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Coordinates: 53°23′25″N 6°17′59″W / 53.390175°N 6.299629°W / 53.390175; -6.299629
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The Spirit of Finglas sculpture
The Spirit of Finglas sculpture
Finglas is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Finglas is located in Dublin
Finglas (Dublin)
Coordinates: 53°23′25″N 6°17′59″W / 53.390175°N 6.299629°W / 53.390175; -6.299629
City councilDublin city

Finglas (/ˈfɪŋɡləs/; Irish: Fionnghlas, meaning 'clear streamlet')[2] is a northwestern outer suburb of Dublin, Ireland. It lies close to Junction 5 of the M50 motorway, and the N2 road. Nearby suburbs include Glasnevin and Ballymun; Dublin Airport is seven km (4.3 mi) to the north. Finglas lies mainly in the postal district of Dublin 11.

Finglas is the core of a civil parish of the same name in the barony of Castleknock.


Bilingual signs in Finglas

The name Finglas (Irish: Fionnghlas), meaning clear streamlet, is derived from the Finglas River, which passed through the historic settlement.


The centre of Finglas lies on a rise overlooking the valley of the River Tolka, at an altitude of 59 metres (194 ft). The Tolka runs through western and southern Finglas, and forms part of the boundary between Finglas and Glasnevin. Flowing from the north is the stream, the Finglas River, for which the area is named, forming in turn from branches from the townlands of Grange and Kildonan to the north. After meeting a tributary, the St. Margaret's Road Stream, the Finglas flows through the village centre in a culvert, and along the eastern side of Finglas Road, joining the Tolka at Finglas Bridge.[3] To the west of the village centre rises the Finglaswood Stream, which joins the River Tolka via an Integrated Constructed Wetland near a small civic golf course.[4]


Early history[edit]

Finglas was originally the site of an Early Christian abbey, the origin of which has been associated, from early times, with the name of St. Cainnech, or Canice, the patron of Kilkenny, said to have founded it in 560 A.D. According to an ancient legend, the ground on which Finglas stands had been sanctified by St. Patrick, who is said to have uttered a prophecy that a great town would arise at the ford of hurdles in the vale beneath.[5] The Nethercross from the first abbey can be seen today in the old graveyard.[6]

St. Canice is said to have been born at Glengiven near Derry. Several primary schools and churches in the area have been named after Canice, including the local Church of Ireland church (built in 1843) and Roman Catholic church (built in 1920 on the site of a much earlier mass house).[7][8]

Early modern period[edit]

The Finglas or Finglass family, who were prominent in the legal profession and in politics in the sixteenth century, took their name from the district. THe family were recorded in Termonfeckin and Dublin but many of them had by the mid 1700s taken up residence in Drogheda (where they participated in the 1798 Rebellion); newspaper accounts report their opening up the Boyne River for salmon fishing.[citation needed]

In 1649, the Duke of Ormonde used Finglas as a staging post for his army before launching an unsuccessful Siege of Dublin.

Following the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, Finglas was used as a camp for four days by William of Orange en route to Dublin city. While there he issued the Declaration of Finglas, offering a pardon for many of James II's defeated supporters.

20th century onwards[edit]

The Finglas River, for which the area is named; a tributary of the Tolka

In 1932, Ireland's first commercial airport was set up at Kildonan in Finglas.[9] It was the site for the first Irish commercial aircraft, a Desoutter Mark II aircraft "EI-AAD", and the first commercial air taxi service, the Iona National Air Taxis and Flying School.[10]

In the 1950s, Finglas was developed with extensive housing estates, to rehouse many north inner-city Dublin residents. Many of these estates, particularly in Finglas West, were named after prominent Irish republicans from early 20th-century Irish history, including Barry, Casement, Plunkett, Mellows, McKee, Clune and Clancy.


In the village centre is a range of shops, including one of the first-established Superquinn stores (since rebranded as SuperValu), banking facilities, pubs and restaurants. To the north are several light industrial estates.

Charlestown Shopping Centre and Clearwater Shopping Centre, are located outside the village core, to the north and south of Finglas respectively.

Finglas is home to one of Dublin's four Road Safety Authority Driving Testing Centres, which is located in Jamestown Business Park.

The Finglas Maypole Arts Festival was launched in 2019.[11] In its first year, the festival committee was part of a steering group that got the first blue plaque in Finglas – to honour the uileann piper Séamus Ennis.[citation needed]


Coláiste Íde College of Further Education

There are 13 primary and national schools in the Finglas area,[12] and 6 secondary schools.[13] Coláiste Íde College of Further Education is located in Finglas West and offers third level courses.[14]


The Rugby Union club Unidare RFC and the GAA club Erins Isle are based in the area. Soccer clubs include Tolka Rovers F.C.,[15] Valley Park United,[16] WFTA Football Club,[17] Willows FC and[18] Finglas Celtic FC, Rivermount Football Club and Beneavin F.C.[citation needed]


Finglas is served by a number of bus routes operated by Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead Ireland. These include the 9, N4, N6, 40, 40B, 40D, 40E, 83, 83A,140 & 220. The main route serving the area is the number 40 which runs between Charlestown Shopping Centre and Liffey Valley via Dublin city centre. A new route, the 40E, was also introduced from Tyrellstown to provide a direct link to the extended Luas Green Line in Broombridge.[19] Other routes serving the area include the 17A which runs between Kilbarrack to Blanchardstown, the 140 which runs to Rathmines via the city centre and the 83 which runs to Kimmage via Glasnevin and the city centre. It is also served by the 88N Nitelink service. Two Bus Éireann routes also serve Finglas, passing along the main Finglas Road, including the 103 from Duleek/Kilmoon Cross/Ashbourne to the city centre.[20]

Representation and governance[edit]

Finglas is in the jurisdiction of Dublin City Council, and for local elections it is part of the Finglas-Ballymun local electoral area.[21]

Finglas is part of the Dublin North-West constituency for elections to Dáil Éireann.

The civil parish of Finglas is a civil parish in the barony of Castleknock.

Notable people[edit]

Dick McKee Memorial Finglas Village
Liam Mellows memorial

Finglas has been the home of a number of notable figures, including:

And in sport:

In popular culture[edit]

The BBC sitcom, Mrs. Brown's Boys, is set in Finglas.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006 Census Table 04" (PDF). 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2006. From Census 2006 – Preliminary Table 04 - Includes totals from divisions/districts: Finglas A, B & C North. And Finglas A, B, C & D South, Ballygall A, B, C & D
  2. ^ "Fionnghlas / Finglas". Irish Placenames' Commission. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  3. ^ Doyle, Joseph W. (2013). Ten Dozen Waters: The Rivers and Streams of County Dublin (8th ed.). Dublin: Rath Eanna Research. p. 31. ISBN 9780956636379.
  4. ^ Doyle, Joseph W. (2013). Ten Dozen Waters: The Rivers and Streams of County Dublin (8th ed.). Dublin: Rath Eanna Research. p. 30. ISBN 9780956636379.
  5. ^ Sexton, Peter (2000). History of St. Margarets and Finglas. p. 62.
  6. ^ "Parish of St. Canice - The Cross of Nethercross". StCanices.com. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013.
  7. ^ "St. Canice's Church of Ireland, Church Street, Finglas, Dublin 11". buildingsofireland.ie. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  8. ^ "St. Canice's Church, Main Street, Finglas, Dublin 11". buildingsofireland.ie. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Sites - Kildonan". The Historical Aviation Society Of Ireland. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011.
  10. ^ "The Story of Kildonan Aerodrome". Chapters of Dublin. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007.
  11. ^ Beggs, Ernie (10 April 2019). "The return of The Finglas Maypole Festival after only 175 years". The Circular. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Primary Schools in Dublin 11". CitizensInformation.ie. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007.
  13. ^ "Secondary Schools in Dublin 11". CitizensInformation.ie. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007.
  14. ^ "Colaiste Ide College of Further Education". ColaisteIde.ie. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Tolka Rovers Football Club". tolkarovers.com.
  16. ^ "Valley Park Utd". Archived from the original on 2 April 2004.
  17. ^ "Finglas United Football Club". soccer-ireland.com.
  18. ^ "Willows Football Club". soccer-ireland.com.
  19. ^ "A Brand New Dublin Bus Route Is Starting In December And It's Badly Needed Just In Time For Christmas". Lovin Dublin.
  20. ^ "Timetable for route 103" (PDF). buseireann.ie. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Your Councillors by Local Electoral Area". Dublin City Council. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Bono - Evening Herald". Herald.ie. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  23. ^ "The Ottoman, Finglas, and What Might Have Been". Glasnevin Heritage (Facebook group). 23 March 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Finglas, County Dublin". neesonirelandtours.com. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  25. ^ "Finglas Heritage Trail" (PDF). dublincity.ie. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Mairead Farrell - RTÉ Ten". RTÉ.ie. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2012.