|Irish: an Braineal|
|Population||4,741 (2011 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
|UK Parliament||East Belfast|
|NI Assembly||East Belfast|
Braniel or The Braniel is a large housing estate and townland in southeast Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is in the barony of Castlereagh Upper and parish of Knockbreda in County Down. Two small estates, Roddens and Glenview are located in the area, and are often referred to the Braniel. It is a predominantly Protestant area, with the majority of residents being loyalist or unionist. The area is due to be refurbished, as near-by estates Belvoir (Beaver) and Newtownbreda have been refurbished.
The name was historically spelt Ballybronnell and may come from the Irish: Baile Uí Bhraithnil, meaning "O'Braniel's town". Alternative origins are Irish: Broinngheal, meaning "bright-fronted place" or An Braineal.
The Entrance to the Braniel is via the Knock Road and the Ballygowan Road or through the Gilnahirk route. Near-by estates include, Church Road (Rosewood, Rosemount, Gray Castle, Marlborough), Gilnahirk, Tullycarnet, Clarawood, Clonduff, Casaeldona and Cregagh. In 2001, a man was murdered on Ravenswood Park, at the end entering the Braniel Square. In 2008, a man was stabbed on Whincroft Road, one of the main roads into Braniel Square. A 28-year-old man was then arrested and given bail following the event. On 13 March 2012, a man drove through the front of a house on Whincroft Road. No further details have been released at this time though it is believed the man had a heart attack or blacked out at the steering wheel of his Citroen Picasso before driving through the front of 13 Whincroft Road.
On 11 April 2009 Braniel Primary school was set of fire by arsonists. The fire started in a bin area at the side of the school and spread to the roof of the school. It was extinguished and only the bin area and fencing as well as the roof were damaged. The School assembly hall was also slightly damaged inside. The fire cost around £10,000 in damages.
- Braniel Primary School, educates over 400 children and was recently refurbished for its 50th anniversary.)
- Braniel Church, which hosts both a Methodist and Presbyterian congregation.
- Braniel Football Pitch, re-placed the Braniel Bowling Green
- Braniel Community Centre, for community events and other activities. The B.C.A hold events and meetings here.
- Braniel Bowling Green, 1980's – 2011, removed in favour of a new football pitch.
- Braniel Library, Closed 2010, a mobile Library now visits the car park at the Glenside Shops.
- Braniel Football Club, various football teams
- Carmena Allen Memorial Park, at the top of the estate. Better known as Braniel Park or Sam's Park.
- Roddens Park, Located in Roddens. Not to be confused with a nearby street with the same name. It is in poor condition due to lack of care from the council, it is in serious need of refurbishment as the park has deteriorated over the years and has not been updated or fixed.
- Mace Express (9 February 2012 – present)
- Hair Care (1990's-present)
- Imperial (February 2013 – present)
- Wylie & Company Solicitors (1999–present)
- SMART WASH-IN (2008–present)
- O'Neills Stop & Shop (2004–present)
- O'Neills Stop & Tan (2012–present) (located inside the Stop and Shop)
- SPAR (1990's-2005, 2013–present)(better known as Sam's)
- Post Office (1990's-present)(Located inside SPAR)
- Braniel Pharmacy (1990's-present)
- The Glen Newsagents (1990's-2002)
- Vivo (2002–2003)
- Golden King (?-2005)
- Golden Fu (2005–2007)
- Link Drycleaners (1990's-2008)
- Asian Delight (2007–2010)
- The Griffin (2004-9 February 2012)
- Rose Garden (2010 – March 2012)
- Far East Delicious (May 2012 – February 2013)
- HELEN'S (1990's-2004)
- Hunger Buster (2011–2012)
- Centra Off License (2005–2013)
- KellsKitchen (2000's-2007)
- Goodmans Traditional Fish and Chips (2007–2009)
- DC's Fish & Chips (2011)
- Michael Stone, best known for the Milltown Cemetery attack and trying to break into the Parliament Buildings.
In 2009, the Braniel Dreamscheme painted a new mural over an old graffitied wall near the Braniel Park, on the back of the Braniel row of shops. The Dreamscheme is still an ongoing activity in the estate.
- Placenames Database of Ireland
- The Place-names of Northern Ireland
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