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Rasharkin Main Street - geograph.org.uk - 858014.jpg
Main Street
Rasharkin is located in Northern Ireland
Rasharkin shown within Northern Ireland
Population 1,114 (2011 Census)
Irish grid reference C971134
• Belfast 38 miles
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT44
Dialling code 028, +44 28
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°57′14″N 6°28′48″W / 54.95382°N 6.48°W / 54.95382; -6.48Coordinates: 54°57′14″N 6°28′48″W / 54.95382°N 6.48°W / 54.95382; -6.48

Rasharkin (from Irish Ros Earcáin, meaning 'Earcán's promontory'),[1] is a small village, townland and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of Ballymoney, near Dunloy and Kilrea. It had a population of 1,114 people in the 2011 Census.[2]


Rasharkin features in Buile Shuibhne an old Irish tale about the Suibhne mac Colmain, king of the Dál nAraidi, driven insane by St. Ronan's curse. The tale is the final installment of a three-text cycle in medieval Irish literature, continuing on from Fled Dúin na nGéd (The Feast of Dun na nGéd) and Cath Maige Rátha (The Battle of Mag Rath).

King Sweeney's homeplace in the tale was Glenbuck that lies just outside Rasharkin. Seamus Heaney published an English version of the tale entitled Sweeney Astray


Historically Rasharkin was also spelt as Rosharkin and Rosarkin.[1]

It lay within the barony of Kilconway that belonged to the MacDonnells in the 17th Century.

Rasharkin also has a rich history and features in Ballymoney's involvement in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.[3]

The Troubles[edit]

A total of 3 people were killed in the village of Rasharkin during the period known as The Troubles. One was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and one a member of the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR), both killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on separate occasions. The other, Gerard Casey was a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and was killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).


The village forms part of the North Antrim constituency and the elected MP is DUP party member Ian Paisley, Jr. In recent years there has been opposition to Orange Order parades in the village, from segments of the majority Catholic population.[4][5] There have been sectarian attacks[6] in the village.[7][8][9]

On 12 July 2009, three police officers were injured after being attacked at an Orange parade at Rasharkin, sustaining minor injuries from stones and bricks thrown by youths. Petrol bombs were also thrown and one man was arrested.[10]

In September 2010, the home of Chris Baird's mother was petrol bombed.[11] Also, Saint Mary's chapel was paint bombed.

Places of interest[edit]




2011 Census[edit]

It had a population of 1,114 people (394 households) in the 2011 Census.[2]

2001 Census[edit]

Rasharkin is classified as a small village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 500 and 1,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 864 people living in Rasharkin. Of these:

  • 24.9% were aged under 16 years and 15.7% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.4% of the population were male and 51.6% were female
  • 73.5% were from a Catholic background and 26.0% were from a Protestant background
  • 6.0% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


There are 4 churches in the village ; Presbyterian, Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic and Free Presbyterian.

The Free Presbyterian Church in Rasharkin was one of the first congregations of the new Free Presbyterian Church in 1951 after a damaging split in the Presbyterian Church locally with many opposed to the Minister there Rev Stronge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  2. ^ a b "Rasharkin". Census 2011 Results. NI Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Ballymoney Borough Council
  4. ^ "Heavy security at loyalist parade", BBC News
  5. ^ Rasharkin parade marred by violence-Ballycastle Chronicle
  6. ^ "Petrol bomb thrown at village pub", BBCD News, 11 July 2008
  7. ^ "Family 'forced out'after attack", BBC News
  8. ^ "Protestant pair forced to flee", The Newsletter
  9. ^ Man arrested after sectarian attack The Newsletter
  10. ^ "Violence at Belfast parade route". BBC NI News. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  11. ^ Home of Chris Bairds mum attacked BBC NEWS
  12. ^ "Craigs Dolmen, Rasharkin". The Causeway Coast and Glens. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 

External links[edit]