RAHENY

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

RAHENY, a parish, in the barony of COOLOCK, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 4 ¼ miles (N. E.) from the Post-office, Dublin, on the road to Howth; containing 612 inhabitants. This place, formerly called Rathenny, derived its name from an ancient rath or moat in the centre of the village, overhanging a small stream; and is supposed to have formed part of the district called Rechen, which, together with Baelduleek (Baldoyle) and Portrahern (Portrane), was granted by Anlave, King of Dublin, to the church of the Holy Trinity, in 1040. It is also noticed under the name of Rathena, by Archdall, as the birth-place or residence of a saint about the year 570, at which time probably there may have been a religious establishment. The celebrated battle of Clontarf took place in its immediate vicinity; and it may probably have been a post of some importance, as commanding the pass of the small river which flows beneath the rath in the village.

The parish is bounded on the east by the sea: the land is in general of good quality, the greater portion is meadow and pasture, and the arable land produces excellent crops of wheat; the system of agriculture is in a very improved state, and there is neither waste land nor bog. Limestone of good quality is abundant and is quarried for building and for agricultural purposes.

The chief seats are the Manor House, erected by a branch of the Grace family, and now the property of W. Sweetman, Esq.; Fox House, of J. A. Sweetman, Esq.; Fox Hill, of E. J. Irwin, Esq.; Edenmore (formerly Violet Hill), of J. Maconchy, Esq.; Raheny Cottage, of J. Ball, Esq.; Bettyville, of J. Classon, Esq.; Swan's Nest, of W. Craig, Esq.; Belmont, of Mrs. White; and Ballyhay, of J. D'Arcey, Esq. A constabulary police force is stationed in the village; and petty sessions are held there on alternate Thursdays.

The living is a rectory, in the diocese of Dublin, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £316. 10. 6.; the glebe-house is a good residence, and the glebe comprises about 30 acres of profitable land. The church, a small plain edifice, is supposed to have been rebuilt about the year 1609.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union of Clontarf. About 150 children are taught in two public schools, of which the parochial school is supported by the rents of eight houses forming the crescent of Raheny, bequeathed for that purpose by the late Samuel Dick, Esq., who, in 1787, built the school-house; the R. C. school is chiefly supported by the Sweetman family, of whom the late W. Sweetman, Esq., in 1820, built the school-house, with apartments for the master, at his own expense. There is a dispensary in the village; and the late Mrs. Preston, in 1831, bequeathed £100 for the poor of the parish.

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