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The School

We have pretty simple goals here at The Rathmullan Sailing and Watersports School – to provide people with a fun, safe, and exciting environment for participating in watersports.

We’re a not-for-profit community-based initiative of the Rathmullan and District Resource Centre and an Irish Sailing Association (ISA) accredited Training Centre.

Once our costs are covered, all money goes directly into our subsidised sailing program for local schools.  So for every course you book, you are helping local youth access the water and start to learn a skill for life!

Our instructors are of the highest standard, each one having worked as a volunteer in the school as assistants to learn the ropes, before getting Irish Sailing Association qualifications and taking on a full time roll for the summer season.

Our assistant instructor voluntary program has to date, produced 4 Senior Instructors and 11 Dinghy Instructors.  These local sailors have gone on to work across the globe as sailing instructors, from New York to Greece, Majorca, Boston, Croatia and Spain, all flying the Rathmullan flag!

Even though our instructors are paid, the school relies on a team of hard working dedicated volunteers from the Rathmullan community and beyond.  These volunteers look after aspects such as maintenance, bookings, accounts, management, marketing and so much more.  Thanks to this team we are able to continue providing access to boats and the sea for so many local children, while providing a strong tourist draw and lively colour during the summer months.

Our Waters

Lough Swilly is perfect for all types of watersports – sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, powerboating, sea angling, diving. You name it, and the conditions here are ideal for it.

The Swilly is a long, sheltered finger of water wedged between Inishowen and Fanad, two wonderfully wild and beautiful peninsulas on Donegal’s northern coast. It’s small enough for beginners to feel comfortable getting on the water, and big enough for the more advanced to explore and test their skills. We plan our courses to take the best advantage of the Swilly’s tremendous natural assets.

Our Facilities

IMG_6376At the moment our fleet consists of 6 Laser Picos, 2 Laser Bahias, 1 Laser Vago, 1 RS Feva, 6 sea kayaks, an Avon 3.5m inflatable and a 5m Humber RIB that serve as our safety boats. From wetsuits to flotation devices, paddles to helmets, we provide all the equipment you will need to participate in any of our courses. Classroom-based activities operate out of the Rathmullan and District Resource Centre, a stones throw from Rathmullan’s spectacular sandy beach. The Resource Centre also houses the changing rooms and showers used by course participants.

The beach itself is probably our most important facility by far. Besides using it to launch and recover boats, we also conduct as much of our shore-based learning as possible right here, where people can best understand the concepts, theories and techniques being presented. Finally, we have a purpose built dinghy park and equipment compound at the pier in Rathmullan.

Rathmullan – it’s not big, but it punches well above its weight

For a place its size, the pretty little seaside village of Rathmullan really does have a lot to offer. Award winning restaurants such as the Weeping Elm at Rathmullan House, arguably Ireland’s finest country house hotel.

The Taproom, also located at Rathmullan House serves excellent wood fired pizzas freshly cooked and local Kinnegar farmhouse beers.  The Salt N’ Batter chipper is the best in Donegal, possibly even the best anywhere on Ireland’s northern coast. Belles Kitchen serves superb lunches and pubs such as the White Harte and the Beachcomber make for the perfect place to take it easy after the excitement of being on the water. In and around Rathmullan you’ll also find a great selection of affordable, great quality holidays houses to let.


lnterested In Becoming a Supporter?

The School’s objective is to make sailing and watersports accessible to everyone. We do this is  by keeping course fees as affordable as possible. To be able to expand our course schedule and open up even more opportunities for people to get on the water and enjoy themselves, we need to raise more funding to purchase additional boats and equipment.

Interested in becoming a Sponsor? Ever thought about putting the name of your business on one of our boats? How would you like to name one of our boats? We have numerous opportunities for you to get involved. To find out more, contact Aengus Kennedy at


A Very Special Thanks to All Our Supporters

The Rathmullan Sailing and Watersports School would never have gotten off the ground without the very generous support of numerous private individuals and funding agencies. We’d like recognise their efforts on our behalf and extend a very warm thank you to:

Brian Deeney /
Rathmullan Regatta Committee
Angela Crerand, Dessie McLaughlin, FÁS
James Keyes
Alan Browne
Lough Swilly Yacht Club
Pauline Gallagher
Mary O’Hare
Peter McMahon
Libby & Niall McDonnell
Garvin & Maureen McFadden
Jim Barker
Doreen Wilson
Mickey Griffin, Signal Signs
Conor Cahill, Fluidedge


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