|— Suburb of Dublin —|
|Elevation||26 m (85 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||O264267|
Dalkey (Irish: Deilginis, meaning "thorn island") is a suburb of Dublin and seaside resort just south of Dublin City, Ireland. It was founded as a Viking settlement and became an important port during the Middle Ages. According to John Clyn, it was one of the ports through which the plague entered Ireland in the mid-14th century. In modern times, Dalkey has become a thriving seaside suburb and a minor tourist attraction. It has been home to many writers and celebrities including Maeve Binchy, Hugh Leonard, Bono and Van Morrison.
Dalkey Quarry is a disused granite quarry, stone from which was used during the 19th century to build Dún Laoghaire harbour, and is now a popular rock climbing location within Killiney Hill Park. During the building of the harbour, the quarry was connected to Dún Laoghaire via a metal tramway known as 'The Metals', some of which is still visible in some parts of Dalkey.
There are several small harbours on the coast of Dalkey. Bulloch Harbour is the biggest; it is towards the northern part of Dalkey at Harbour Road and is a declared seal sanctuary. Coliemore Harbour is much smaller but very picturesque and is in the southern part of Dalkey at Coliemore Road. In the Middle Ages Coliemore was the main harbour for Dublin City. Bulloch Harbour is still a working harbour with boats that fish for lobster and crab. It is also used by locals and tourists who hire boats for nearby fishing, sightseeing and for getting to Dalkey Island.
Cuala CLG, a prominent Gaelic Athletic Association sports club, and Dalkey United, an association football club, are both based at Hyde Park. Early in his soccer career, Paul McGrath played for Dalkey United. In the 1940s, the town produced another footballer of note, Peter Farrell. Recently it has set up an athletics club, the Dalkey Dashers. Dalkey Rowing Club is based at Coliemore Harbour and Kayaking is taught at Bulloch. Dalkey Sea Scouts keep two beautiful old sailing boats at Bulloch Harbour.
There are five schools in Dalkey. Loreto Primary School caters for boys from junior infants through first class, and for girls from junior infants through sixth class. Loreto Abbey Secondary School caters for girls from first year through sixth year. Harold Boys' National School caters for boys from second class through sixth class, and Saint Patrick's National School caters for boys and girls from junior infants through sixth class. Castlepark School is an independent preparatory school for boys and girls.
The current Dalkey railway station was opened on 10 July 1854. The station is served by the DART electric rail system which affords quick access to and from Dublin City Centre. Spectacular clifftop views of Dalkey Island and Killiney Bay are afforded as the train emerges from a short tunnel just south of Dalkey Station. Sit on the left side of the train as it leaves Dalkey. Many passengers report seeing the resident pod of dolphins playing in the water between this point and Killiney Station. The train has been known to slow down if they are putting on a show!
An Aircoach service with a stop at Hyde Road links the area with Dublin Airport. Dublin Bus services 59, 7d and 8 link the area with the city centre and the nearby port town of Dun Laoghaire from which Stenaline operates a car ferry service to Holyhead in the UK.
Dalkey is the original hometown of two well-known Irish writers: novelists Maeve Binchy and playwright Hugh Leonard. It is also the setting for Flann O'Brien's novel The Dalkey Archive. In recent years several well-known Irish and international music figures — including U2 members Bono and The Edge, Enya, Chris de Burgh and Van Morrison — have bought residences in the area. Film director Neil Jordan lives in the town.
James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw also have close associations with the area. Shaw lived in Torca Cottage on Dalkey Hill from 1866 to 1874 and Joyce lived in The Joyce Tower in Sandycove for a time and set the first chapter of his masterpiece, Ulysses, there.
Now in its third year, Dalkey Book Festival was set up to celebrate and foster the wealth of literary talent in and around the town. The festival takes place over a weekend in Mid-June every year. Festival directors, David McWilliams and Sian Smyth, work with the support of a superb team of volunteers and the Dalkey Business Group to ensure the festival’s success. Contributors in 2012 included Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy, Joseph O'Connor, Derek Landy, Jennifer Johnston, Robert Fisk, Eamon Morrissey, John Waters, Matt Cooper, Julian Gough and Sinéad Cusack.
Things To Do
Dalkey is famous for its award winning Pubs and Restaurants. Dalkey's main street, Castle Street, has a 10th Century church and two 14th Century Norman castles, one of which houses The Heritage Centre. There are numerous scenic and historical walks and tours. Free tourist maps are available from shops in the town and at Dalkey Castle. Dalkey Hill offers spectacular views over Dublin City, Dublin Bay and the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. Deilg Inis Living History Theatre Company run live theatre performances every half hour at Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre. Boats are available to hire at Bulloch Harbour on Harbour Road and Yacht trips around Dalkey Island can be taken from nearby Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Dalkey Quarry is a very popular rock climbing and abseiling venue. Killiney Hill is a popular launch site for para-gliders, the wind coming in off the sea offers good lift.
The Vico Bathing Place and Whiterock Beach, accessed off Vico Road, offer sea swims with spectacular views. Both have changing shelters. The ever popular Sandycove Beach and the adjacent 'Forty Foot' bathing place are a short stroll away beside the Joyce Tower. Intrepid local youths can often be seen diving off the piers at Coliemore Harbour.
Dalkey Island is home to a colony of seals which has greatly expanded in recent years. A herd of wild goats lives on the island also. Birdwatch Ireland have established a colony of Roseate Terns on Maiden Rock just north of Dalkey Island. More recently a pod of three bottlenose dolphins has begun frequenting the waters around Dalkey Island.
- "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-12. Note: The figure given is the sum of the populations of the Dalkey-Avondale, Dalkey-Bullock, Dalkey-Coliemore, Dalkey Hill and Dalkey Upper sections of the area.
- "Dalkey station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- Industrial Heritage Ireland
- Dalkey Community Council
- Local website
- Dalkey walks
- Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre
- Sorrento Cycling Club
- Harold Boys' National School
- Saint Patrick's National School
- Castle Park School
- Dalkey Quarry Rock Climbing Guide
- Dalkey Book Festival
- Photos of Dalkey's coastline and Dalkey Island