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Ráth Maoláin
Location of Rathmullan
centerMap highlighting Rathmullan
Irish grid reference
Province: Ulster
County: County Donegal

Rathmullan (Ráth Maoláin in Irish) is a small seaside village in County Donegal in Ireland. It is situated on the western shore of Lough Swilly, 11 km north-east of Ramelton and 12 km east of Milford. Rathmullan was the scene of the Flight of the Earls in 1607.

There are also the ruins of a medieval Carmelite Friary in Rathmullan which was built by Eoghan Rua MacSweeney in 1516. The Friary was sacked by the English garrison from Sligo in 1595. In 1607, Rathmullan was also said to have seen the last of the Gaelic Order, most notably the Ó Neills, during the Flight of the Earls to the continent. In 1617 the Friary was occupied by the Protestant Bishop of Raphoe, Andrew Knox, who turned it into a stronghold during the colonisation of Donegal.

A scene at Rathmullan beach, 2005.

In the 18th century Rathmullan was the location of the capture of Wolfe Tone, a leader of the 1798 Rising. In the 19th century there was an English battery situated near the pier to defend Lough Swilly from a possible invasion of France during the Napoleonic Wars. This battery still stands and today serves as a heritage centre.



Today tourism is one of Rathmullan's growing employment sectors with hotels providing quality accommodation. Self-Catering holiday homes are also on the increase and the area has many tourists all year round from the North and South of Ireland.

Lough Swilly Deep Sea Fishing Festival

The sea is a large part of the lives of the people of Rathmullan and Lough Swilly Deep Sea Fishing Festival held in June is evidence of this. This years 2007 festival took place on Sat 2nd and Sun 3 June.

A view of Rathmullen.

Rathmullan Regatta Festival

Each year, on the first Monday of August, Rathmullan holds a Regatta which attracts visitors from all over Donegal and is a great day out with fancy dress contests, amusements, candyfloss, live music etc. and for the older generation there is the boat race and boat trips to Inch island and Buncrana. Rathmullan Regatta is believed to be one of the oldest in Ireland. Reference to it as made in the Ordinance Survery Memoirs:- ("Most striking of all are the descriptions of the fisheries and the marine products that played so great a part in the economy of Donegal because of its huge coastline and its fine sea loughs. Both Lancey and Wilkinson give some fascinating details on this subject. Lancey tells us about the significant fishing industry in Killymard outside Donegal town where over 500 boats were employed. He also gives numbers of boats for the parish of Tullyaughnish all along the coastline from Ray Bridge to Ramelton, from Ramelton to Whale Head, and includes Aughnish Island (6 boats), right down past Ballgreen and the Ferry House to Castle Grove (117 boats in all besides a decked pleasure boat belonging to Sir James Stewart). There were social aspects to boating as well. He also describes the Rathmullan regatta and the prizes given to the victorious sailors.")'

compiled in the 1820s and 30s.

Notable people from Rathmullan

James Greene Audi Specialist/ Box Licker22

See also

External links



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