Location and Access
Baldoyle is located north east of the city, and borders Donaghmede, which was formed from its western part, Portmarnock, Sutton and Bayside. It can be accessed from the coast road from Dublin to Howth, which includes a cycle track, from Sutton Cross via Station Road, or from Donaghmede, or Portmarnock. Baldoyle is served by Dublin Bus and Irish Rail, the latter currently via the Sutton and Bayside stations on the Howth Branch of the DART, and by Clongriffin station on the Northern Branch.
A major townland of Baldoyle, encompassing much of what is now Donaghmede, is Grange, indicating that it was previously farmland.
The district name derives from baile meaning town and dubh-ghaill meaning "dark stranger", the name given by the Gaels to the Danes to distinguish them from the Norwegians or "fair strangers" (finn-ghaill) who first settled in Ireland in 841-842. While it is sometimes rendered as "Doyle's town" with reference to the personal name Doyle which itself derives from dubh-ghaill, there is no evidence for this usage - see previous references.
Features and Development
Baldoyle village today has a coastal main street, with a Roman Catholic church and community hall, a branch library, and some shops, pubs and a secondary school, St. Mary's. Slightly inland, among the older suburban houses, are a small shopping precinct, a football club and other amenities. On the approach from the coast road is another large secondary school, Pobalscoil Neasáin and the well-known pub, the Elphin, while on the road into Donaghmede is a light industrial estate. There is also a co-educational primary school, St. Laurence's National School. There is another Roman Catholic church in the village.
Among the local residents are the retired members of the Congregation of the Irish Christian Brothers, whose retirement home is located in the town.
Over the early 2000s Baldoyle has been at the centre of a large house building programme, with the former racecourse having been sold to developers. The new developments have begun, as "The Coast", facing a new local centre at the northern edge of Donaghmede, Clongriffin. Clongriffin Dart station opened in April 2010 serving Baldoyle and racecourse developments such as "The Coast", and northern Donaghmede.
Businesses in the area are represented by the Howth Sutton Baldoyle Chamber of Commerce.
Baldoyle with its sheltered waterside location, was a Viking base for many years, eventually suppressed by an attack by the King of Leinster.
A description of Baldoyle from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Dublin, 1837 gives a useful summary of what was then a substantial rural fishing village:
The village is pleasantly situated on an inlet or creek of the Irish Sea, to the north of the low isthmus that connect Howth, with the mainland: it comprises about 200 houses, and is much frequented in summer for sea-bathing. Some of the inhabitants are engaged in the fishery, which at the commencement of the present century employed nine wherries belonging to this place, averaging seven or eight men each; at present nearly 100 men are so, engaged. Sir W. de Windsor, lord-justice of Ireland, held a parliament here in 1369. The creek is formed between the mainland and the long tract of sand on the north of Howth, at the point of which, near that port, a white buoy is placed; it is fit only for small craft. The manor was granted to the priory of All Saints, Dublin, by Diarmit, the son of Murchard, King of Leinster, who founded that house in 1166.
The parliament mentioned above was held at Grange Church, better known as "Grange Abbey", which now lies in Donaghmede and was partly restored in the late 20th century.
For most of the 20th century, Baldoyle was well known for its racecourse, which was one of three in the Dublin metropolitan area. Open land in the village had been an informal venue for horse races in the early nineteenth century, and annual race meetings at the site were proposed in 1842. A new enclosed course was opened in May 1874, which continued in regular use for more than a century, until it was closed in August 1972 due to financial difficulties related to the potential costs of necessary renovations. The following year, on 31 October 1973, one of the most spectacular and audacious escapes from an Irish prison took place when three of the Provisional IRA's key personnel were airlifted to freedom in a hijacked helicopter from Mountjoy Prison. The helicopter touched down at the disused racecourse where the IRA members escaped in waiting cars.
For several years during the 1960s, Baldoyle Racecourse became the destination for annual sponsored charity walks, which were intended to raise funds for the Central Remedial Clinic. In 1968, the walk was led by television personality Jimmy Savile.
Na Dubh Gáll are the local GAA team and has teams across all age groups catering for both girls and boys.
- Irish Names of Places, Vol. I., p. 350, and Mervyn Archdall's Monasticon Hibernicum, edited by Cardinal Moran; Vol. II, p. 21, note; Dublin: W. B. Kelly, 1873
- Howth Sutton Baldoyle Chamber of Commerce
- "Baldoyle Races". Freeman's Journal. 13 June 1842. Retrieved 27 January 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (. ))
- Hurley, Michael (Spring 2006). "Baldoyle as a Racecourse Village". Dublin Historical Record 59 (1): 65–80. Retrieved 27 January 2015 – via JSTOR. (registration required (. ))
- Howth Sutton Baldoyle Chamber of Commerce
- Baldoyle Residents Message Board
- Baldoyle Forum Ltd.
- Fingal - Baldoyle, Portmarnock, Malahide and St. Doolagh's
- Birdwatch Ireland
- Street map of Baldoyle
- St. Laurence's National School, Baldoyle
- Pobalscoil Neasáin