Rathcoole Inn - Pubs of Dublin

A little history on the Inn

In the late 1730's there where two inns in Rathcoole, 'The Munster Kings Inn' and 'The Rathcoole Inn'. Though the year 1785 was the date of licence of the Rathcoole Inn, we know it was in existence in 1734, and was in those days, a mudwalled two storey premises of thatched roof, similiar to today, where overnight coach passengers where accommodated upstairs. At the rear of the inn was a large area consisting of two roads which housed a blacksmiths forge, a harness house, several stables and a large yard where the overnight coaches where housed.

In those days the main thoroughfare to the South of Ireland passed diurectly through Rathcoole village, and the 'Rathcoole Inn' was always assured of business because of it's location as the last or the first coach inn on the route. And many's the weary traveller who entered the inn famished and exhausted at nightfall, would arise refreshed and invigorated the following morning, if holding his head somewhat gingerly through the excess's of the local ales.

Gavin Morgan was the landlord here at the turn of the century and would have witnessed local man, Felix Rourke, being hanged from the rafters of the home of local curate, Rev. James Harold - subsequently transported to Tasmania - for his part in the abortive Rising of Robert Emmet in 1803.

The Mercer family had arrived at the inn by the 1830's when eminent Dublin historian, John D'Alton, visited the village and commented:

Cabins were built of mountain greystone, and some entirely of yellow clay, and the average rent for such without land, is about ten-pence a week

At that time, the population of Rathcoole was 1500, consisting of 14 townlands. By the 1890's the importance of the coach service had diminished as the village was now serviced by the Blessington Steam Tramway. But the declining fortunes of horse and coach travel also meant declining fortunes for the innkeeper and, before the dawn of the 20th century, the Rathcoole Inn had ceased to function as an inn, though it retained the name which it still holds today.

On June 24th, 1919 an enterprising gentleman named John J. Leahy purchased the inn from Rebecca Palmer, beneficiary of the late Mary Mercer, for £1,250. He appears to be an enthuastic latter day property speculator for within two years, displaying a deftness of commercial acumen, sold to local farmer, William Leahy (no relation) for a sum of £3,000 - a price which was greatly in excess of that paid for contemporary licensed property.

Whether farming was the true vocation of William Leahy or not is unclear, but he held the property for merely eight years - selling to Mary Roche before annual tax returns where due in April of 1930.

Current owner Kevin Hoyne purchased the pub in 2002.


Rathcoole Village

Rathcoole (Rath Cumhaill) is said to derive its name from the fact that Finn McCumhall's father built a rath here.

How to Find Us

Rathcoole lies just off the N7 national primary road. It borders the nearby village of Saggart.

Get in touch


The Rathcoole Inn
Main Street, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, Ireland.


+353 (0)1 4589 204


Latitude: N53° 16' 52"    Longitude: W6° 28' 13"