RATHCOOLE, an inland town and parish in Newcastle barony, Dublin county, 10 miles S.W, from Dublin, comprising an area of 4,705 acres, of which 20 are in the town. Population of parish, 1,527, of town, 556, inhabiting 112 houses.
The town, which was anciently called "Radcull," is situated upon the road to Naas, and, prior to the reign of Henry III., appears (from various records) to have been incorporated ; in one of which, dated 1240, Lucas, Archbishop of Dublin, grants "to file burgesses of Radcull" common of turbary and pasture, &c. It consists of one street, about a quarter of a mile in length, chiefly of small houses and cabins, irregularly built. The only public building is the Parish Church a, neat plain edifice. It has a Dispensary and Parochial School. There is a patent for three fairs, but none are held. It is the head station of' the Constabulary force of the district of Uppercross. To the west of the town is a range of hills, that from those on the confines of Wicklow, called respectively Rathcoole, Athgoe, Windmill, and Lyons; all of which are of the clay or gray-wacke slate formation. Rathcoole formerly gave title of Viscount to the family of Tracey, of Geashill, King's county, but is now in abeyance. About two miles and a half N. W. from Rathcoole is the parish and village of Newcastle, comprising an area of 4,283 acres, of which 20 are in the village. Population of parish, 1,108, of village, 281, inhabiting 61 houses. It is situated on the Grand Canal.
The village was formerly a borough, having a portrieve and burgesses under charter of James I, and prior to the Union, sent two members to the Irish parliament. The Church is an ancient picturesque edifice, covered with ivy, and having a fine eastern window. The Roman Catholic Chapel is a neat building, with a belfry. There is a Dispensary and National School, It is a Constabulary Police station, and Petty Sessions are held there every alternate Friday.
In the parish, and within a mile of the village, and 10 miles W. by S. from Dublin, is Hazlehatch, the third station of the Cashel or Great Southern and Western Railway, where the down trains from Dublin stop at 36 minutes past 7, and 32 minutes past 9, A.M., at 3, and 36 minutes past 5, p.m. The up trains at 5 minutes past 9, and 32 minutes past 11, A.M., at 20 minutes past 7, and :32 minutes past 10, p. m. The Fares are 1st class carriages, 1s. 6d.; 2nd class, 1s. ; 3rd class, 8d. Hazlehatch is also the first place where the Grand Canal passage boats stop in going to Shannon Harbour, Ballinasloe, and Athy.
About one mile. and a half E. by S. from Rathcoole is the village of Saggard, in the parish of that name, Newcastle barony, comprising an area of 20 acres. Population, 260, inhabiting 44 houses. It is situated near the Tallaght hills, and on the road to Blessington. The houses are small but well built, and it contains a Roman Catholic Chapel. In the vicinity are extensive paper mills of' Messrs. J. and T. McDonnell. There are three fairs, held on Corpus Christi day, October 11, and November 8.
The mail from Dublin arrives in Rathcoole at 58 minutes past 7, P.M., and at 8 minutes past 9, P.M., and is despatched at 52 minutes past 3, a.m., and 2 minutes past 6, p.m. The Post Office grant and pay money orders.