This article is about the Donegal village. For other uses, see Saint Johnstown.
St Johnston

Village of St. Johnston
St Johnston
St Johnston
Location in Ireland

Coordinates: 54°56′10″N 7°27′42″W / 54.936174°N 7.461569°W / 54.936174; -7.461569Coordinates: 54°56′10″N 7°27′42″W / 54.936174°N 7.461569°W / 54.936174; -7.461569

Country Ireland
Province Ulster
County County Donegal
 • Dáil Éireann Donegal North–East
Population (2011)[1]
 • Urban 583
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)

St Johnston, officially Saint Johnstown[2] (Irish: Baile Suingean[2]), is a village, townland, and electoral division in County Donegal in Ireland.[2] It is in The Laggan district of East Donegal on the right bank of the River Foyle.[3] It is in the civil parish of Taughboyne and barony of Raphoe North,[2] on the R236 (LiffordNewtowncunningham) road where it overlaps the R265 (CarrigansRaphoe) road.[4] The village is about 12 km south of Derry.


St. Baithin's Church, the Catholic parish church in the village, was designed by E. W. Godwin, the mid-Victorian British architect. It is a neo-Gothic structure that was built between 1857 and 1860.[5]

St. Johnston Presbyterian Church, located on the Derry Road, is the other main structure within the village. Parts of this church may date back to around 1724. However, most of the present neo-Gothic structure was built in the early nineteenth century. The 'thin' neo-Gothic tower was built in 1849.[6] This church, which is owned by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, was severely damaged by a lightening strike in the mid-1980s. The tower of the church was particularly damaged. The building, however, which serves the large Ulster Scots Presbyterian community in this part of The Laggan, had been fully restored by around 1990.


Main article: Mongavlin Castle

Mongavlin Castle also known as Mongevlin Castle,[7] a ruined castle, approx 3 km south of the town. It was once a stronghold of the O'Donnell's, Lords of Tyrconnell. In the sixteenth century Mongevlin was the chief residence of Ineen Dubh, the daughter of MacDonnell, Lord of the Isles and mother of Red Hugh O'Donnell. When Ineen Dubh came to Ireland to marry Aodh mac Maghnusa Ó Domhnaill, she brought a force of 100 of the biggest men she could find in Scotland for protection. 80 of these were of the name Crawford. When Mongavlin was eventually abandoned, the Crawford’s settled and married in the locality. Many of their descendants can still be found in the area to this day. On 23 July 1610 Mongevlin Castle and lands were granted to Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox.[8] On the death of Ludovic on February 16, 1624 the title of Duke of Lennox and the castle and lands at Mongavlin passed to his brother Esme (3rd Duke of Lennox). Esmé had married Katherine Clifton, 2nd Baroness Clifton in 1609 and after his death in August 1624, Katherine then married James Hamilton (2nd Earl of Abercorn) circa 1632.

A borough was established at the site in the reign of James I of England during the Plantation of Ulster.[9] St Johnstown Borough was a borough constituency in the House of Commons of Ireland from about 1619 to the Acts of Union 1800.[9] The borough was a rotten borough and the settlement never more than a village.[3]

James II of England visited here on his way to the siege of Derry in 1690. From here he sent a letter proposing surrender, as history shows - it was rejected.[10]

Sports Clubs

  • St Johnston Cricket Club - Founded in 1898.[11] They play in the North West Cricket League Championship (Second) Division.[12]
  • Kildrum Tigers Football Club - Founded in 1948. .[13] They play in the Ulster Senior League.[14]
  • St. Johnston Bowling Club - They play in the Donegal Indoor Bowling League Division One.[15]
  • St. Johnston Pres. Bowling Club - They play in the Donegal Indoor Bowling League Division One.[15]
  • St. Johnston Resource Centre Bowling Club - They play in the Donegal Indoor Bowling League Division One.[15]


The town had a station on the Great Northern Railway (the GNR) which was closed.

The nearest railway station now is operated by Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) and runs from Waterside Station in Derry, via Coleraine, to both Central Station and Great Victoria Street Station in Belfast. 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.

Notable people

See also

  • List of towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland

External links

  • St. Johnston & Carrigans Resource Centre
  • NW Cricket League 2
  • Ulster Senior League (Association Football)


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