Location and Access
Baldoyle is located north east of the city, and borders Donaghmede, which was formed from its western part, Portmarnock, Sutton and Bayside. It can be accessed from the coast road from Dublin to Howth, which includes a cycle track, from Sutton Cross via Station Road, or from Donaghmede, or Portmarnock.
Baldoyle is served by Dublin Bus and Irish Rail, the latter currently via the Sutton and Bayside stations on the Howth Branch of the DART, and by Clongriffin station on the Northern Branch, which is also the Dublin-Belfast main line. The railway line functions as the western boundary of the area.
Baldoyle is mostly level coastal plains, with the Mayne River crossing in its northern parts, taking in the Grange Stream, and other tributaries from the south. The Mayne and some of its tributaries have a history of flooding, and one person even drowned in 1993. The Mayne passes under the railway line through a bridge structure known as the "Red Arches."
A major townland of Baldoyle, encompassing much of what is now Donaghmede, is Grange, indicating that it was previously farmland.
The district name derives from baile meaning town and dubh-ghaill meaning "dark (-haired) stranger", the name given by the Gaels to the Danes to distinguish them from the Norwegians or "fair (-haired) strangers" (finn-ghaill) who first settled in Ireland in 841-842. While it is sometimes rendered as "Doyle's town" with reference to the personal name Doyle which itself derives from dubh-ghaill, there is no evidence for this usage - see previous references.
Features and Development
Baldoyle village today has a coastal main street, with a Roman Catholic church, a community hall, a modern county library branch with sea views, some shops and pubs. Slightly inland, among the older suburban houses, are a small shopping precinct containing a Lidl supermarket, a football club, another Roman Catholic church, and other amenities. On the approach from the coast road is a well-known pub, the Elphin.
Many businesses in the area are represented by the Howth Sutton Baldoyle Chamber of Commerce.
Baldoyle Industrial Estate
On Grange Road towards Donaghmede is a light industrial estate, with more than forty businesses and the local An Post sorting and delivery office. Businesses located there include major generic pharmaceuticals player Mylan, the largest tenant of the estate, Irish Papers, Grange Builders Providers, Ferrum Trading Co Ltd Steel Stockholders, Poolbeg Press, Curtis & Lees, Ireland's Eye Knitwear, Grange Electrical Wholesalers, Baldoyle Print and Forest Tosara, producers of Sudocrem (invented in Dublin). At the front of the estate is a service station.
In recent years Baldoyle has been at the centre of a large house building programme, with the former racecourse having been sold to developers. The new developments have begun, as "The Coast", facing a new local centre at the northern edge of Donaghmede, Clongriffin. Clongriffin Dart station opened in April 2010 serving Baldoyle and racecourse developments such as "The Coast", and northern Donaghmede.
Seagrange Park is a public park that includes a modern playground and sports pitches. A new public park was to be built on part of the former racecourse lands, including a wildlife or nature park, and while this is still pending, a community garden is maintained on part of those lands.
Among the local residents are the retired members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, whose retirement home, St. Patricks, is located in the town. There is a graveyard where approx 1000 members of the Christian Brothers are buried. St. Josephs, Baldoyle was formerly the site of the Christian Brothers Training School.
In the centre of the village is a secondary school for girls, St. Mary's, while further inland is a large co-educational secondary school, Pobalscoil Neasáin. There is a co-educational primary school, St. Laurence's National School, catering for children aged 4-12, and with junior and senior buildings. Formerly St. Peter and Paul's BNS and St. Mary's GNS, the schools amalgamated from the beginning of the 2013/2014 school year to become St. Laurence's National School. Junior Infants to 2nd Class pupils attend the junior school in the Grange Road campus (the former girls' school), while 3rd Class to 6th Class pupils attend the senior school in the Brookstone Road campus (the former boys' school). Both buildings are within minutes of each other. Also in the village area is a special needs primary school run by St. Micheals house.
Baldoyle with its sheltered waterside location, was a Viking base for many years, eventually suppressed by an attack by the King of Leinster.
A description of Baldoyle from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (Dublin, 1837) gives a useful summary of what was then a substantial rural fishing village:
The village is pleasantly situated on an inlet or creek of the Irish Sea, to the north of the low isthmus that connects Howth, with the mainland: it comprises about 200 houses, and is much frequented in summer for sea-bathing. Some of the inhabitants are engaged in the fishery, which at the commencement of the present century employed nine wherries belonging to this place, averaging seven or eight men each; at present nearly 100 men are so, engaged. Sir W. de Windsor, lord-justice of Ireland, held a parliament here in 1369. The creek is formed between the mainland and the long tract of sand on the north of Howth, at the point of which, near that port, a white buoy is placed; it is fit only for small craft. The manor was granted to the priory of All Saints, Dublin, by Diarmit, the son of Murchard, King of Leinster, who founded that house in 1166.
The parliament mentioned above was held at Grange Church, better known as Grange Abbey, which now lies in Donaghmede and was partly restored in the late 20th century. At that time the area had a population of 1208, of whom 1009 lived in the village, and the lands belonged entirely to Dublin Corporation. There were three "big houses" viz Grange Lodge, Donaghmede House and Talavera, a police station and a coast guard base, and both a parish school and a hedge school, and at least one holy well.
The new district of Donaghmede, comprising perhaps six major housing development areas and a commercial and social core, was "carved out" of Baldoyle's inland lands, along with a little of Coolock, and some places often described as part of Raheny, in the 1960s and 1970s; it now has a population considerably greater than that of Baldoyle.
For most of the 20th century, Baldoyle was well known for its racecourse, which was one of three in the Dublin metropolitan area. Open land in the village had been an informal venue for horse races in the early nineteenth century, and annual race meetings at the site were proposed in 1842. A new enclosed course was opened in May 1874, which continued in regular use for more than a century, until it was closed in August 1972 due to financial difficulties related to the potential costs of necessary renovations. The following year, on 31 October 1973, one of the most spectacular and audacious escapes from an Irish prison took place when three of the Provisional IRA's key personnel were airlifted to freedom in a hijacked helicopter from Mountjoy Prison. The helicopter touched down at the disused racecourse where the IRA members escaped in waiting cars.
Baldoyle is home to Baldoyle United FC, with teams in the NDSL, MGL and Leinster Senior League, and principal facilities at Brookstone Road. Games are also played at Racecoure Park and Seagrange Road, Baldoyle. There were for a short period two clubs, Baldoyle United and Grange United, which merged in 2015 . A combined name, Baldoyle Grange United, was announced for the senior team but the remaining activity was continued as simple Baldoyle United. Since 2017 all teams play as Baldoyle United FC.
Baldoyle United has over 25 teams at schoolboy, schoolgirl and adult levels. In 2016 it won the FAI Community Club of the Year and also Fingal County Council's Community Group of the Year.
In 2019 the club marked 50 years of continuous football in Baldoyle.
Baldoyle has a dedicated badminton centre on Grange Road, one of the two centres of Leinster Badminton, with eight courts. There is an active local club, Baldoyle District Badminton Club, based there, and it is also used substantially by several other clubs, including two from Raheny.
- Robbie Brady, Irish International footballer.
- Nicky Byrne
- James Chambers footballer for Bethlehem Steel.
- Becky Lynch, Irish Professional Wrestler.
- Placenames Database of Ireland - Baldoyle civil parish
- Irish Names of Places, Vol. I., p. 350, and Mervyn Archdall's Monasticon Hibernicum, edited by Cardinal Moran; Vol. II, p. 21, note; Dublin: W. B. Kelly, 1873
- Christian Brothers Cemetery Find a Grave.
- Official website Archived 7 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine - Baldoyle parish
- "Baldoyle Races". Freeman's Journal. 13 June 1842. Retrieved 27 January 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Hurley, Michael (Spring 2006). "Baldoyle as a Racecourse Village". Dublin Historical Record. 59 (1): 65–80. JSTOR 30101607.
- Baldoyle United and Grange United to Merge, 3 Jul 2015
- Na Dubh Ghall - Pitch Locator
- Baldoyle Badminton Centre