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Dungiven Main Street.jpg
Dungiven is located in Northern Ireland
Location within Northern Ireland
Population3,288 (Census 2011)
Irish grid referenceC689024
• Belfast53 miles (85 km)
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBT47
Dialling code028, +44 28
PoliceNorthern Ireland
FireNorthern Ireland
AmbulanceNorthern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
County Londonderry
54°55′41″N 6°55′30″W / 54.928°N 6.925°W / 54.928; -6.925Coordinates: 54°55′41″N 6°55′30″W / 54.928°N 6.925°W / 54.928; -6.925

Dungiven (from Irish: Dún Geimhin, meaning 'Gevin's fort')[1] is a small town, townland and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is on the main A6 Belfast to Derry road. It lies where the rivers Roe, Owenreagh and Owenbeg meet at the foot of the 1,525 ft (465 m) Benbradagh. Nearby is the Glenshane Pass, where the road rises to over 1,000 ft (300 m). It had a population of 3,288 people in the 2011 Census,[2] an increase of 10% over the 2001 population of 2,993.[3] It is within Causeway Coast and Glens district council area.


There is evidence of settlement in the area for at least 1000 years. There may have been an abbey in the area around 700AD. The Augustinian abbey of St Mary's was built in the 11th century. Its ruins contain the tomb of O'Cahan (Cooey na Gall O' Cahan), laid to rest in 1385.[4] A thicket of thorn bushes hung with rags conceals a bullaun stone, visited for wart cures.[5]

Between the 12th and 17th centuries the area was ruled by the Ó Catháin clan, one of the most influential clans in Ulster

The town sprang up around Dungiven Castle and the Church of Ireland (Anglican church), later spreading westwards along Chapel Road and Main Street towards the bridging point on the River Roe.[6]


The village is part of the East Londonderry UK Parliamentary constituency. The MP for the constituency since 2001 has been Gregory Campbell of the DUP. The UK constituency is coterminous with the Northern Ireland Assembly constituency of the same name. The five MLAs elected in 2017 were 2 DUP, 1 independent unionist, 1 Sinn Féin and 1 SDLP. It forms part of the Benbradagh district electoral area of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. In 2019 this area elected 3 Sinn Féin, 1 SDLP and 1 DUP councillors.

The Troubles[edit]

During The Troubles in Northern Ireland, seven people were killed in or near Dungiven in connection with the conflict, six of whom were members of the security forces. The one civilian, Francis McCloskey, was found beaten to death in disputed circumstances during street riots, in which the police were called to respond. He has sometimes been deemed as the first person killed in the last installment of the Troubles (1969-1997).[7]


St. Patrick's College is the secondary school in the town. It is located on Curragh Road.[8] St. Canice's is the primary school.[9] Gaelscoil Neachtain is a co-educational, interdenominational Irish-medium primary school.[10] In 2015, Gaelcholáiste Dhoire, an Irish-medium post-primary school, opened in Dungiven Castle.[11]


Gaelic games are the most popular sports in the area. St Canice's Dungiven is the local Gaelic football club;[12] the team plays at O'Cahan Park and have won the Derry Senior Football Championship 7 times, and won the Ulster Senior Football Championship once, in 1997.

Kevin Lynch's is the local hurling club; they have won the Derry Senior Hurling Championship a record 22 times. The team plays at Kevin Lynch Park.

Dungiven Celtic F.C. is an association football club playing in the Northern Ireland Intermediate League.


According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), on Census day (27 March 2011) there were 3,288 people living in Dungiven.[2] Of these:

  • 24.57% were aged under 16 and 10.55% were aged 65 and over
  • 48.87% of the population were male and 51.13% were female
  • 95.41% were from a Catholic background and 3.65% were from a Protestant or other Christian background
  • 8.63% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed


  • Dungiven sits on the main A6 road and has good road links to Derry (29 km to the west) and Limavady (13 km to the north). A proposed by-pass for Dungiven, following a route to the south west of the town, has been marked-out since the 1973 Limavady Area Plan.[6]
  • Dungiven was the terminus of the Limavady railway, which closed in 1950. Dungiven railway station opened on 4 July 1883, closed for passenger traffic on 1 January 1933 and closed altogether on 3 July 1950.[13]


Popular culture[edit]

Dungiven is mentioned in the Brian Friel play Making History, as the place where Mabel Bagnel goes after the Siege of Kinsale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. ^ a b "Census 2011 Population Statistics for Dungiven Settlement". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Census 2001 Usually Resident Population: KS01 (Settlements) - Table view". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Dungiven Priory". Roe Valley. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Dungiven profile". Culture Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Dungiven Settlement Designation". Planning Service - Draft Northern Area Plan 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2008.
  7. ^ Sutton Index of Deaths - 1969, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ "St. Patrick's College". St. Patrick's College. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  9. ^ "St. Canice's Primary School". St. Canice's Primary School. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Gaelscoil Neachtain". Gaelscoil Neachtain. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Gaelcholáiste Dhoire". Gaelcholáiste Dhoire. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  12. ^ "St Canice's GAC, Dungiven". St Canice's GAC website. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Dungiven station" (PDF). Railscot–Irish Railways. Retrieved 12 October 2007.