end of the Village. Beechwood Lawns is located in between the main street and the park. Forest Hills is the single largest housing development in Rathcoole, lying between Beechwood Lawns and the western end of the village.


Rath is the Irish word for a ringfort, often erected by wealthy farmers or local chiefs. There are several forts in the parish of Rathcoole, and while there is no definite explanation for the name 'Rathcoole,' it could well be Rath Comhaill meaning 'the rath of Comhaill', the father of Fionn. Coole may also come from the Irish word for forest, 'coill'. The rath associated with Rathcoole is in a field between Rathcoole and Saggart.

Historical notes

The village was the birthplace in 1765 of the United Irishman Felix Rourke. Like nearby Newcastle and Saggart, Rathcoole was on the periphery of the Pale and was the site of many battles with mountain-based rebels, particularly the noted Joyce clan. The Joyces still reside in Rathcoole with Derry Joyce as the clan leader.

In the late 18th century Rathcoole was composed mainly of mud huts, and as late as the early 20th century it consisted of only one street. Today it is home to more than two hundred and fifty businesses.

There was the remains of an tunnel entrance found at the "Backwards House" in Rathcoole. It was built before the Vikings attack of the 9th century as an escape route for the clergy residing at Mo Sacra's monastery on the Saggart towns land of Coolmine.

Rathcoole is also home to Rathcoole House Estate, which was built in 1750 and belonged to the Clinch family.


Rathcoole is in the Dublin Mid-West constituency and in the Clondalkin Local electoral area for county council elections (with Clondalkin, Newcastle and Saggart).


Holy Family Community School at the western end of the village recently celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. It is a secondary school for students from Rathcoole and those commuting from the nearby towns of Clondalkin and Tallaght and the villages of Saggart and Brittas. There is also Holy Family National School located at the western end of Forest Hills and a Gaelscoil in Rathcoole Village.


Rathcoole has a well-maintained and landscaped park run by South Dublin County Council and a local community centre which caters for local events and training courses.

One of Rathcoole's best known pubs is An Poitin Stil, which is built on the site of an original inn house dating back to 1649. The other pubs in the area are Muldowneys, Baurnafea House, and The Rathcoole Inn.


Rathcoole is perhaps best known for its former Olympic medal-winning swimmer, Michelle Smith, who won three gold medals and, also, a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Rathcoole football club is known as "Rathcoole Boys". The well-known GAA club "Commercials Hurling Club" is located just off the Naas Road. The local basketball club is known as "Rathcoole Rockets". Rathcoole is close to a number of golf courses: Slade Valley, Citywest and Beech Park.

Coolmine Equestrian Centre was established here in 1989 and has since become one of the most well renowned Equestrian Facilities in Ireland. Horse riding lessons and guided horseback trips are available here in addition to a thriving equestrian education institution. Coolmine Equestrian Website

This equestrian centre welcomes international guests here on educational programmes, work experience and holidays. The centre became an Equestrian Academy and is now known locally as CEAD-Ireland. This Academy hosts festivals during the summer nicknamed the CEAD-Fest providing a celebration of the Irish Horse with dance, music, pony rides, pet farms, dog shows and equestrian competitions. cead-ireland.com

Twinned town

See also


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