Stranorlar (Irish: Srath an Urláir)[1] is a town, townland and civil parish in the Finn Valley of County Donegal, in Ireland. Stranorlar and Ballybofey (located on the other side of the River Finn) form the Twin Towns.

Srath an Urláir
Stranorlar's Roman Catholic church
Stranorlar's Roman Catholic church
Stranorlar is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 54°48′00″N 7°47′24″W / 54.8°N 7.790°W / 54.8; -7.790
CountyCounty Donegal
30 m (100 ft)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceH194946



The town is located at the junction of the N15 and N13 national primary roads. For nearly 100 years, Stranorlar was the headquarters of the County Donegal Railway system (originally the Finn Valley Railway), with services to Derry and Letterkenny via Strabane (near Lifford), to Ballyshannon and Killybegs via Donegal, and to Glenties. At its peak, the railway had 130 employees. The last train ran from Stranorlar in 1960.[citation needed]

Stranorlar railway station was built by the Finn Valley Railway and opened on 7 September 1863 and finally closed on 6 February 1960. The old railway station was demolished to make way for a new bus garage owned and run by Bus Éireann. To celebrate the millennium, the old clock from the railway station was restored and installed in a new clock tower which sits at the old pedestrian entrance to the railway station yard. The town remains the main depot for Bus Éireann within County Donegal.[citation needed]

The nearest railway station is operated by NI Railways and runs from Derry~Londonderry railway station via Coleraine to Belfast Lanyon Place Station and Belfast Grand Central Station. The strategically important Belfast-Derry railway line is to be upgraded to facilitate more frequent trains and improvements to the permanent way such as track and signalling to enable faster services.[citation needed]

The next nearest railway station is Sligo railway station where Iarnród Éireann, trains run to Dublin Connolly[2].

The town is served by the Bus Éireann No. 64 (Derry/Galway)[3] service which connects the town to Donegal Town, Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Sligo and Letterkenny. There is also a regular service to Lifford and Strabane. TFI Local Link routes 264 (Ballyshannon/Letterkenny),[4] 288 (Ballybofey/Derry),[5] 290 (Ballybofey/Letterkenny),[6] 988 (Cloghan/Letterkenny)[6] and 1426 (Stranorlar/Convoy/Derry)[5] also service the area.



Stranorlar is home to St. Columba's College and Finn Valley College. The town is also home to three primary schools. St Mary's primary school, Robertson National School and the Sessiaghoneil school.


Church of Ireland in Stranorlar.

Isaac Butt MP, founder of the Home Rule Movement is buried in the churchyard of the Church of Ireland (C of I Church) which is a registered monument. The Catholic Church of St Mary is an imposing 19th Century structure. There is a Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland and a Presbyterian Church of Ireland church in Stranorlar also.

Drumboe Killings


In November 1922, during the Irish Civil War, a column of Anti-Treaty IRA irregulars from the 2nd Northern Division were captured at Dunlewey in west Donegal by the National Army and held in Drumboe Castle outside Stranorlar. On 14 March 1923, they were taken from the castle to the nearby Drumboe woods and summarily executed.[7]

There is a memorial to the four men near the Church of Ireland and Bus Éireann depot buildings, and since 1924 there has been a commemoration march to the monument each year by republicans.[8]

The 4 executed men were:


  • Finn Valley Athletics Club has its track in the town.
  • There is an 18-hole golf course and game fishing in the River Finn, and nearby is the Lough Alann bird sanctuary.
  • Stranorlar is home to Finn Valley Rugby Club



Drumboe Woods are the major attraction of Stranorlar. The woods are managed by Coillte and provide walking routes along the banks of the River Finn and the upper woods. Outside the town, a small folly called The Steeple is a popular destination for many walkers. From the top of the tower, on a clear day, the hillfort of The Grianan of Aileach can be seen. There is a raised ring fort at Dunwiley, outside the town. There are numerous guest houses throughout the town and on the main street is Stranorlar's only hotel. Kee's Hotel is a family-run hotel, first established in the 19th century as a coach house. The vernacular architecture of the town is largely 19th-century solid two and three-storey townhouses, one or two of some interest. Unfortunately, they are rapidly being lost to development.

Notable people


See also



  1. ^ "Srath an Urláir/Stranorlar". Placenames Database of Ireland ( Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  2. ^ Rail, Irish. "Train Timetables Route Based". Irish Rail. Retrieved 15 July 2024.
  3. ^ "Expressway Timetable Route 64, Galway - Derry - Bus Éireann - View Ireland Bus and Coach Timetables & Buy Tickets". Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  4. ^ "123968 SITT TT 264 Ballyshannon to Letterkenny 4pg DL" (PDF). Local Link Donegal-Sligo-Leitrim.
  5. ^ a b "426-288-Stranorlar-to-Derry-2.jpg" (JPG). Local Link Donegal-Sligo-Leitrim. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  6. ^ a b "290-988-Ballybofey-Cloghan-to-Letterkenny-TT.jpg" (JPG). Local Link Donegal-Sligo-Leitrim. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  7. ^ Ó Snodaigh, Aengus; Mac Donncha, Mícheál. "Centenary of the Drumboe Martyrs". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  8. ^ "Donegal and west Tyrone remember Drumboe Martyrs and 1916". An Phoblacht. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2023.