|Suburb of Dublin|
|• Local Authority||Fingal County Council|
|• Dáil Éireann||Dublin West|
|Elevation||56 m (184 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||O055383|
Blanchardstown (Irish: Baile Bhlainséir) is a large suburb of Dublin in Fingal, Ireland, located 10 km north-west of the city centre. It is within the historical Barony of Castleknock and is in the Dublin 15 postal area, the Dublin West electoral constituency and the county of Fingal (following the abolition of County Dublin as an administrative division of the state). It is that Council's largest urban area. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 68,156 in Blanchardstown and its immediate environs.
Blanchardstown has grown up in the shadow of its neighbour, Castleknock. The two have a shared common history until well into the 19th century, when their development diverged. The name Blanchardstown comes from the Blanchard family, who were granted their estate some time between 1250 and 1260. The name 'Blanchard' is thought to come from the French word blanch, meaning white, and could refer to white or fair hair. The townland has an area of over 454 acres.
Blanchardstown was a rural village in western County Dublin until the late 1960s, when the first housing estates began to be developed. Blanchardstown developed in tandem with neighbouring settlement Castleknock, both of which grew rapidly from the early 1970s to the present. During the 1970s/80s, the village became subsumed into the suburban fabric of Dublin. The Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB) was established in 1999.
A criminal gang from Blanchardstown became notorious as "The Westies"; their leaders were killed in Spain in 2004.
In the 19th century, the Roman Catholic parish of Blanchardstown encompassed much of the area now within the Dublin 15 postal district. Following the relaxation of the Penal Laws, it became possible for the Catholic adherents to consider the construction of additional churches and to repair the existing stock of religious buildings. Church authorities used the opportunity to implement the Tridentine reform which saw the parish as the basic unit of ecclesiastical organisation and the parish priest as the central figure within the parish.
The new parish priest of Blanchardstown in 1839, Fr Michael Dungan, oversaw the construction of a number of new churches, which are today independent parishes in their own right, and invited a number of religious communities to provide for the education of Catholic children. St Brigid's Church, Blanchardstown – not to be confused with a church of the Church of Ireland in nearby Castleknock – was constructed in 1837 upon the foundation of a church that had been built prior to 1731. It is the Mother church of 12 other churches constituted out of the parish over the following 156 years. They are:
- Chapelizod - "Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (separated from Blanchardstown 1883)
- Navan Road - "Our Lady Help of Christians" (separated from Chalepizod 1953)
- Castleknock - "Our Lady Mother of the Church" (separated from Blanchardstown 1976)
- Corduff - "St Patrick's Church" (separated from Blanchardstown 1976)
- Huntstown - "Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" (separated from Blakestown 1981)
- Hartstown - "St Ciarán' Church" (separated Blanchardstown 1979)
- Mulhuddart / Lady's Well - "St Luke, the Evangelist" (separated from Blanchardstown 1993)
Blanchardstown is just outside Dublin's M50 motorway ring road, slightly to the north of the tolled crossing of the River Liffey. It is bordered to the east by the suburb of Castleknock, to the west by Clonsilla/Ongar, to the north by Tyrellstown/Hollystown and to the south and south east by Porterstown/Diswellstown. The Royal Canal and the Dublin-Sligo railway line pass along the southern edge of Blanchardstown proper from east to west.
For the purposes of elections to Fingal County Council, the village is split between two local electoral areas (LEAs). They are Castleknock (4 councillors returned) and Mulhuddart (5 councillors returned).
Features and facilities
- St Brigid's Roman Catholic Church is situated behind Main Street at Church Avenue. The foundation stone for the Church was laid on 13 October 1835 and the first Mass was celebrated there on 29 October 1837. The construction of the Church and its unusual Flemish spire was finally completed in 1863.
- Connolly Hospital
- Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown - a third level educational institute
- Blanchardstown Centre - a large retail shopping centre to the north of the village
- WestEnd Shopping Park - a retail park located beside the Blanchardstown Centre
- Bishop John Troy
- Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael TD and Government Minister
- Siva Kaneswaran, musician (The Wanted)
- "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "Early History". Ask About Ireland. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Ken Foy (13 June 2011). "Garda swoop foils the revival of feared Westies crime gang - See more at: http://www.herald.ie/news/garda-swoop-foils-the-revival-of-feared-westies-crime-gang-27982139.html#sthash.74lQiqON.dpuf". The Herald. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Cronin, Elizabeth, Fr Michael Dungan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968, Four Courts Press (2002), p. 10.
- Cronin, Elizabeth, Fr Michael Dungan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968, Four Courts Press (2002), p 56.
- Official website of the Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians.
- Official website of the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Laurel Lodge.
- Official website of the Parish of St Thomas, the Apostle, Castleknock.
- Official website of the Parish of St Mochta, Porterstown.
- Official website of the Parish of St Philip.
- Official website of the Parish of Mary of the Servants.
- Official website of the Parish of Huntstown-Littlepace.
- Official website of the Parish of St Ciarán, Hartstown.
- "Councillors – Castleknock". Fingal County Council. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Councillors – Mulhuddart". Fingal County Council. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church http://www.askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/primary-students/looking-at-places/fingal/blanchardstown-through-ti/blanchardstown-village/
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