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Cill Charthaigh
View from the monastic site at the old church down to the village, looking east. The R263 is to be seen as it leaves Kilcar in direction to Killybegs
View from the monastic site at the old church down to the village, looking east. The R263 is to be seen as it leaves Kilcar in direction to Killybegs
Cill Charthaigh is located in Ireland
Cill Charthaigh
Cill Charthaigh
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°37′57″N 8°35′34″W / 54.632481°N 8.592789°W / 54.632481; -8.592789Coordinates: 54°37′57″N 8°35′34″W / 54.632481°N 8.592789°W / 54.632481; -8.592789
Country Ireland
Province Ulster
County County Donegal
 • Dáil Éireann Donegal South-West
 • EU Parliament North–West
Population (2011)
 • Urban 248 [1]
Irish Grid Reference G614763
Cill Charthaigh is the only official name. The anglicised spelling Kilcar has no official status.

Cill Charthaigh (anglicised as Kilcar)[2] is a Gaeltacht village on the R263 regional road in the south west of County Donegal, Ireland. It is also a townland of 233 acres and a civil parish in the historic barony of Banagh.[3]

The village itself consists of a main street with a Church at one end and two textile factories at the other end. In between there are a few shops and four pubs. The village has the principal tweed hand weaving facility in Donegal, with a shop Studio Donegal selling high quality tweed products. Kilcar is well known for its tradition in Knitting - Fisherman Out of Ireland Knitwear Showroom is located at Ballymoon, Kilcar Fisherman Out of Ireland Knitwear. There is also a producer of seaweed based cosmetic products.

The national school is about 750 meters from the main street and the parish of Kilcar stretches all the way to the river which separates it from the next village, Carrick, which is about 5 kilometers away.

Located very close to the imposing shape of Slieve League cliffs, the town is well known for the scenic coastal landscapes and the musical and cultural traditions.


Áislann Chill Chartha is a community facility which includes a library, sports hall (basketball and indoor football), a fully equipped fitness suite, computer centre, and small theatre. It also has exhibits based on the history of South West Donegal and usually has a revolving exhibition of historic local photographs, it is located beside Studio Donegal.

St. Cartha's Pipe Band was formed in Kilcar in 1934. The band competed in their first All Ireland Pipe Band Championships in 2009. At the Malahide piping and drumming festival of the same year, the band finished second in their grade. The bands uniform consists of a saffron kilt and green tunic.

About 22% of residents are native Irish speakers.

Sport and outdoor activities[edit]

Muckros Peninsula, Kilcar

Kilcar is a gaelic football stronghold and the GAA pitch at Towney is located 2 kilometres outside the village on the coast road. It is one of the most scenically situated football pitches in Ireland. The local club, C.L.G. Chíll Chartha, has been 6 times Donegal Champion and produced great champions over the last decades.

In the townland of Muckross (Mucros in Irish), which is a popular location for tourists due to its spectacular scenery, rock climbing, surfing beach and safe family bathing beach. It is 3 km (2 mi) east of the village on the coast road (See Muckross Head).

Curris is also another area worth visiting because of its wonderful views of Sliabh a Liag plus it also has a lovely beach and pier in close proximity.

Notable people[edit]

The American couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker own a holiday home in the area, and have been regular visitors.[4]

Bishop Séamus Hegarty is from Kilcar.

Dr. Diarmuid Hegarty, former County Coroner is from Kilcar.

Michael Hegarty, Donegal Senior Player 1998 - 2011, Ulster Final 2011 and All Ireland National League winner is from Crowkeeragh, Kilcar.

Showband singer Dermot Hegarty hails from County Longford, but his father Andrew Hegarty was from Crowkeeragh, Kilcar, cousin of Michael Hegarty Donegal Senior player. He is a legend in the Irish country scene. In 1969 he formed with the Plainsmen topping the bill at venues throughout Ireland, England, America and Canada. 1970 saw the release of 21 years which dominated the Irish charts for 47 weeks.

1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Champions the McHugh brothers, James and Martin, are from Kilcar. Martin is the father of Mark, 2012 All-Ireland champion and All Star and his brother Ryan, 2014 All-Ireland Finalist and All Star Award winner. Also Donegal superstar Patrick McBrearty is from Kilcar.

Indie rock band The Revs come from Kilcar and often play at the annual Kilcar Festival in August.

Civil parish of Kilcar[edit]

The civil parish contains the village of Kilcar.[3]


The civil parish contains the following townlands:[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Census 2011 – Population Classified by Area Table 6 Population of each province, county, city, urban area, rural area and electoral division, 2006 and 2011
  2. ^ Placenames (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) Order 2004.
  3. ^ a b c "Kilcar". IreAtlas Townlands Database. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Coleman, Maureen (7 August 2008). "Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick off to Donegal to save marriage". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 7 August 2008. The glamorous couple – considered one of the strongest pairings in showbiz – regularly visit Kilcar in Donegal, where they own a holiday home. 

External links[edit]