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Ráth Garbh
Rathgar is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
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
Administrative countyDublin City

Rathgar (Irish: Ráth Garbh, meaning "rough ringfort"), originally a village, from 1862 part of the township Rathmines and Rathgar, in 1930 became a suburb of Dublin, Ireland.[1] It lies about 3 kilometres south of the city centre.


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


Rathgar, in the Middle Ages, was a farm belonging to the Convent of St Mary de Hogges, at present-day College Green. 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. 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: it is thought to have been located at what is now 44-49 Highfield Road.

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

The village began to develop in the eighteenth century: Rathgar Avenue is probably the oldest street, while Highfield Road was developed in 1753. Zion Church and Christ Church Rathgar were built in the 1860s, by which time Rathgar was a sizeable community.


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. Dodder Park is located in Rathgar.

One of the main schools in 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,[2] but also has students of Jewish heritage.[2] 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 in nearby Rathmines was opened in 1913 and provides education for girls.[3] It is a member of Le Chéile Catholic School Trust[4] 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. It maintains a village feel,[original research?] and has a delicatessen, 2 butchers, a bike shop and a wine shop within 20 yards of the main cross. There is also Rathgar Pharmacy, Rathgar Hair Studio and a number of fashion and interior boutiques. There is also a small Supervalu supermarket. Local restaurants include Bijou (Modern Irish), Lumanti of Nepal (Nepalese), Howard's Way and Kanum (Asian).[citation needed]

Health care[edit]

St. Luke's Hospital, Highfield Road, specialises in cancer treatments. This is currently under threat of closure and many of the local residents are opposed to this. Mount Carmel General and Maternity hospital was located on Orwell Road but closed in January 2014.



Rathgar has a number of notable architectural features, notably Christ Church Rathgar[5] (part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland) at the junction of Rathgar Road and Highfield Road in the village centre. 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 is known as "The Servants' Church" because in the late 19th and early 20th century it was the place of worship for the large number of servants who worked and lived in the large houses in the area.

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)[6] have their Synagogue at 7 Leicester Avenue, Rathgar. Leicester Avenue is a continuation of Kenilworth Square, South. The orthodox Dublin Hebrew Congregation have their synagogue in nearby Terenure[7]


The Marist Sisters have a convent at 51 Kenilworth Square[8]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

The Embassy of the Russian Federation is located in extensive grounds in southern Rathgar, with the Consular Office by the gates.

Notable people[edit]

  • Ulick O'Connor
  • George William Russell
  • J.M. Synge
  • David Marcus[9]
  • Éamon de Valera[10]
  • Seumas O'Sullivan
  • Mary Lou McDonald
  • George Dawson Preston born here
  • Dorothy Price
  • James Joyce was born in Brighton Square
  • Jack Lynch, who was Taoiseach of Ireland intermittently from 1966–79 had a home at Garville Avenue
  • Bram Stoker lived on Orwell Park for a time
  • Arnold Bax 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

  • Kate Sheppard, a prominent New Zealand suffragette. After her father died her Irish mother, Jemina Souter, brought the family to Kenilworth Square. Later they emigrated to New Zealand. Kate maintained her connection with the square and frequently returned, after speaking engagements in London staying with her aunt Jenny Inglis at 56 Kenilworth Square[11]
  • Éamon de Valera's 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.
  • Convicted Croatian war criminal and Holocaust perpetrator Andrija Artukovic apparently lived in Rathgar for some period of time following the Second World War, after fleeing justice via a ratline, and was possibly aided by anti-British sentiment in Ireland.[12] He entered Ireland with a false Swiss passport under the assumed name "Alois Anich". He left for the United States with a forged Irish identity document and lived in California, but was eventually deported to Yugoslavia after decades of legal wrangling.[13]


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dublin City Archives : IE DCLA UDC/1 : ARCHIVES OF THE RATHMINES AND RATHGAR TOWNSHIP (1847-1930)" (PDF). Dublincity.ie. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  2. ^ a b "Ethos". The High School. The High School, Dublin. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  3. ^ "History and Tradition". St Louis High School, Rathmines. St Louis High School, Rathmines. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. ^ "schools". Le Chéile. Le Chéile Trust. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Christ Church Rathgar, Presbyterian - Dublin 6, Ireland". Christchurchrathgar.org. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  6. ^ "Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation". DJPC Ireland.
  7. ^ "A heritage like no other, a community built on strength". Jewishireland.org. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Marist Sisters". Maristsisters.net. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Keeper of the literary flame". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Full text of "De Valera And The March Of A Nation"". Archive.org. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Places of Interest to Kiwi visitors". New Zealand Association. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  12. ^ Peterkin, Tom. "Ireland 'welcomed Hitler's henchmen". London, UK: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  13. ^ Mullins, Gerry (2011). Dublin Nazi No.1. Dublin: Liberties Press. p. 97. ISBN 9781907593253.


O'Connell, Angela. The Servants' Church: History of the Church of the Three Patrons in the Parish of Rathgar. Dublin: Parish Development and Renewal Core Group, Church of the Three Patrons, 2004. 106p. Class no. 29 L.H. (Dublin) / 129

External links[edit]