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Caisleán na Finne
The centre of Castlefin village.
The centre of Castlefin village.
Castlefin is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°48′11″N 7°35′48″W / 54.8030°N 7.5966°W / 54.8030; -7.5966Coordinates: 54°48′11″N 7°35′48″W / 54.8030°N 7.5966°W / 54.8030; -7.5966
Country Ireland
Province Ulster
County County Donegal
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)

Castlefin[1] (Irish: Caisleán na Finne, meaning "castle of the (river) Finn"), sometimes spelt Castlefinn, is a market town in the Finn Valley of County Donegal, Ireland. The town has a population of 810(2006) and is located between Ballybofey and Lifford. The River Finn flows by the town. The town is located in along the main N15 national primary road, which runs from Bundoran to Lifford. The town lies 6 miles from Lifford and 8 miles from the twin towns of Ballybofey /Stranorlar. It has close links to the twin towns of Ballybofey/ Stranorlar, Letterkenny and has strong links with West Tyrone in Northern Ireland, especially with the towns of Strabane and Castlederg.


The main social outlet in the town is a pub called McBrides, at the foot of the Long Brae beside the main road between Lifford and Ballybofey. Other pubs in the town include Tinney's Bar and Lynch's Tavern aka Skins. The five housing estates in the town are called the Emmett Park built in the 80's Sessaigh Park built in the 2000s, Caislean Court built in the 90's, Hillhead built in the 70's and Grahamsland built in the 50's.

The town centre is located around the Diamond area, which is where 3 routes merge. This area has a number of functions, mainly retail/commercial. The Diamond is an attractive area, with landscaped seating and planting areas. This area also has a number of buildings that are included on the Record of Protected Structures.

Approaching Castlefinn from the south.

The town has a number of functions including retail, commercial, education, religious, economic, agricultural, social and recreational and a C.P.I center where the Garden show is based. However, the majority of functions are limited in scope due to the deficiency in population to support a number of large-scale services.

Castlefinn serves as the focus of primary education for the surrounding rural areas. The National School has a large catchment area and currently has 180+ pupils attending. This provides employment for 10 full-time teachers and a number of associated job opportunities. The town has a play school for pre-school age children.

The town centre is the focus of a wide range of functions and activities. The town offers the basic essential retail outlets including grocery stores, petrol station, Post office, butchers, take-aways, public houses and some hairdressers . The town also has a recycling facility that is located on the Castlederg road beside the bridge. The main facility is the C.P.I center witch is used for football,parties,computering and the youth club. Holmes' Coaches - operated by Gerard Holmes- is the main transport for the schools, but Castlefinn Cabs and Bus Hire - operated by Michael Carlin- is another taxi company. It also has GAA grounds "Robert Emmetts" and Soccer grounds "Castlefinn Celtic".


Castlefinn is in the parish of Donaghmore, barony of Raphoe, 4.5 miles from Lifford. Its name translates from the castle on the banks of the river finn, the stones from the castle were used in the construction of the bridge that still stands today, and at the close of Elizabeth I’s reign it belonged to Sir Neill Garbh O’Donnell. It is situated on the river Finn, which is navigable to the River Foyle for vessels of 14 tons’ burden, is on the road from Strabane to Stranorlar and in 1837 consisted of a single street, with a Roman Catholic Chapel.[2]


There used to be a clothing factory in the town which made shirts and other items, but like so much of the textile industry in Donegal, this is long since gone.


  • St Mary's National School, Castlefinn, St Mary's NS Website
  • Scoil Náisiúnta Domhnach Mór, Liscooley, Castlefinn
  • St. Safan's, Scoil NáisiÚnta Naomh Samhthann, Drumdoit, Castlefinn

Castlefinn also offers a pre-school for children five and under.


Castlefinn railway station opened on 7 September 1863, but finally closed on 1 January 1960.[3] A number of buses pass through Castlefinn on a daily basis going to Letterkenny, Derry, Strabane, Dublin, Sligo and Galway.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. ^ "Castlefinn - Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837". From Ireland. Retrieved 2007-09-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Castlefinn station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 

External links[edit]