Douglas, County Cork
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Douglas (Irish: Dúglas or Dúbhglas, meaning "dark stream") is a suburb of Cork city, Ireland and the name given to the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Civil parish in which it is contained. As its borders are ill-defined and it straddles the boundary between Cork city and County Cork, it is difficult to ascertain the exact population. The CSO gives a figure of 19,787  for the parts of Douglas that lie within Cork County. No figure is provided for the parts within Cork City, although the combined population of the Tramore A, Tramore B, Tramore C and Browningstown electoral divisions, which lie in Douglas, is 5,868. This suggests a total population of 25,655.
Douglas was first mentioned in documents in 1251. By the mid-seventeenth century, it had a population of 308 people (of whom 33 were English) and consisted of a number of large farms. The area began to develop as an urban settlement in the early eighteenth century with the opening of Donnybrook Mills in 1726. The mills produced sail-cloth and supplied sails to the British Royal Navy amongst other clients. Huguenot weavers and textile workers, such as the Bernard and Pollock brothers from Belfast, came to work in the area, along with skilled workers from Ulster and Scotland. Further textile mills opened in the nineteenth century, including Lane’s Corn and Hemp Mills (1845), O’Brien’s Brothers (St Patrick’s Woollen Mills, 1882) and Conroy’s Rope and Twine Mills (1892). Most of the mills ceased to operate in the early twentieth century, although St. Patrick's Woollen Mills and Donnybrook Mills continued to operate until the 1970s.
Some of the houses built for the mill workers are still in existence, including a terrace of houses near the junction of the Grange Road and Donnybrook Hill.
Douglas developed as a suburban area throughout the later eighteenth century and the nineteenth century and a number of 'big houses' were built nearby. These included Donnybrook House, Castletreasure House, Grange House, Maryborough House (now a hotel), Douglas Hall (one of the few remaining examples of a slate-fronted house in Ireland) and Mount Vernon which had one of the earliest examples of a domestic central-heating system installed in any house in Ireland.
St. Columba’s Roman Catholic church was built in 1814 and St. Luke’s Church of Ireland church was completed in 1889. In 1898, the Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company built a route from Cork City to Douglas. This operated until 1932 when it was replaced by a bus service.
In the second half of the twentieth century, Douglas underwent major changes as it became a suburb of Cork. A large amount of new housing was built and the area between Douglas and Cork City became entirely built-up. Schools, shopping centres, cinemas and other amenities developed to serve this new population. Douglas Community School (see below) was built in 1968 and the original Douglas Shopping Centre was completed in 1972. This shopping centre recently received a massive facelift, transforming the village. A second shopping centre, Douglas Court Shopping Centre, was built in the late 1980s and a 5-screen multiplex cinema was also built. Several hotels, including the Rochestown Park Hotel and Maryborough House Hotel were also developed. Douglas has two golf courses, Douglas Golf Club at Maryborough Hill and Frankfield Golf Club in Frankfield. The Frankfield course also contains a driving range.
The expansion of suburban residential development continued throughout the later part of the twentieth century and continues to the present day. Housing developments (mostly private, although there are some areas of social housing) have been built in Grange, Donnybrook, Frankfield, Maryborough, Rochestown, Mount Oval and along the two main roads connecting Douglas to Cork city, the Douglas Road and the South Douglas Road.
Shopping and Business
The village centre has two principal commercial streets, Douglas East and Douglas West, which are situated approximately 300m apart. However, most retail activity takes place in the two shopping centres, Douglas Shopping Centre (anchored by Tesco and Marks and Spencer) and Douglas Court Shopping Centre (anchored by Dunnes Stores).
Douglas was formerly the site of the headquarters of Cork and Limerick Savings Bank. However, this bank was merged into Trustee Savings Bank in 1992. The former headquarters was initially still used for regional administration, but this function was transferred to a new building in Cork Airport Business Park
A farmers market is held every Saturday outside Douglas Court Shopping Centre.
- John Dunlay, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Gerald Goldberg, first Jewish Lord Mayor of Cork
- Cillian Murphy, film and stage actor
- Ronan O'Gara, professional rugby player
GAA clubs in the area include the Douglas GAA and Nemo Rangers hurling and football clubs. Nemo Rangers were historically associated with Turners Cross, but moved to a new location in the Trabeg area of Douglas in the 1990s.
In the 2004 and 2012 u10 Community Games Douglas won the Cork Community Games, the Munster Community Games and the all-Ireland Community Games.
Local association football (soccer) clubs include Tramore Athletic FC, Grangevale AFC, College Corinthians AFC and Douglas Hall AFC.
There are also local golf (and pitch and putt) clubs - notably: Douglas Golf Club, Frankfield Golf Club and Douglas Pitch and Putt Club.
Douglas also has representation in rugby union. Douglas RFC was initially founded as one of the earliest Cork Rugby clubs in 1902 in the (then) rural village of Douglas, Cork - most likely it is believed as an offshoot of the social activities of St Patrick’s Woollen Mills. Early reports are sketchy, although the club was competitive and match reports can be viewed in early newspapers up to 1914. From 1914 onwards there is no mention until 1979 when the club was restarted by two local men, the late Joe O' Reilly a Douglas man well known for his involvement in local politics and for his keen interest in all sports and Séamus Corkery formerly of Cork Constitution.
- Tennis (Douglas Tennis Club)
- Basketball (Fr. Mathews Basketball Club)
- Gymnastics (Douglas Gymnastics Club)
The N40 passes through Douglas, but access is limited. It is not possible to turn onto it in an eastbound direction and westbound traffic may not leave the road. Fuller access is available via the N28 in nearby Rochestown.
Douglas is more fully served by a number of R-standard roads
- R609 - Links to N28 at Maryborough
- R610 - Links to Cork City Centre northwards and Passage West, Monkstown and the N28 at Shanbally eastwards
- R851 - Links to Cork City Centre northwards and the N27 at Ballycurreen westwards
- R853 - Links to Ballinlough
Bus services are provided by Bus Eireann. It is on a number of city bus routes
- 206: Grange - Douglas - Turner's Cross - Cork City Centre
- 207: Donnybrook - Douglas - Cork City Centre - Ballyvolane
- 216: Rochestown - Douglas - Cork City Centre - Glasheen - Cork University Hospital
- 219: Mahon - Douglas - Turner's Cross - Ballyphehane - The Lough - Glasheen - Cork University Hospital - Bishopstown - Cork Institute of Technology
Between all city bus routes, up to 11 buses an hour are available to Cork City Centre. However, there are no bus stops that are served by all routes as the routes of the 206 and 216 run parallel several hundred metres apart.
Douglas is also served by a some regional bus routes
- 222: Cork City Centre - Douglas - Carrigaline - Crosshaven - Fountainstown
- 223: Cork City Centre - Douglas - Rochestown - Monkstown - Haulbowline
Regional bus services do not transport passengers between Douglas and Cork City Centre and may only be used outbound.
Douglas is not currently served by rail. The nearest active railway station is Cork Kent railway station.
Until 1932, Douglas was served by the Blackpool-Douglas route of the Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company.
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- St. Anthony's - Catholic boys school
- Eglantine - Catholic girls school
- Scoil An Athar Tadhg Ó Murchú - Irish language mixed-sex school
- St. Luke's - Church of Ireland mixed-sex school
- Scoil Nioclais - Catholic mixed-sex school
- St. Columba's BNS - Catholic boys school
- St. Columba's GNS - Catholic girls school
- Scoil Padraig Naofa - Catholic mixed-sex school
- Christ King - girls school
- Douglas Community School - boys school
- Regina Mundi College - girls school
- Rochestown College - Catholic (Capuchin order) boys school
- CCRI -boy's school
- Douglas Parish - Catholic
- Douglas Parish - Church of Ireland
- Wesley Chapel - Methodist
- Douglas Baptist Church - Baptist
- History of Douglas (at Douglas Community School website)
- 6th/47th Cork Douglas Scout Group (a member of Scouting Ireland)
- Douglas Rugby Football Club (a member of the IRFU Munster Branch "Munster_rugby")
- a b - These schools lie within the Catholic parish of Ballinlough, but in an area that lies close to the boundaries of Douglas. In fact, they are contained in the area of the Church of Ireland parish of Douglas.
- c - Although Scoil Phadraig Naofa is in the townland or area known as Rochestown the school is in the Catholic parish of Douglas. The school website can be viewed at http://www.Rochestownns.ie.