Caisleán na Finne
The centre of Castlefin village.
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Castlefinn (Irish: Caisleán na Finne, meaning "castle of the (river) Finn"), sometimes spelt Castlefin, 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 1980s Sessaigh Park built in the 2000s, Caislean Court built in the 1990s, Hillhead built in the 1970s and Grahamsland built in the 1950s.
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.
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 which is used for football, parties, computering and the youth club. Holmes' Coaches is the main transport for the schools, but Castlefinn Cabs and Bus Hire is another taxi company. There is a local GAA (Robert Emmetts) and a soccer field (Castlefinn Celtic). Castlefinn is also the home of Finn Valley Radio which broadcasts on 95.8FM locally and around the world online, the station holds a community licence and it's studios are located at the CPI Centre, their slogan is "Ireland's Happiest Radio Station" and can be listened to by visiting www.finnvalleyfm.com
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 Niall 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.
- St Mary's National School, Castlefin
- Scoil Náisiúnta Domhnach Mór, Liscooley, Castlefinn
- St. Safan's, Scoil NáisiÚnta Naomh Samhthann, Drumdoit, Castlefinn
Castlefinn railway station opened on 7 September 1863, but finally closed on 1 January 1960. A number of buses pass through Castlefinn on a daily basis going to Letterkenny, Derry, Strabane, Dublin, Sligo and Galway.