Dublin 4

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Dublin 4 (D4)
Baile Átha Cliath 4
Postal district
The D4 district has long been considered one of Dublin's most prestigious
The D4 district has long been considered one of Dublin's most prestigious
Dublin 4 (D4) is located in Ireland
Dublin 4 (D4)
Dublin 4 (D4)
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°19′44″N 6°13′50″W / 53.3289°N 6.2305°W / 53.3289; -6.2305Coordinates: 53°19′44″N 6°13′50″W / 53.3289°N 6.2305°W / 53.3289; -6.2305
Local AuthorityDublin City Council
Dáil constituencyDublin Bay South
EU ParliamentDublin
Postal district(s)
Dialing code01, +353 1

Dublin 4, also rendered as D4[1] and D04,[2] is a historic postal district of Dublin, Ireland including Baggot Street Upper, the southernmost fringes of the Dublin Docklands,[3] and the suburbs of Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Irishtown, Merrion, Ringsend (including South Lotts and parts of Grand Canal Dock) and Sandymount, on the Southside of Dublin. Most of the area was known as Pembroke Township until 1930 when it was absorbed by the City and County Borough of Dublin.

The headquarters of the national broadcaster RTÉ, the RDS, Merrion Centre, University College Dublin, Aviva Stadium, Google and a number of foreign embassies to Ireland are all located in D4.

It is Ireland's most expensive postcode.[4] At the height of the Celtic Tiger economic boom, Shrewsbury Road in D4 was the sixth most expensive street in the world, with one property on the street selling for €58 million.[5] As of 2022, the average property price in the district was almost €1 million.[6]

Popular culture[edit]

Dublin 4 or its abbreviation, D4, is sometimes used as a pejorative adjective to describe Dublin's upper-middle class based on the perceived characteristics of residents of this area. However, it sometimes even used to refer to the Irish upper middle class in general, regardless of whether or not they live in the D4 area. In this sense the term signifies a set of attitudes apparently in opposition to those held by "the plain people of Ireland" by Irish commentators such as Desmond Fennell.[7][8]

While the area has, for most of its existence, been seen as well-to-do, the use of the term D4 as an adjective emerged in the 1990s.[8] The fictional jock Ross O'Carroll-Kelly was meant as a caricature of this.

The term has been used to describe the aspirational upper middle-class from south Dublin and also used by Fianna Fáil members who like to portray themselves as being on the side of "the plain people of Ireland".[9]


A change in accent occurred between those born roughly before 1970 and those born in the early 1970s or later.[10]

In the early 1980s, a group of people in Dublin 4 developed a different accent, partly in rejection of older views of Irishness.[11] The accent was known as "Dublin 4", "Dartspeak" or later "DORTspeak/Formers Morket" (after the Dublin 4 pronunciation of DART, which runs through the area). It has also been noticed that people who move into the area and parts of south Dublin from outside the county and who would normally speak in their native accent develop the DORT accent as well.[11] The accent quickly became the subject of ridicule.[11]


Two examples of "Dublin 4" being used to refer to alleged wealth:

The area desperately needs the retention of this kind of local community hospital. It covers Dublin 2, 4 and 6 and, because of the writings of a journalist who hails from the west but has chosen to live in Dublin, the connotation Dublin 4 has a very salubrious image which suggests considerable affluence. The reality is that many of the population in the catchment area of this hospital are not affluent.

— Ruairí Quinn, Dáil Éireann Debate, 21 May 1987


The Minister is probably aware that, not far from here, is the mythical place called Dublin 4. In our vision of Dublin 4 we think of Shrewsbury Road, Donnybrook and people who have access to power and money. As Eoghan Harris said, it is almost a state of mind. However, there is another part of Dublin 4, which I know very well, where there is 70 per cent unemployment, drug problems and deprivation. We do not hear much about that part of Dublin 4.

— John Gormley, Dáil Éireann Debate, 28 January 1999[13]

Sometimes the antonym plain people of Ireland or plain people was contrasted with it:

One of the difficulties with modern newspapers is that there is an increasing tendency to portray opinions as facts. This is particularly evident in the Sunday Independent. If one tries to find news in it, apart from the lead story which itself is sometimes not news, one finds a preponderance of articles from self-proclaimed experts who tend to be from middle class backgrounds – dare I say Dublin 4 types, which is a state of mind rather than a geographic location. These articles tend to reflect the attitudes of a particular section of society and regard those attitudes as dominant. There does not appear to be a balance in the attitudes represented by the newspaper. However, the plain people have enough sense to sift out what is good and what is bad. Frequently, the attitudes represented by the newspaper do not reflect the attitudes dominant within the country as a whole, but thankfully, the plain people have enough good sense to resist them.

— Former Senator John Dardis, Seanad Éireann Debate, 9 February 2005[14]

Usage in Dublin addresses[edit]

Colloquially, Dubliners simply refer to the area as "Dublin 4" or "D4".[15] The postal district forms the first part of numerous seven digit Eircodes that are unique to every single address in the area. For addressing purposes, it appears in both its original form as Dublin 4 and as the first part of a seven digit postal code as D04 a line below.[16] For example:  

The Embassy of Switzerland
6 Ailesbury Road
Dublin 4
D04 W205


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hickey, Joyce. "Terraced two-bed tucked into D4 docklands for €425,000". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Farewell D4: new seven-character postcodes to be rolled out by 2015". independent. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Barrow Street booms as south docklands schemes take off". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Dublin 4: Cash is king in Ireland's most expensive postcode". independent. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  5. ^ "€43m knocked off Ireland's most expensive house". the Guardian. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Ireland's most expensive postcode to buy a property — and the cheapest". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  7. ^ Fennell (1986). Nice People and Rednecks:Ireland in the 1980s. Gill & Macmillan. and Howe, Stephen (2002). Ireland and Empire. Oxford. pp. 77, 120.
  8. ^ a b Bielenberg, Kim (8 August 2009). "How Dublin 4 turned into Dublin forlorn". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  9. ^ Siobhán Marie Kilfeather (2005). Dublin: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-19-518201-9.
  10. ^ Raymond Hickey (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 90-272-4895-8.
  11. ^ a b c Raymond Hickey (2005). Dublin English: Evolution and Change. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 90-272-4895-8.
  12. ^ "Adjournment Debate. - Royal City of Dublin Hospital". 21 May 1987. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
  13. ^ John Gormley, speaking in Dáil Éireann, 28 January 1999 Archived 25 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Senator John Dardis, speaking in Seanad Éireann, 9 February 2005 Archived 25 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "D4 accent is, loike, totally over, claims UCD linguist". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Eircode Postcodes: What you need to know about Ireland's new postcode system". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 July 2022.