Garristown (Irish: Baile Gháire) is a village in the rural part of Fingal, in the north western corner of the former County Dublin, Ireland. It is located in hilly country, sloping down from west to east, with views towards the hills around the Naul. The village centre is 120m above sea level.
Records from 1200 show John Comyn, Archbishop of Dublin, granting the church at Garristown to the priory of Lanthony. William de Bardelby, later a senior judge, was parish priest here in 1318. By 1607, features included a windmill at Holtrass hill and two other mills, with 326 acres (1.319 km2) of land within the townland. The village is also recorded in the Down Survey (1654). The medieval church was later replaced by a Church of Ireland church.
Garristown’s current street formation has not changed much since the Rocques map of County Dublin (ca. 1746). In 1837, the village had a population of 741, and the surrounding civil parish 2,801. There was a police station, a dispensary, a windmill and churches of both the Church of Ireland (with a ruined residence constructed in 1791) and the Roman Catholic Church (built in 1828), along with one national school for boys and two private schools. There were three fairs a year, and the area had natural resources in the form of stone and peat.
A new Roman Catholic church, the Church of Assumption, was dedicated on 10 June 1906.
The village today
The main street of Garristown runs north to south, with a tree-lined mall on the western side, and the central area where Main Street meets the Naul Road. The population today is under 400 persons, and there is an active Community Council. The police barracks in the centre of the village dates from the 19th century, and the Carnegie Library, still operational, from the early 20th century. The library was renovated in the 2000s.
Other amenities include a primary school and a community centre, which was a secondary school, Garristown VEC, which, after closure, was acquired by the community council, and converted into the multi-purpose hall and ancillary facilities. This centre is used by sub-groups of the community council, by local band "Loft Pioneer"( Who play many shows in Dublin City ) and by the local branch of the Irish Countrywomens Association, local scout groups (the 76th Garristown) and the youth club.
Other key buildings include the Church of the Assumption and the former Church of Ireland and cemetery. The base of the windmill also survives. There is a bottle bank near the entrance to the old church yard opposite the butchers shop.
The local GAA club, Garristown GFC, has its grounds to the east. It has 11 teams and a new clubhouse and the recent development of the pitch has made it one of the best pitches in Dublin. Other local groups include Garristown Gun Club and Garristown Historical Society and the Arena Airsoft Club.
There are two public houses, a butchers shop, small supermarket, hair dressing salon and a service station.
Garristown is in the jurisdiction of Fingal County Council and is in the Dublin North Dáil Constituency. The village has been considered for further development, and in 2005, the County Council adopted an Urban Design Framework for an area immediately to the east of the village.
References and notes
- Swords, 2003, Fingal County Council: Garristown Local Area Plan
- Dublin, 1837, Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, vol. 1
- Dublin, 2005, Murray O'Laoire Architects for Fingal County Council, "Garristown East Urban Design Framework"