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Ráth Garbh
Garville Avenue, Rathgar
Garville Avenue, Rathgar
Rathgar is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Rathgar is located in Dublin
Rathgar (Dublin)
Coordinates: 53°18.7′N 6°16.46′W / 53.3117°N 6.27433°W / 53.3117; -6.27433Coordinates: 53°18.7′N 6°16.46′W / 53.3117°N 6.27433°W / 53.3117; -6.27433
Local government areaDublin City

Rathgar (Irish: Ráth Garbh, meaning 'rough ringfort'),[1] is a suburb of Dublin in Ireland. It was originally a village which from 1862 was part of the township of Rathmines and Rathgar; it was absorbed by the growing city and became a suburb in 1930.[2] It lies about three kilometres south of the city centre.


Rathgar is situated in the southside of Dublin. It lies beside Dartry, Harold's Cross, Rathmines, and Terenure. Other nearby suburbs are Crumlin, Kimmage, Milltown, Ranelagh, and Rathfarnham. The Grand Canal flows to the north. The majority of the area lies within the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council and straddles the postal boundary of Dublin 6.

Rathgar is in the Dáil Éireann constituency of Dublin Bay South.


Rathgar, in the Middle Ages, was a farm belonging to the Convent of St Mary de Hogges, at present-day College Green.[3] At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Rathgar was granted to the Segrave family: they built Rathgar Castle, ownership of which subsequently passed to John Cusacke, who was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1608.[4][5] The castle remained in the possession of the Cusack family for over a century, but gradually decayed and was a ruin by the end of the eighteenth century. No trace of it remains today, though it is thought to have been located at present day 44-49 Highfield Road.[6]

In 1649 the Duke of Ormonde commander of the Anglo-Irish Royalist army established his camp at Rathgar during the Siege of Dublin.[4] He was then routed at the Battle of Rathmines nearby by English Republican forces under Michael Jones.

The village began to develop in the eighteenth century. Rathgar Avenue may be the oldest street, while Highfield Road was developed in 1753.[4] Zion Church and Christ Church Rathgar were built in the 1860s.[7]


Rathgar is a largely residential suburb with amenities that include primary and secondary schools, nursing homes, child-care and sports facilities, and public transport to the city centre. The housing stock largely comprises red-brick late Georgian and Victorian era terraces and much of the area lies within an architectural conservation zone.[citation needed] Dodder Park is located in Rathgar.

One of the main schools in the area is The High School, Dublin, which moved to the area from its original location on Harcourt Street in 1971. The High School follows a liberal Anglican heritage,[8] but also has students of Jewish heritage.[8] Other schools include Stratford College on Zion Road, which was founded in the 1950s by members of the Jewish Community in Dublin. St Louis High School, Rathmines was opened in 1913 and provides education for girls.[9] It is a member of The Le Cheile Schools Trust.[10] St Mary's College, which provides education for boys, have sports facilities in Kenilworth Square, Rathgar. The rest of the school is in Rathmines. Rathgar is also the home of a school called Rathgar Junior School.

Rathgar has a number of retail outlets, including a small Supervalu supermarket, and several restaurants.[citation needed]

Health care[edit]

St. Luke's Hospital is based on Highfield Road, and specialises in cancer treatments.[11] Mount Carmel Community Hospital, located on Orwell Road, re-opened as a short-stay nursing home in September 2015.[12][13]


Zion Church, Rathgar


Churches serving the area include Christ Church Rathgar (part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland) which is at the junction of Rathgar Road and Highfield Road in the village centre.[14] The Roman Catholic Church of The Three Patrons (named after the three Patron Saints of Ireland: St Patrick, St Bridget and St Columba) on Rathgar Road. It is also known as "The Servants' Church" because, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was the place of worship for the large number of servants who worked and lived in the large houses in the area.[15]

Theological College[edit]

The Church of Ireland Theological College and the Zion Church of Ireland at the junction of Zion and Bushy Park Road are also in Rathgar.


The Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation (Knesset Orech Chayim) have their Synagogue on Leicester Avenue, Rathgar.[16] The orthodox Dublin Hebrew Congregation have their synagogue in nearby Terenure.[17]


The Marist Sisters have a convent at 51 Kenilworth Square[18]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

Kenilworth Square North

The embassy of the Russian Federation, including its consular office, is located on Orwell Road in Rathgar.[19][20] Barbados also has an honorary consulate address in Rathgar.[21]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Andrija Artukovic (1899–1988), convicted Croatian war criminal and Holocaust perpetrator, apparently lived in Rathgar for a period following the Second World War, after fleeing justice via a ratline, and was possibly aided by anti-British sentiment in Ireland.[22][23]
  • Arnold Bax (1883–1953), composer and poet who rented a villa in Bushy Park Road for a short time. He described the view in his autobiography:

    [f]rom the back windows of the incongruously named "Yeovil" there was... a clear vista of parklike wooded country and beyond that of the complete ring of the untamed Dublin Mountains. On any clear day one's eye could wander along that amphitheatre of beloved slopes, over Niall Glundubh's cairn on Tibradden, past haunted Kilmashogue, down into the sylvan hollows of Glendhu, up again along a red-brown fringe of leafless trees to the sinister ruins of Kilikee brooding over Dublin's south-western suburbs - "the Hellfire Club," monumental to the arrogance and violence of the eighteenth-century Irish gentry - until finally one's gaze rested upon Seefin, a pearl-grey phantasm of a mountain, its summit gleaming maybe with the snowdrifts of last week's blizzard. And deep in those folded hills, thirty miles away, was hidden Glendalough of the Seven Churches, an enchanted place of holy gloom.

    — Arnold Bax, Farewell My Youth (1943)
  • James Joyce (1882–1941), novelist and short-story writer was born in Brighton Square.
  • Jack Lynch (1917–1999), Taoiseach who had a home on Garville Avenue [24]
  • David Marcus (1924–2009), Cork-born editor and writer who lived in the area[25]
  • Mary Lou McDonald (b.1969), politician[citation needed]
  • Ulick O'Connor (1928–2019), writer and historian who was born in Rathgar and lived at Fairfield Park [26]
  • Seumas O'Sullivan (1879–1958), poet and editor who spent much of his life in Rathgar[citation needed]
  • George Dawson Preston (1896–1972), physicist born in Rathgar[citation needed]
  • Dorothy Price (1890–1954), physician[27]
  • George William Russell (1867–1935), lived in Rathgar for a time[28]
  • Kate Sheppard (1848–1934) a prominent New Zealand suffragette. After her father died, her Irish mother brought the family to Kenilworth Square in Rathgar. Later they emigrated to New Zealand. Sheppard maintained her connection with the square and returned several times (including after speaking engagements in London) to stay with her aunt at Kenilworth Square.[29]
  • Bram Stoker (1847–1912) writer who lived at Orwell Park for a time[3]
  • John Millington Synge (1871–1909), writer and playwright who lived at 4 Orwell Park (as did Bram Stoker)[3]
  • Éamon de Valera (1882–1975), a politician whose presidential office was moved to 53 Kenilworth Square in 1921 when his house in Blackrock was raided. It was in this house that Arthur Griffith presented Lloyd George's proposals for the Anglo-Irish Treaty to de Valera four days before the Treaty was signed in London.[30]
  • Francis Sheehy Skeffington (1878 - 1916) and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington (1877 - 1946) lived for a time at 8 Airfield Road.


  1. ^ "Rathgar / Ráth Garbh". logainm.ie. Irish Placenames Commission. Archived from the original on 26 September 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  2. ^ "IE DCLA UDC/1 : Archives Of The Rathmines And Rathgar Township (1847-1930)" (PDF). dublincity.ie. Dublin City Archives. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Rathgar Walking Trail Map & Guide" (PDF). dublincity.ie. Dublin City Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 December 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "History of the District of Rathgar". christchurchrathgar.org. Christ Church Rathgar. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Rathgar - History". rathgarresidentsassociation.ie. Rathgar Residents Association. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Rathgar period home". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. 18 May 2018. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  7. ^ "1861 – Zion Church & School, Rathgar, Co. Dublin". Architecture of Dublin City. Archiseek. 2014. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Ethos". The High School. The High School, Dublin. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  9. ^ "History and Tradition". St Louis High School, Rathmines. St Louis High School, Rathmines. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  10. ^ "List of Schools". lecheiletrust.ie. Le Chéile Trust. Archived from the original on 30 September 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  11. ^ "St. Lukes - Who We Are". stlukesnetwork.ie. St. Luke's Hospital. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Mount Carmel is reborn as a short-stay nursing home". The Independent. 16 May 2019. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Mount Carmel now a community hospital". Irish Health. 4 September 2015. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Christ Church Rathgar, Presbyterian - Dublin 6, Ireland". christchurchrathgar.org. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  15. ^ O'Connell, Angela (2004). The Servants' Church: History of the Church of the Three Patrons in the Parish of Rathgar. Dublin: Parish Development and Renewal Core Group.
  16. ^ "Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation". DJPC Ireland. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  17. ^ "A heritage like no other, a community built on strength". Jewishireland.org. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Marist Sisters". Maristsisters.net. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Garda expands security operation around Russian embassy in Dublin". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. 18 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Russia has nothing to hide with Dublin embassy plans - just don't ask if Big Brother is watching". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Honorary Consular Representatives in Ireland - Diplomatic List - January 2021" (PDF). dfa.ie. Department of Foreign Affairs (Ireland). January 2021. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  22. ^ Peterkin, Tom. "Ireland 'welcomed Hitler's henchmen". London, UK: Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  23. ^ Mullins, Gerry (2011). Dublin Nazi No.1. Dublin: Liberties Press. p. 97. ISBN 9781907593253.
  24. ^ "Jack Lynch's Rathgar home for sale". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. 28 April 2005.
  25. ^ "Keeper of the literary flame". Irishtimes.com. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Ulick O'Connor". dublincity.ie. Dublin City Council. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  27. ^ "The 1916 Diary of Dorothy Stopford Price". The 1916 Diary of Dorothy Stopford Price. Trinity College Dublin. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  28. ^ "Hairy fairy revisited – An Irishman's Diary on George Russell". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. 3 April 2017. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018. George William Russell [..] was a poet, painter, playwright and nationalist who wrote on economics and politics, and the list of names of those who attended his famous soirées at his home in Rathgar reads like a 'who’s who' of the Dublin of his time
  29. ^ "Places of Interest to Kiwi visitors". New Zealand Association. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Full text of "De Valera And The March Of A Nation"". Archive.org. Retrieved 26 October 2016.

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