Rathlee National School

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History of the area

Useful Information

Star of the Sea Church

Star of the Sea Church in Rathlee was originally the national school. It was converted to its present use in 1931. The Church was completely refurbished as part of a millennium project in the parish to upgrade and renew all churches and was rededicated on December 17th 2000.

Star of the Sea Church

The coast guard station at Pullaheeney can still be seen in ruined state close to the sea and the harbour at Pullaheeney. It was built by the British Government about 150 years ago in a townland called Caltraghkeel. This was used for accommodating 4-5 families in a flat-type setting. There was a common washroom for washing clothes etc. The purpose of the station was to protect the coast from invasion and smugglers who might dock at Pullaheeney Harbour. It burnt down in the early part of the last century and was never rebuilt.Today the Harbour is still used by local fishing boats.

Rathlee Tower

Rathlee Tower was a seat of the O Dowd's chieftains of Tiereragh for most of the time up to the rebellion in 1641 or possibly until the Battle of Aughrim. The English used it as a look out for enemy raiders who would have found Killala a safe landing area. The Irish Army/government used the hut at the site of Rathlee tower during World War II as a look out for German craft; there was even a telephone connected. It is said that Killala Bay was used as a mooring for a famous German submarine and its crew to hide out during the day and attack English ships at night. The tower is now in ruins but still stands as a familiar landmark on this part of the coast.

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