Rathcoole, County Dublin
|Elevation||148 m (486 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Rathcoole (Irish: Rath Cúil, meaning "ringfort of Comhaill") is a suburban village, south west of the city of Dublin. It lies near Newcastle, in South Dublin, Ireland. It lies just off the N7 national primary road. It borders the nearby village of Saggart.
There is a park maintained by South Dublin County Council at the eastern end of the Village. Beechwood Lawns is located in between the main street and the park. Forest Hills is the single largest housing development in Rathcoole, lying between Beechwood Lawns and the western end of the village estate of Rathlawns and Tootenhill.
Rath is the Irish word for a ringfort, often erected by wealthy farmers or local chiefs. There are several forts in the parish of Rathcoole, and while there is no definite explanation for the name 'Rathcoole,' it could well be Rath Comhaill meaning 'the rath of Comhaill', the father of Fionn. Coole may also come from the Irish word for forest, 'coill'. The rath associated with Rathcoole is in a field between Rathcoole and Saggart.
The village was the birthplace in 1765 of the United Irishman Felix Rourke. Like nearby Newcastle and Saggart, Rathcoole was on the periphery of the Pale and was the site of many battles with mountain-based rebels, particularly the noted Lawlor clan. The Lawlors still reside in Rathcoole.
In the late 18th century Rathcoole was composed mainly of mud huts, and as late as the early 20th century it consisted of only one street. Today it is home to more than two hundred and fifty businesses.
There was the remains of a tunnel entrance found at the "Backwards House" in Rathcoole, only backwards as the road was changed from the front to the back after development of the village commenced. The tunnel which predates the house that still stands today was built before the Vikings attack of the 9th century as an escape route for the clergy residing at Mo Sacra's monastery on the Saggart towns land of Coolmine to rathcoole.
During English attacks on the Irish rebel population in Rathcoole they would use a tunnel from the village to escape to a Mo Sacra's monastery in Coolmine which was the residence of a number of French nuns. The English were very frustrated that they could not apprehend the rebels but knew Rathcoole was a rebel stronghold at the time. The English devised a plan to catch the rebels by burning the hiding places where the families of the rebels were located in Rathcoole, local historians say their screams which could be heard from the Coolmine monastery and this lead the rebells to initiate a rescue plan that ultimately failed. The nuns from the Coolmine monastery were helping the rebels to previously evade capture and when Cromwell discovered this he cut their hands off as an act of revenge, the hands were discovered approx. 50 years ago and they were laid to rest in a Dublin cemetery.
Rathcoole is also home to Rathcoole House Estate, which was built in 1750 and belonged to the Clinch family.
Rathcoole is in the Dublin Mid-West constituency and in the Clondalkin Local electoral area for county council elections (with Clondalkin, Newcastle and Saggart).
Holy Family Community School at the western end of the village recently celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. It is a secondary school for students from Rathcoole and those commuting from the nearby towns of Clondalkin and Tallaght and the villages of Saggart and Brittas. There is also Holy Family National School located at the western end of Forest Hills and a Gaelscoil in Rathcoole Village.
Rathcoole has a well-maintained and landscaped park run by South Dublin County Council and a local community centre which caters for local events and training courses.
One of Rathcoole's best known pubs is An Poitin Stil, which is built on the site of an original inn house dating back to 1649. The other pubs in the area are Muldowneys, Baurnafea House, and The Rathcoole Inn.
Rathcoole is perhaps best known for its former Olympic medal-winning swimmer, Michelle Smith, who won three gold medals and, also, a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Rathcoole football club is known as "Rathcoole Boys". The well-known GAA club "Commercials Hurling Club" is located just off the Naas Road. The local basketball club is known as "Rathcoole Rockets". Rathcoole is close to a number of golf courses: Slade Valley, Citywest and Beech Park.
Coolmine Equestrian Centre was established here in 1989 and has since become one of the most well renowned Equestrian Facilities in Ireland. Horse riding lessons and guided horseback trips are available here in addition to a thriving equestrian education institution. Coolmine Equestrian Website
This equestrian centre welcomes international guests here on educational programmes, work experience and holidays. The centre became an Equestrian Academy and is now known locally as CEAD-Ireland. This Academy hosts festivals during the summer nicknamed the CEAD-Fest providing a celebration of the Irish Horse with dance, music, pony rides, pet farms, dog shows and equestrian competitions. cead-ireland.com
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