Main Street
Rasharkin is located in Northern Ireland
Location within Northern Ireland
Population1,114 (2011 Census)
Irish grid referenceC971134
• Belfast38 miles
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBT44
Dialling code028, +44 28
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°57′14″N 6°28′48″W / 54.95382°N 6.48°W / 54.95382; -6.48

Rasharkin (from Irish Ros Earcáin 'Earcán's promontory')[1] is a small village, townland and civil parish in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of Ballymoney, near Dunloy and Kilrea. It had a population of 1,114 people in the 2011 Census.[2]


Rasharkin features in Buile Shuibhne an old Irish tale about the Suibhne mac Colmain, king of the Dál nAraidi, driven insane by St. Ronan's curse. The tale is the final installment of a three-text cycle in medieval Irish literature, continuing on from Fled Dúin na nGéd (The Feast of Dun na nGéd) and Cath Maige Rátha (The Battle of Mag Rath).

King Sweeney's homeplace in the tale was Glenbuck that lies just outside Rasharkin. Seamus Heaney published an English version of the tale entitled Sweeney Astray


Historically Rasharkin was also spelt as Rosharkin and Rosarkin.[1]

It lay within the barony of Kilconway that belonged to the MacDonnells in the 17th century.

Rasharkin also has a rich history and features in Ballymoney's involvement in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.[3]

Presbyterians and Catholics in the area were active in the United Irishmen. An account of a member of the Rasharkin yeomanry in 1865 states that "at a meeting of sixty five persons held for the formation of a rebel club in Rasharkin, the first resolution moved and passed on the occasion commenced as follows :

"Seeing that the prophecies of Peyden and Rhymer and all the old prophecies are now fulfilling and that the days of tyranny are numbered in accordance therewith and that the time for independence and equality in Ireland is now arrived we do hereby unite." [4]

The Troubles

A total of 3 people were killed in the village of Rasharkin during the period known as The Troubles. John McFadden, a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and Robert Irvine, a member of the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR), were killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on separate occasions. Gerard Casey was a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and was killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

Places of interest


See also: Category:People from Rasharkin



2011 Census

It had a population of 1,114 people (394 households) in the 2011 Census.[2] On Census day in 2011:

2001 Census

Rasharkin is classified as a small village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 500 and 1,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 864 people living in Rasharkin. Of these:

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


There are 4 churches in the village ; Presbyterian, Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic and Free Presbyterian.

The oldest remaining building is in the churchyard of St. Andrew's Church of Ireland. Built c.1650 on the site of a medieval church, it is now in ruins.[6]

The Free Presbyterian Church in Rasharkin was one of the first congregations of the new Free Presbyterian Church in 1951 after a damaging split in the Presbyterian Church locally with many opposed to the Minister there Rev Stronge.

See also


  1. ^ a b Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  2. ^ a b "Rasharkin". Census 2011 Results. NI Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Ballymoney Borough Council". Archived from the original on 13 January 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2006.
  4. ^ "Reminisces of 1798". The Green Field. Daithi McKay. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Craigs Dolmen, Rasharkin". The Causeway Coast and Glens. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record". apps.communities-ni.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 April 2022.