Rathkeale, the Rising Rural Town

Rathkeale’s proud, skilled, and active community is enthusiastically working to rejuvenate their town and is seeing some early signs of success.

Rathkeale is perfectly located on the N21 between Limerick City and near Newcastle West on the main route to Kerry. It will soon be at the elbow of the new Foynes to Limerick motorway (Adare Bypass), reducing travel time to about 20 minutes for many of the 94,000 people in Limerick City.  The town’s workforce is highly skilled with 34% engaged in professional managerial, technical, or non-manual work. 43% work in Commerce, Trade and Professional Services and 7% in Agriculture.

Like larger Newcastle West and unlike other small towns, Rathkeale has significant retail and service businesses. These include banks, a post office, large supermarket, pubs, restaurants, hotel, newsagents, beauty salons, ironworks, tyre and auto, pharmacies, medical centre, veterinary, solicitors, financial services, clothing, hardware, furniture, and electrical stores. It also has a Garda station, Fire brigade, an industrial estate, and work-in-progress facilities.

Importantly, Rathkeale has leadership, active citizens, a record of achievement and invites everyone to play their part.


Rejuvenation Objective

Create a prosperous Rathkeale community with the self-sustaining rejuvenation of the town achieved by attracting business, residents, and visitors.

Goals include:

  1. Capitalising on the completion of the Limerick to Foynes motorway.
  2. High speed broadband everywhere.
  3. The reuse of the convent facility.
  4. 100 extra houses for permanent residents.
  5. The location of a national or county department in the town.
  6. The extension of the Limerick Greenway adding a connection to the existing Dohyle Lough marina.
  7. The reuse of Dohyle Lough marina.
  8. Streetscaping adding to the attractiveness of Main Street.
  9. Eliminating dereliction.
  10. Never letting it rest until our good is better and our better is best.


Plentiful assets attract or accommodate visitors, businesses, or clubs/societies:

  1. Welcome Centre with its Failte Ireland Tourist Point.
  2. Augustinian Abbey ruin.
  3. Community Centre with its event hall and offices.
  4. Greenway.
  5. River Deel.
  6. River Walk along the banks of the Deel.
  7. Main Street.
  8. Youth Centre. The only one outside Limerick City.
  9. Arts Centre.
  10. Parish Hall.
  11. St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
  12. Holy Trinity Church of Ireland.
  13. Industrial Estate.
  14. Mick Neville GAA Park.
  15. Creamery building housing the Boxing Club, Scouts and kitchen used for Meals on Wheels.
  16. Schools –  3 National schools, a secondary school (nearby small towns do not have one), and a crèche.
  17. Sheltered Housing estates catering to older residents.
  18. Community Council established in 1973.
  19. Team Rathkeale, a 50+ member business group.
  20. Sports clubs and high-achieving athletes.
  21. Community Employment Programme (training and upskilling for the long term unemployed.)
  22. Children’s Playground.
  23. Rathkeale.com (this website) and Facebook social media news feed.


  • Rathkeale is a rising rural town (pdf) is a printable 2-page handout documenting 2020 early signs of success. This story was covered by the Limerick Leader and Weekly Observer newspapers.
  • Local Enterprise Office (LEO) business and career enhancing training courses.


Page content provided by David Lamont and others. It is hosted by the Rathkeale Community Council.