|Elevation||24 m (79 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||O241284|
Dún Laoghaire (Irish pronunciation: [d̪ˠuːn̪ˠ ˈɫeːrʲə], the older anglicisation of which, Dunleary, is also sometimes found) is a suburban seaside town in County Dublin, Ireland. It is about 12km (7.5 miles) south of Dublin city centre. Dún Laoghaire is the county town of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown county and formerly a major port of entry from Great Britain. From 1821 to 1920 it was named Kingstown.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Governance and representation
- 4 Features
- 5 Transport
- 6 Sports
- 7 Education
- 8 Shopping and business
- 9 Health
- 10 Tourism
- 11 Culture
- 12 People
- 13 International relations
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
The town's name means "fort of Laoghaire". This refers to Lóegaire mac Néill (modern spelling: Laoghaire Mac Néill), a 5th-century High King of Ireland, who chose the site as a sea base from which to carry out raids on Britain and Gaul. Traces of fortifications from that time have been found on the coast, and some of the stone is kept in the Maritime Museum.
The present town of Dún Laoghaire dates from the 1820s. An earlier Dún Laoghaire village was located around the area where "The Purty Kitchen" pub is now located (sometimes mapped as "Old Dunleary"). Dún Laoghaire had a coffee house, and a small cove, both of which are shown on a number of old maps, and it may have had a salt mine (Salthill is close by). At that time, the area on which the town is currently located was a craggy, rocky pasture area with some quarries.
Around 1800, some maps show the commencement of a small town centre along what is now Cumberland St, close to the junction with York Road. The events of the night of 18/19 November 1807 were to lead eventually to the transformation of the area. On that night, the troopships, the Prince of Wales, and the Rochdale, both of which had departed from Dublin, were driven on the rocks between Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire with the combined loss of over 400 lives. This disaster gave new impetus to an existing campaign for a new harbour to be constructed near Dublin. By 1816, the legislation was passed authorising the construction of what is now called the "West Pier". The lines of the current town centre including George's Street and most adjoining streets are clearly shown on maps prepared for the development of the harbour, and in particular on a John Rennie plan of 1817, when construction of that town centre had barely commenced at the western end of George's St. That street may originally have been laid out as a military road connecting the Dún Laoghaire Martello Towers—one at the "Peoples Park", the other near the end of the West Pier—both of which have long disappeared. Whatever its origins, the street was clearly an engineers design, being ruler-straight for all of its length (except the small western part which clearly pre-dates 1816). When King George IV came to visit the new port under construction in 1821, the name Dunleary was dropped in favour of the name "Kingstown"; the town returned to its former name in 1920, in the lead-up to the creation of the Irish Free State. By the time the Ordnance Survey was completed around 1845, the maps show buildings on much of the street and adjacent streets.
Ireland's first railway from Dublin to Kingstown, opened for business in 1834, terminated near the West Pier. It established Kingstown as a preferred suburb of Dublin, and led to the construction of elegant residential terraces. By 1844 the "Atmospheric Train" (designed by Robert Mallet) connected Kingstown to Dalkey, leading to further development. The Atmospheric Train ceased in 1854, but was replaced by the extension of the railway, which was subsequently extended to the ferryport of Rosslare. The opening of the railway from Dublin saw Kingstown become a Victorian era seaside resort.
In 1890, the Kingstown Town Commissioners established the Peoples Park on the site of a depleted quarry. By 1900, the centre of the town was congested. and steps were taken to widen the street. These steps included the demolition of shop frontages on George's St from Patrick St to Mulgrave Street, and their replacement by new frontages stepped back about 5 yards (4.5m). Shops on the corner of Marine Rd and George's St were also demolished.
The main road to Dublin, through Monkstown village and Blackrock, was the sole road connection to the city of Dublin until 1932. In that year, the Eucharistic Congress, held in Dublin brought thousands of visitors to Dublin, and plans indicated that most of them would come through Dún Laoghaire. The road was considered inadequate, and a new coast road was created by connecting some short segments of road and closing some gardens. This road is now Seapoint Avenue. An agreement with the local residents to restore the area to pre-congress condition was never fulfilled.
The British 59th (2nd North Midland) Division disembarked at Kingstown in April 1916 and marched up the road to Dublin, to crush the Easter Rising. Adjacent to the Carlisle Pier and overlooked by the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, there is an anchor, recovered from the wreck of the mailboat RMS Leinster which was torpedoed over the Kish Bank in 1918, with the loss of over 500 lives.
Dún Laoghaire was hit by stray German bombs during World War II, a couple of bombs landing near the People's Park at Rosmeen Gardens. Damage from the bombs was limited to buildings.
Governance and representation
Dún Laoghaire was once the core element of the borough of Dún Laoghaire, and until 2013 remained the only town in Ireland to have its own Vocational Education Committee. It is considered part of the Greater Dublin Area.
The area is governed locally by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council which is responsible for the provision of local services and amenities. For elections the town is part of the Dún Laoghaire local electoral area which elects six councillors. Following the 2009 local elections there are two councillors each from the Labour Party (centre left) and Fine Gael (centre right) and one each from Fianna Fáil (centrist) and PBPA (left wing).
For elections to Dáil Éireann the town is part of the Dún Laoghaire constituency which is currently represented by four TDs; two from Fine Gael and one from the Labour Party and PBPA. The most high profile TD from the constituency is current Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore, who resides in Shankill to the south.
. The harbour, one of the largest in the country, and base for a now limited car ferry route to Great Britain, is notable for its two granite piers. The East Pier is particularly popular with walkers, and was featured in the 1996 movie Michael Collins, where Liam Neeson (as Collins) and two of his co-stars are seen walking along a seaside promenade, which is actually the Dún Laoghaire East Pier. A band is seen playing on a bandstand in this movie scene, and this is the actual bandstand on the East Pier. The bandstand was restored to its original condition in 2010 by the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company.
It took 42 years to construct the harbour, from 1817 to 1859. The obelisk near the old ferryport terminal at the harbour commemorates the construction of this harbour.
South of the harbour is Scotsman's Bay, where there was a Victorian seaside amusement area, with walks, shelters and baths. The walks and shelters are largely intact. The Dún Laoghaire Baths have been derelict for many years, but were repainted in bright colours in 2012. Plans for restoration of this area are much debated, and some of the more ambitious ideas have been highly controversial.
A traditional Victorian-style park, the People's Park, is located at the eastern end of George's Street, and including still-functioning tea rooms.
At least one traditional "cabman's shelter" survives – these were small buildings built for the drivers of horse-drawn taxis.
Community facilities include the Boylan Community Centre, the Dún Laoghaire Scout Den, and a community information service in the tower building of St Michael's Church.
Dún Laoghaire is connected to central Dublin by the DART suburban railway, and is also a stop on the mainline rail service from Dublin to Wexford and Rosslare. The town is also served by a frequent bus service e.g. 7, 45a, 46a, 59, 111, and 75. Beside the railway station is the terminus of the 75 and the 46a, the most frequent and heavily used bus route in Dublin. The 746 bus route from the station terminus to Dublin Airport was discontinued in October 2010. Sandycove and Glasthule and Salthill and Monkstown also serve the area.
An Aircoach service links the area with Dublin Airport 24 hours a day with stops at County Hall and the Royal Marine Hotel.
The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, constructed and opened in 1834, was the first ever railway in Ireland, built to standard gauge. This was followed by the Dalkey Atmospheric Railway, an extension of the D&K that opened in 1843 (also built to standard gauge), the first railway to have practical application of pneumatic power. In 1854, the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway took over both lines, converting both to Irish gauge and the latter to steam power, extending further south to Bray, Wicklow, and eventually Wexford and Waterford as the Dublin and South Eastern Railway. In 1925, the DSER was amalgamated into the Great Southern Railways company, which lasted until 1944 when the railway was merged into CIÉ. Electrification arrived in 1984, and the suburban service was re-branded as DART.
Formerly, this was a year round service and constituted one of Ireland's main sea links to Great Britain.
In the early 2000s, Lower George's Street underwent pedestrianisation, placing a ban on all general traffic with the exception of bus routes toward central Dublin. Bus routes coming along this road into Dún Laoghaire were re-routed along the sea front.[clarification needed] This restriction was reversed in late 2008. Many of the local residents[who?] felt that Dundrum Shopping Centre, which opened a mere 20 minutes drive from Dún Laoghaire was the major contributory factor to the "downturn" and were disappointed that the pedestrianisation was never implemented seriously by the local authorities. Dún Laoghaire Business Association attributed the downturn to high parking charges. They unsuccessfully called for these charges to be reduced to one euro per hour. (Dundrum charges two euro for three hours)
Dún Laoghaire harbour is home to six yacht clubs. From north (West Pier) to south (East Pier) they are the Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, the Sailing in Dublin Club, the Royal Irish Yacht Club, the Royal St George Yacht Club, the Royal Alfred Yacht Club, and the National Yacht Club. The Irish National Sailing School & Club, Ireland's largest sail training provider for adults and children alike is based at the foot of the West Pier.
The area to the north of the West Pier at Salthill Beach sees much windsurfing activity over the twelve months of the year.
St Michael's Rowing Club, one of the longest-established members of the East Coast Rowing Council, has its roots in Dún Laoghaire harbour since the hobblers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The club itself has existed since the early 1920s and still resides in the Coal Harbour boat yard today. Members can regularly be seen rowing their traditional, clinker built skiffs around the harbour and Scotsman's Bay throughout the year.
The 820-berth marina is the largest in the country, and opened in 2001 following resistance for over 15 years by a group led by the late John de Courcy Ireland, the maritime historian. Following his death in April 2006, a 240-berth extension, involving an investment of €3 million, was approved in June 2006 by An Bord Pleanála; the project was completed in April 2007.
The town had a golf club from 1909 to 2007, but its members agreed to sell the course to housing developers and move to Ballyman Road, near Enniskerry in County Wicklow. The move occurred on 1 August 2007, to a purpose-built 96-acre (388,000 m2) site, with spectacular views over the Wicklow countryside including the Sugarloaf mountain. The new course is one of the finest in the Dublin area, with some people dubbing the course "The D Club", in reference to Kildare's spectacular K Club.
Dún Laoghaire Golf Club's 27-hole championship course has been designed by Hawtree to allow different combinations of the three nine-hole courses to be played. The championship courses played from the blue tees range from 6,543 to 6,281 metres, although with five sets of tees, the course provides an exhilarating challenge to both professional and club golfers alike. The magnificent five-star Clubhouse which incorporates a spectacular terrace with stunning panoramic views of the Wicklow Mountains has spacious locker, dining and bar facilities, meeting rooms and offices and is perfectly equipped to cater for any function. Its golf performance academy is one of Ireland’s leading teaching facilities and includes indoor swing studio, indoor putting studio, 13-bay driving range, dedicated pitching and chipping area, bunker area and gym.
The Dún Laoghaire area is home to four third-level education establishments; Senior College Dún Laoghaire in the town centre, which will shortly move to Blackrock; Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire College of Further Education on Cumberland Street, and Sallynoggin College of Further Education.
The main Primary School in Dún Laoghaire is Dominican Primary School Dún Laoghaire.
Dún Laoghaire has seen several of its secondary schools close in the past two decades, due to population shifts to outlying areas. Three schools which closed are CBS Eblana Avenue, founded in 1856 and closed in 1992 (although the fee paying school C.B.C. Monkstown which relocated from Eblana continues to this day); the Dominican Convent girls' school, which closed a year earlier in 1991; and Presentation College Glasthule founded in 1902, closed in 2007.
Located in Monkstown Farm, Holy Family National School is a primary school in the area; also Monkstown Educate Together National School (METNS), located on Kill Avenue, Dún Laoghaire.
Shopping and business
Dún Laoghaire has one main shopping street, George's Street, as well as two shopping centres: the Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre and Bloomfields, the former dating from 1977. Recent years have seen some commercial development of the land around the George's Street area, including, notably, the old Pavilion Cinema and Theatre site opposite the town hall. There is a regular antiques fair held bi-monthly, on Sundays in the Royal Marine Hotel, near the harbour, and a weekly farmers market held in the People's Park on Sundays.
The town has a wide range of eating places and public houses, as well as more than one hundred other retail businesses, including famous high street shops such as Marks and Spencer, Penneys and Dunnes Stores.
The town is home to the head office of Ireland's largest supermarket operator, Tesco Ireland, whose stores previously anchored both major shopping centres in the town. But the one in Dún Laoghaire Shopping Centre which had been in operation since 1977, closed in May 2011 leaving only the one in Bloomfields.
There is an active Business Association, and a local Chamber of Commerce.
Dún Laoghaire is home to St Michael's Hospital as well as a number of private clinics, therapists and general practitioners.
Much of the town's early growth came from visitors from Dublin, and today there is one large hotel, heavily refurbished in 2007, the Royal Marine, along with several small hotels, and a number of bed-and-breakfasts.
Cruise Ship Visits
In 2011, Dún Laoghaire Harbor published a master plan, which focused on developing Dún Laoghaire as a tourist destination. Specifically, the plan revolved around promoting Dún Laoghaire Harbor as a prime location for both ferries and cruise ships. In 2013, six cruise ships will stop in Dún Laoghaire between the months of May and July. The first ship to arrive was the Queen Mary II on 16 May and the Arcadia arrived on 9 July. The ship is the worlds largest ocean liner, which holds about 3,000 passengers.Throughout the year of 2013, 14 cruise ships plan to stop in Dun Laoghaire. There will be approximately 30,000 passengers, as opposed to just 300 last year.
Dublin Bay Cruises
Dublin Bay Cruises sail twice a day from Dún Laoghaire to Howth. The scenic trip takes about 75 minutes, and the ferries leave at 11am and 3pm.
In July 2013, the first ever Tourism Office opened in Dun Laoghaire. Because Dún Laoghaire is located right on the water, the outdoor tourism industry has grown exponentially in recent years. Kayaking, kite surfing, paddle boarding and sailing are all very popular among tourists. Facilities for biking and rock climbing are also located in the Dún Laoghaire area.
Bars and night life
Dún Laoghaire has 13 bars, mostly centred along the main street Georges Street Upper. They include "traditional Irish bars" like Farrell's, Walter's, Lion Bar, Weir's, McKenna's and Dunphy's.
Joyce's stay with Oliver St John Gogarty in a Martello tower in nearby Sandycove he later immortalised in the opening chapter of Ulysses. This tower, known as the James Joyce Tower, is in nearby Sandycove. It contains a small museum.
Samuel Beckett came from nearby Foxrock and is said to have experienced an artistic epiphany, alluded to in his play Krapp's Last Tape, while sitting on the end of one of Dún Laoghaire's piers. A bronze plaque marks the spot.
The famed black equestrian and circus owner Pablo Fanque, immortalised in The Beatles' song Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, performed here for one week during a long engagement in Dublin, in 1850.
Dún Laoghaire was previously home to the Festival of World Cultures, a three-day festival dedicated to music from all corners of the globe. It was one of the largest music festivals in Ireland attracting over a quarter of a million visitors to the town over a weekend in August. For nine years (2001–2010), the festival was a huge success, but unfortunately it was decided by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to stop hosting the festival as in 2010 there were large losses.
A new purpose-built theatre, the Pavilion, opened its doors in 2000. Built on the site of the 1903 'Kingstown Pavilion', it serves as the Municipal Theatre for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and is a host venue for a number of important festivals, including the International Puppet Festival, and, recently, the Dublin Theatre Festival.
St Michael's Church is home to the longest-running series of organ concerts in Ireland, featuring the famous 1974 organ by Rieger Orgelbau which is the only organ of its type in Ireland.
The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is housed in "Mariners' Church", which formerly served the British Navy. It is situated directly inland from the east pier. The building has been completely renovated and reopened. The nearby "pond", (actually a water reservoir which served steam driven ships) and bowling green are being replaced by the new central library building.
A Carnegie library opened in 1912 is located on Library Road. It was formerly the Dun Laoghaire Corporation library headquarters. Work has started (April 2012) on a new central library to be built close to the Maritime Museum.
Off Library Road there is the Oratory of the Sacred Heart (4m x 6m), described as a "gem of Celtic Renaissance art". It was created by members of the former Dominican Convent now replaced by the Tesco anchored "Bloomfield" Shopping Centre.
Dún Laoghaire has a town twinning relationship with the following cities.
- Census for post 1821 figures.
- Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
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- "Dún Laoghaire". Bunachar Logainmneacha na hÉireann. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- Dun Laoire? Dun Leary? Or Dun Laoghaire? How the harbour town got its name. Dunlaoghaire.ie
- Terry Janzen (26 October 2005). Topics in Signed Language Interpreting: Theory and practice. John Benjamins Publishing. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-90-272-9415-9. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- "Dunleary Road". Bunachar Logainmneacha na hÉireann. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Dún Laoghaire Baths get much needed lick of paint". RTÉ News. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- Dún Laoghaire Business (Dún Laoghaire: Dún Laoghaire Business Association). December 2009.
- St Michael's Rowing Club
- Senior College Dún Laoghaire's New Blackrock Campus
- Dún Laoghaire College of Further Education
- Sallynoggin College of Further Education
- Dominican Primary School Dún Laoghaire
- Holy Family National School
- Tesco to close store in Dún Laoghaire centre, The Irish Times, 11 May 2011
- The Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Appeal, 17 June 1850.
- No Festival of World Cultures in 2011?
- "National Maritime Museum of Ireland". News. Maritime Institute of Ireland. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council – press release
- "Heritage Week 2008 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County". Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Retrieved 22 May 2009..
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dún Laoghaire.|
- Dún Laoghaire Town – Official Site of EU Brand Project
- Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
- Dún Laoghaire Borough Historical Society
- Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company
- Dún Laoghaire Lifeboat Station
- Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Enterprise Board
- Festival of World Cultures
- History of the Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire ferry service
- Pavilion Theatre
- 8th Port Sea Scouts of Dún Laoaghaire
- Dún Laoaghaire Golf Club
- Dún Laoghaire School