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Former railway viaduct at Randalstown (1) - - 347159.jpg
The former Northern Counties Committee railway viaduct at Randalstown railway station.
Randalstown is located in Northern Ireland
Population 5,126 (2011 census)
• Belfast 19 mi (31 km)
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ANTRIM
Postcode district BT41
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
  • South Antrim
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°44′46″N 6°18′22″W / 54.746°N 6.306°W / 54.746; -6.306

Randalstown is a townland and small town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, between Antrim and Toome. It has a very prominent disused railway viaduct and lies beside Lough Neagh and the Shane's Castle estate. The town is bypassed by the M22 motorway with junctions at both the eastern and western ends of the town. It had a population of 5,126 people in the 2011 Census.


The settlement sprang up within the townland of an Dún Mór (meaning "the great fort"), anglicised as Dunmore. Randalstown was named after the 2nd Earl and 1st Marquess of Antrim, Randal MacDonnell (1609–1683), and has strong links to the O'Neill family. The original stronghold of Edenduffcarrick was built in the 16th century and changed ownership repeatedly until it was renamed Shane's Castle after the new owner, Shane Mc Brian O'Neill. The O'Neill family still reside on the estate.

Dunmore Park was used as a training camp for the Ulster Volunteers during the Irish Home Rule crisis.

Randalstown has a strong history of linen and iron industries. A memorial to this history is in the middle of the town and made from the original turbine used to generate mains electricity for the town and items salvaged from the Old Bleach Linen Company founded by James Webb in 1864. An old linen mill chimney from the Old Bleach factory can be seen from most parts of the town. The Dorma Old Bleach factory which operated from a neighbouring site closed down in 2002.

On 1 October 1989, an IRA car bomb exploded outside the town's police station on New Street causing serious damage to nearby property.

On 8 January 2010, PSNI Constable Peadar Heffron was seriously injured as a bomb exploded under his car on the Milltown Road near Randalstown. Dissident republicans were blamed for the attack.

Places of interest

Randalstown, County Antrim
Randalstown Old Congregation Presbyterian Church - - 636555
OC Presbyterian Church
  • The Tudor style gateway to the Shane's Castle estate is in the town.
  • Around the corner from the gateway is the seven-piered, viaduct built in 1855 to carry the railway line over the River Main. This has had a new bridge installed and a walk path created as part of the local healthy walking areas.
  • Craigmore Fishery, a Fly Fishing facility is located on the outskirts of the town.
  • World of Owls, Northern Ireland's premier owl, bird of prey and exotic animal conservation centre is located next to Randalstown Forest.


2011 Census

In the 2011 Census Randalstown had a population of 5,099 people (1,991 households).

2001 Census

Randalstown is classified as a Small Town by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 4,500 and 10,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 4,956 people living in Randalstown. Of these:

  • 25.7% were aged under 16 years and 15.5% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.0% of the population were male and 52.0% were female
  • 70.1% were from a Catholic and 27.7% were from a Protestant background
  • 3.0% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed


On Census Day (27 March 2011) the usually resident population of Randalstown was 5,126 accounting for 0.28% of the NI total. Of these:

  • 99.02% were from the white (including Irish Traveller) ethnic group
  • 54.74% belong to or were brought up Catholic and 39.82% belong to or were brought up in a 'Protestant and other (non-Catholic) Christian (including Christian related)'
  • 46.29% indicated that they had a British national identity, 24.33% had an Irish national identity and 32.91% had a Northern Irish national identity.
  • 10.67% had some knowledge of Irish; 9.30% had some knowledge of Ulster-Scots; and 4.72% did not have English as their first language.


Notable residents

  • Alan Jones, Professor of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast, past president of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and was elected the 77th President of the Royal Institute of British Architects for 1 September 2019 – 2021.
  • Laurence McKeown, author, playwright, screenwriter, and former member of the IRA who took part in the 1981 Irish hunger strike, striking for 70 days. In 1995 he co-founded the Belfast Film Festival.
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