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An Clochán Liath

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An Clochán Liath (English: Dungloe or Dunglow[2] /dʌnˈl/ dun-LOH) is a Gaeltacht town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is the main town in The Rosses and the largest in the Donegal Gaeltacht.[3] Dungloe developed as a town in the middle of the 18th century, and now serves as the administrative and retail centre for the west of County Donegal, and in particular The Rosses, with the only mainland secondary school for the area.

An Clochán Liath

Ostan Na Rosann Hotel, Dungloe, County Donegal - - 500605.jpg
An Clochán Liath is located in Ireland
An Clochán Liath
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°57′07″N 8°21′29″W / 54.952°N 8.358°W / 54.952; -8.358Coordinates: 54°57′07″N 8°21′29″W / 54.952°N 8.358°W / 54.952; -8.358
CountyCounty Donegal
Dáil ÉireannDonegal
16 m (52 ft)
 • Urban
Dialing code074, +000 353 74
Irish Grid ReferenceB766115
As this is a Gaeltacht town, the Irish An Clochán Liath is the only official name. However, the name 'Dungloe' remains in widespread use.


There is a river at the bottom of the town and years ago the only crossing was over a grey granite slab lying in the riverbed, hence the Irish name of the town, An Clochán Liath, which means the grey stepping-stone.[3] The bridge was built in 1762.

Dungloe Library.

The name An Clochán Liath was formerly anglicised as Cloghanlea.[3] The name Dungloe or Dunglow is believed to come from the Irish Dún gCloiche.[3] This name came into common English usage in the later years of the 18th century when the monthly fair, formerly held at Dún gCloiche (five miles north of the nascent town) was transferred to An Clochán Liath. In time the name of the fair and that of the town were subsumed. Today, An Clochán Liath is the only officially recognised name of the town.[2]

Irish languageEdit

The Comprehensive Linguistic Survey of the Gaeltacht (revised) found that only 21.4% of the population of the area spoke Irish on a daily basis. Despite being officially within the Gaeltacht, Irish is not the everyday language of the majority of residents. Just over one-fifth of the population are daily Irish speakers.[4] Nevertheless, there are Irish-speaking areas outside the town and Irish is to be heard regularly in the town.[5]


Dungloe is home to the Dungloe District Court, which covers the west and south-west areas of County Donegal. There are a number of banks, a Garda station, Donegal County Council office, fire station, and a credit union located on the Main Street. Also, there are pubs, convenience stores, supermarkets, cafes, and restaurants. The town is the current headquarters of The Rosses' indigenous supermarket chain, The Cope.


Dungloe Main Street.

The town attracts many tourists every July and August when the Mary From Dungloe International Festival takes place. It was founded in the 1960s and it has been frequented by many special guests over the years including Daniel O'Donnell, Cliff Richard, Gay Byrne and Sharon Shannon. The picturesque Dungloe Bay and surrounding hills have proved very popular with visitors and have enabled Dungloe to sustain a healthy tourism industry. There is also a festival dedicated to the socialist writer Peadar O'Donnell in Dungloe each autumn. A little to the north of the town is the site of the ancient church of Templecrone.

For information on accommodation, Heritage, visitor information and for things to do and see in and around Dungloe check out their main website

Facebook pages include Discover The Rosses & Rosses events Diary

Dungloe Catholic Church, usually known locally as 'the Chapel'.


The town is serviced by a number of private bus companies, which provide a link to national Bus Éireann routes through Donegal Town, and to the north of the county and Derry. In 1903, the town was linked, through Dungloe railway station, to the Londonderry and Lough Swilly Railway. However, the station was closed on 3 June 1940 as part of a process that saw the closure of all railways in the county.[6]

Religion and popular cultureEdit

St Crone's Church of Ireland Church.

By the standards of a rural Gaeltacht area, Dungloe has a significant Protestant minority, many of whom are Presbyterian. This is a consequence of the Plantation of Ulster in the seventeenth century. However, the town has a large Catholic majority.

Dungloe is mentioned in Fox Broadcasting Company series Sons of Anarchy as the source of the motorcycle club's weapons from the True IRA, a fictional representation of the Real IRA.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements An Clochán Liath". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Placenames (Ceantair Ghaeltachta) Order 2004
  3. ^ a b c d Placenames Database of Ireland
  4. ^ Page: 44
  5. ^ Dungloe / An Clochán Liath Archived 10 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine on
  6. ^ "Dungloe station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 5 September 2007.

External linksEdit