|Rasharkin shown within Northern Ireland|
|Population||1,114 (2011 Census)|
|Irish grid reference|
|• Belfast||38 miles|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||028, +44 28|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
Rasharkin (from Irish Ros Earcáin, meaning 'Earcán's promontory'), 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.
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.
It lay within the barony of Kilconway that belonged to the MacDonnells in the 17th Century.
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. There have been sectarian attacks in the village.
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.
Places of interest
- Craigs Dolmen is situated three miles north of Rasharkin and is a passage tomb featuring a big capstone on seven upright stones.
- Chris Baird, a football player for both Fulham F.C. and the Northern Ireland team is from the village.
- Gerard Casey, IRA member killed by loyalists in 1989.
- Karla Quinn a figure skater. She was crowned as British Junior Ice Skating Champion 2008, British junior silver medallist and the 2006 British junior bronze medalist. She is the first ever female Northern Irish skater to take three British titles at Novice, Primary and Junior levels.
- Paddy McConnell, a footballer born in 1900, played for the Irish National Football Team as well as several club sides including Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers, Southport, Shelbourne and Hibernian.
- Daithi McKay, Former chairperson of the Assembly's Finance Committee and a Sinn Féin Assembly Member for North Antrim between 2007 and 2016. McKay secured the introduction of a carrier bag levy and rate relief for Amateur Sport Clubs during his tenure.
- Tom Ekin former Alliance Mayor of Belfast was raised in Rasharkin and went to school in the nearby townland of Ballymaconnelly.
- The local Gaelic Athletic Association Club in Rasharkin is Naomh Mhuire (St. Mary's), and consists of hurling, camogie and Gaelic football teams.
- Rasharkin United F.C. competed in the Ballymena & Provincial League until their disbandment in 2012 and were crowned league champions in 2005. The club was run by Mr. Peter Baird (chairman) and Chris Peacock (manager).
It had a population of 1,114 people (394 households) in the 2011 Census.
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.
- Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
- "Rasharkin". Census 2011 Results. NI Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
- Ballymoney Borough Council
- "Heavy security at loyalist parade", BBC News
- Rasharkin parade marred by violence-Ballycastle Chronicle
- "Petrol bomb thrown at village pub", BBCD News, 11 July 2008
- "Family 'forced out'after attack", BBC News
- "Protestant pair forced to flee", The Newsletter
- Man arrested after sectarian attack The Newsletter
- "Violence at Belfast parade route". BBC NI News. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- Home of Chris Bairds mum attacked BBC NEWS
- "Craigs Dolmen, Rasharkin". The Causeway Coast and Glens. Retrieved 2007-12-05.