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St Johnston, officially Saint Johnstown[2] (Irish: Baile Suingean[2]), is a village, townland, and electoral division in County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland.[2] It is in the Laggan district of East Donegal on the left bank of the River Foyle.[3] It is in the civil parish of Taughboyne and barony of Raphoe North,[2] on the R236 (LiffordNewtowncunningham) road where it overlaps the R265 (CarrigansRaphoe) road.[4] The village is about 12 km or 8 miles south of Derry.

St Johnston

Baile Suingean
Skyline of St Johnston
St Johnston is located in Ireland
St Johnston
St Johnston
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°56′10″N 7°27′42″W / 54.936174°N 7.461569°W / 54.936174; -7.461569Coordinates: 54°56′10″N 7°27′42″W / 54.936174°N 7.461569°W / 54.936174; -7.461569
CountyCounty Donegal
 • Dáil ÉireannDonegal
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
An aerial view of St Johnston, on the banks of the River Foyle



St. Baithin's Church (popularly known as 'the Chapel'), the Catholic parish church in the village, was designed by E. W. Godwin, the mid-Victorian British architect. It is a neo-Gothic structure that was built between 1857 and 1860.[5]

St. Johnston Presbyterian Church, located on the Derry Road, is the other main structure within the village. Parts of this church, or kirk, may date back to around 1724. However, most of the present neo-Gothic structure was built in the early nineteenth century. The 'thin' neo-Gothic tower was built in 1849.[6] This kirk, which is owned by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, was severely damaged by a lightning strike in the mid-1980s. The tower of the church was particularly damaged. The building, however, which serves the large Ulster Scots Presbyterian community in this part of The Laggan, had been fully restored by around 1990.


Mongavlin Castle (also known as Mongevlin Castle),[7] a ruined castle, is located approximately 3 km south of the village. It was once a stronghold of the Ó Domhnaill (O'Donnell) clan, Kings of Tír Chonaill. In the very early seventeenth-century, Mongevlin was the chief residence of Iníon Dubh (d. 1608), the daughter of both Séamus Mac Dhòmhnaill, 6th Laird of Dunnyveg, an Islay-based Gaelic nobleman, and his wife, Lady Agnes Campbell; Iníon Dubh was the mother of Red Hugh O'Donnell. When Iníon Dubh came to Ulster to marry Sir Aodh mac Maghnusa Ó Domhnaill (Sir Hugh O'Donnell; c. 1540-c. 1600), she brought a force of 100 of the biggest men she could find in Scotland for protection.[citation needed] 80 of these were of the name Crawford. When Mongavlin was eventually abandoned, the Crawfords settled and married in the locality. Many of their descendants can still be found in the area to this day.

On 23 July 1610, at the start of the Plantation of Ulster, Mongevlin Castle and its lands were granted to The 2nd Duke of Lennox (1574-1624), a Scottish nobleman.[8] Lennox, who was already a peer in the Peerage of Scotland, was created The 1st Duke of Richmond in the Peerage of England in 1623, making him a duke twice over. On the death of the Duke on 16 February 1624 the title of Duke of Lennox and the castle and lands at Mongavlin passed to his brother Esmé, 1st Earl of March (1579-1624), who now became (briefly) The 3rd Duke of Lennox. Esmé had married The Hon. Katherine Clifton (c. 1592-1637) in 1609; she became The 2nd Baroness Clifton, suo jure, in 1618. After her husband Esmé's death in August 1624, Katherine, now Dowager Duchess of Lennox, then married The 2nd Earl of Abercorn (c. 1604-c. 1670), another Scottish nobleman, circa 1632. Unlike the Dukes of Lennox, Lord Abercorn had actually moved to Ulster, where he was now based. The centre of Lord Abercorn's estate was the nearby town of Strabane in West Tyrone.

A borough was established at the site in the reign of King James VI & I during the Plantation of Ulster.[9] St Johnstown Borough was a borough constituency in the Irish House of Commons from about 1619 to the Acts of Union 1800.[9] The borough was a rotten borough and the settlement never more than a village.[3]

King James II & VII passed through on his way to the Siege of Derry in 1690. From St Johnston he sent a letter proposing surrender, which was rejected.[7]

Sports ClubsEdit


The town had a station on the Great Northern Railway (the GNR) which was closed in 1965.

The nearest railway station now is operated by Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) and runs from Waterside Station in Derry, via Coleraine, to both Central Station and Great Victoria Street Station in Belfast. The strategically important Belfast-Derry railway line was recently upgraded to facilitate more frequent trains and improvements to the permanent way such as track and signaling to enable faster services.

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: Settlements St. Johnston". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Saint Johnstown: townland, town". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b Lewis, Samuel (1837). "Johnstown (St)". A topographical dictionary of Ireland.
  4. ^ "S.I. No. 400/1994 – Roads Act, 1993 (Declaration of Regional Roads) Order, 1994". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ Rowan, Alistair, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (popularly known as the Pevsner Guide to North West Ulster), P. 482. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003. Originally published by Penguin, London, 1979.
  6. ^ Rowan, Alistair, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster, P. 483. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003. Originally published by Penguin, London, 1979.
  7. ^ a b h., J. A. (1836). "Mongevlin Castle, County of Donegal". The Dublin Penny Journal. 4 (186): 240. doi:10.2307/30003540. JSTOR 30003540.
  8. ^ "The Houses of Stewart from 1500" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  9. ^ a b "St Johnstown". History of the Irish Parliament > Constituencies. Ulster Historical Foundation. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  10. ^ St Johnston Cricket Club : history. Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  11. ^ NWCU Championship – 2013. Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  12. ^ Kildrum Tigers. Facebook (17 April 2012). Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  13. ^ retrieved 3 July 2013
  14. ^ a b c / Donegal Bowling League Archived 13 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 3 July 2013