Rathmullan (Irish: Ráth Maoláin, meaning "Maoláin's ringfort") is a small seaside village on the Fanad Peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland. It is situated on the western shore of Lough Swilly, 11 km (7 miles) north-east of Ramelton and 12 km (7.5 miles) east of Milford. Rathmullan serves as an important historical village as it was the scene of the Flight of the Earls in 1607, a major turning point in Irish history.


Ráth Maoláin
Rathmullan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 55°06′00″N 7°32′00″W / 55.1°N 7.533333°W / 55.1; -7.533333Coordinates: 55°06′00″N 7°32′00″W / 55.1°N 7.533333°W / 55.1; -7.533333
CountyCounty Donegal
 • Dáil ÉireannDonegal
 • Total493
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceC295275

Places of interestEdit

There are also the ruins ol Carmelite Friary in Rathmullan which was built by Eoghan Rua MacSweeney in 1516. The Friary was sacked by the English garrison from Sligo in 1595. In 1607, Rathmullan was also said to have seen the last of the Gaelic Order, most notably the Clan Ó Néill and the Clan Ó Domhnaill, during the Flight of the Earls to the Continent. This 'flight' took place from Portnamurray on the southern edge of the town. In 1617 the Friary was occupied by the Protestant Bishop of Raphoe, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Andrew Knox. A subsequent Bishop of Raphoe turned it into a fortified house in anticipation of a possible French invasion during the Napoleonic Wars. This battery still stands and today serves as a heritage centre.


Facilities in Rathmullan include 1 shop, a resource centre, and also includes hotels such as Rathmullan House, Fort Royal (closed down 2015) and the Water's Edge now closed. The Looking Glass Spa Therapy, (Wedding Bridal Makeup, Wedding bridal call out available, Spa & Beauty Treatments.) Drumhalla House

Lough Swilly Deep Sea Fishing FestivalEdit

The sea is a large part of the lives of the people of Rathmullan and Lough Swilly Deep Sea Fishing Festival held in June is evidence of this. The 2007 festival took place on Sat, June 2, and Sun, June 3.

A view of Rathmullen.
A statue commemorating the Flight of the Earls

Notable peopleEdit


Rathmullan is the setting for Australian/British author Brand King's novel An Irish Winter[4], published in 2020. The story follows the gradually intertwining lives of Alice and Felix, who arrive in the village following traumatic upheavals in their private lives. Many features of the village are described in detail in the novel, with the beach getting special attention. The traditional new year's day cold water swim also features, along with wildlife such as seals and rooks, while a number of scenes are set in the Beachcomber Bar and An Bonnan Bui Cafe.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements Rathmullen". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  2. ^ "BBC NEWS | In Depth | Birthday Honours 2001 | Honours in Scotland". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  3. ^ "Shaun Doherty Show". m.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  4. ^ King, Brand. AN IRISH WINTER. THE CHOIR PRESS. p. 302. ISBN 9781789630992.