Rathgar (Irish: Ráth Garbh, meaning "rough ringfort"), originally a village, from 1862 part of the township Rathmines and Rathgar, in 1930 became a suburb of Dublin, Ireland.[1] It lies about 3 kilometres south of the city centre.


Rathgar is situated in south Dublin. It lies beside Rathmines, Terenure, Dartry and Harolds Cross. Other nearby suburbs are Ranelagh, Rathfarnham, Milltown, Kimmage and Crumlin. The Grand Canal lies directly north of Rathgar. The majority of Rathgar lies within the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council, and straddles the postal boundary of Dublin 6.


Rathgar, in the Middle Ages, was a farm belonging to the Convent of St Mary de Hogges, at present-day College Green. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Rathgar was granted to the Segrave family: they built Rathgar Castle, ownership of which subsequently passed to John Cusack, who was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1608. The castle remained in the possession of the Cusack family for over a century, but gradually decayed and was a ruin by the end of the eighteenth century. No trace of it remains today: it is thought to have been located at what is now 44-49 Highfield Road.

The village began to develop in the eighteenth century: Rathgar Avenue is probably the oldest street, while Highfield Road was developed in 1753. Zion Church and Christ Church Rathgar were built in the 1860s, by which time Rathgar was a sizeable community.


Rathgar is largely a quiet residential suburb with good amenities, including primary and secondary schools, nursing homes, child-care and sports facilities, and good public transport to the city centre. The housing stock largely comprises red-brick late Georgian and Victorian era terraces and much of the area lies within an architectural conservation zone. Dodder Park is located in Rathgar.



Rathgar has a variety of retail outlets. It maintains a village feel and has a delicatessen, 2 butchers, a bike shop and a wine shop within 20 yards of the main cross. There is also Rathgar Pharmacy, Rathgar Hair Studio and a number of fashion and interior boutiques. There is also a small Supervalu supermarket. Local restaurants include Bijou (Modern Irish), Lumanti of Nepal (Nepalese), Howard's Way and Kanum (Asian).

Health care

St. Luke's Hospital, Highfield Road, specialises in cancer treatments. This is currently under threat of closure and many of the local residents are opposed to this. Mount Carmel General and Maternity hospital was located on Orwell Road but closed in January 2014.

Religious locations


Rathgar has a number of notable architectural features, notably Christ Church Rathgar[5] (part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland) at the junction of Rathgar Road and Highfield Road in the village centre. The Roman Catholic Church of The Three Patrons (named after the three Patron Saints of Ireland: St Patrick, St Bridget and St Columba) on Rathgar Road is known as "The Servants' Church" because in the late 19th and early 20th century it was the place of worship for the large number of servants who worked and lived in the large houses in the area.

Theological College

The Church of Ireland Theological College and the Zion Church of Ireland at the junction of Zion and Bushy Park Road are also in Rathgar.


The Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation (Knesset Orech Chayim)[6] have their Synagogue at 7 Leicester Avenue, Rathgar. Leicester Avenue is a continuation of Kenilworth Square, South. The orthodox Dublin Hebrew Congregation have their synagogue in nearby Terenure[7]


The Marist Sisters have a convent at 51 Kenilworth Square[8]

Diplomatic missions

The Embassy of the Russian Federation is located in extensive grounds in southern Rathgar, with the Consular Office by the gates.

RSA Driving Test Centre

The Road Safety Authority ( RSA ) operate driving tests from their premises on Orwell Road. Several of the Rathgar driving test routes cover much of the surrounding area.

Notable people associated with Rathgar


Rathgar is located in the Dáil Éireann constituency of Dublin Bay South.

Nearby suburbs

See also


  1. "Dublin City Archives : IE DCLA UDC/1 : ARCHIVES OF THE RATHMINES AND RATHGAR TOWNSHIP (1847-1930)" (PDF). Dublincity.ie. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  2. 1 2 "Ethos". The High School. The High School, Dublin. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  3. "History and Tradition". St Louis High School, Rathmines. St Louis High School, Rathmines. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. "schools". Le Chéile. Le Chéile Trust. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  5. "Christ Church Rathgar, Presbyterian - Dublin 6, Ireland". Christchurchrathgar.org. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  6. "Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation". DJPC Ireland.
  7. "A heritage like no other, a community built on strength". Jewishireland.org. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  8. "Marist Sisters". Maristsisters.net. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  9. "Keeper of the literary flame". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  10. "Full text of "De Valera And The March Of A Nation"". Archive.org. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  11. "Places of Interest to Kiwi visitors". New Zealand Association. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  12. Peterkin, Tom. "Ireland 'welcomed Hitler's henchmen". London, UK: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  13. Mullins, Gerry (2011). Dublin Nazi No.1. Dublin: Liberties Press. p. 97. ISBN 9781907593253.


O'Connell, Angela. The Servants' Church: History of the Church of the Three Patrons in the Parish of Rathgar. Dublin: Parish Development and Renewal Core Group, Church of the Three Patrons, 2004. 106p. Class no. 29 L.H. (Dublin) / 129

External links

Coordinates: 53°18.7′N 6°16.46′W / 53.3117°N 6.27433°W / 53.3117; -6.27433

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