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Teach na Giúise
The old village area of Firhouse
The old village area of Firhouse
Firhouse is located in Ireland
Location in Dublin
Firhouse is located in Dublin
Firhouse (Dublin)
Coordinates: 53°17′N 6°20′W / 53.283°N 6.333°W / 53.283; -6.333Coordinates: 53°17′N 6°20′W / 53.283°N 6.333°W / 53.283; -6.333
RegionEastern and Midland Region
CountySouth Dublin
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))

Firhouse (Irish: Teach na Giúise)[1] is an outer suburb of Dublin, in the county of South Dublin, in the south of the traditional County Dublin, Ireland. It developed from a rural village by the River Dodder, with a second settlement, Upper Fir-house, nearby.[2] It is just outside the M50 orbital motorway, and in the postal district of Dublin 24. It is adjacent to Knocklyon (with which it shares a townland) and Ballycullen, and close to Tallaght. In the historic divisions of local administration, Firhouse is in the civil parish of Tallaght[2] and the barony of Uppercross.[3]

Location and access[edit]


Footbridge at Firhouse over the River Dodder

Firhouse is located between Knocklyon, Ballycullen, and Tallaght, close to the foothills of the Dublin Mountains,[4] in an area that was predominantly rural until the late 20th century. It is situated on the eastern bank of the River Dodder, 2 km from Tallaght's village centre, and from its eastern end, from Templeogue village. Modern development only began in recent decades, although there were previously a number of mills and two hamlets.[5]


Firhouse is located by Junction 12 on the M50 motorway and is also served by Firhouse Road and Killininny Road.[4] Several Dublin Bus routes reach the area, including the 175,15, 49, 65B and 75, and night buses 49N and 15N.


The origin of the place name derives from the Irish-language phrase 'Teach na Giúise', sometimes translated as 'house of fir'. This name is reputed to derive from what was previously a wild forest of fir trees located in the area. It may also come from a manor that was located at the top of the laneway now joining Scoil Treasa and Scoil Carmel, which belonged to a family called Fieragh with connections to Norway.[3] Like much of the rest of the area, this laneway, which led up to the main house, was lined with fir trees.[citation needed]

According to the Placenames Database of Ireland, the Irish place-name is 'Teach na Giúise'.[1] Among the local population, the pronunciation of Firhouse is as contentious an issue,[citation needed] as the origin of the name, some using "Fir" and some "Fur", with some historical maps, which tended to capture phonetic spellings of "Furhouse", suggesting an earlier form.[1]


Firhouse Weir, also known as Balrothery Weir, on the River Dodder

Firhouse was historically the site of a small rural settlement near the river bank, and another, Upper Firhouse, nearby. Firhouse lay within the townland of Knocklyon and was owned, over time, by Walter de Ridelford, and later families including the Burnells, the Bathes, the Nugents and the Talbots, eventually being sold by the Duke of Wharton to the famous Speaker Conolly.[2][3]

In the 13th century, a weir, the City Weir or Great Weir, was made in the Dodder between Firhouse and Balrothery, the district on the north bank opposite, and much of the Dodder's water was diverted to the course of the River Poddle, to supply the then-small Dublin city.[2]

In The History and Antiquities of Tallaght, County Dublin (published in the mid 19th century), George Domville Handcock refers to Firhouse as "a small dirty village, principally inhabited by stonebreakers".[2]

While there was no bridge near in a south-westerly direction until the 20th century, a bridge was made just north of the village. The settlement grew further in the 19th century, and a number of mills existed in the vicinity, including a paper mill across the river.[2] As of the early 1900s, the main village comprised 7 houses, two pubs and a forge.[3]

By the 1910s, the village already extended for half a mile, with a school, church, convent, public house and two smithies,[5] and the Moscow Dance Hall was built there in the 1930s, operating for about three years.[3] The population remained small until rapid suburban development began in the 1970s, with large-scale housing development continuing into the 1980s.[3]

Historical accounts[edit]

A brief history of Firhouse (as "Fir-house") is included in "The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin",[2] an account of the large historic ecclesiastical and later civil parish of Tallaght. Handcock in fact refers to two villages of Fir-house, the main settlement and another he calls "the village of Upper Fir-house."[2]

The scholar Gerry Smyth also includes a cultural history of Firhouse in his 2001 book Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination.[6]

Kearney family[edit]

Firhouse was the site, in 1816, of the disappearance of a gamekeeper, and the subsequent hanging of three of the Kearney family for the suspected murder involved. Following the disappearance of John Kinlen, a bloody axe was found near the Kearneys' pub in Firhouse and the Kearneys, a father and two sons, were convicted of the killing. A gallows was built at the suspected scene of the crime, outside their pub, for their hanging. When one son, William, fell through the gallows, it was discovered that he was too tall to be strangled by the rope around his neck, so a hole was dug under the gallows, and the hangman then pulled down on his legs and held onto him until he was dead.[7] No visible reference to this incident can be found in modern Firhouse.

Governance and politics[edit]

Firhouse is in the jurisdiction of South Dublin County Council, with councillors elected within the Firhouse-Bohernabreena electoral area. In the system of council committees, it is in the oversight of the Rathfarnham / Templeogue / Firhouse / Bohernabreena Area Committee.[8] For strategic planning purposes, the council groups Firhouse in the extensive Templeogue / Walkinstown / Rathfarnham / Firhouse neighbourhood (the other "neighbourhoods" of the county being greater Tallaght and the broad Clondalkin area).[9]

The district lies within the Dail Eireann constituency of Dublin South-West.[10]


Housing near Firhouse Community Centre and Sports Complex

There are two community centres, Firhouse Community and Sports Complex, which is home to various sporting teams and the local Scouting Den, and The Park Community Centre, which lies in Ballycragh Park. The Community and Sports Centre was built by Firhouse Community Council.[3]

Firhouse also has one main shopping centre, Firhouse Shopping Centre, anchored by a supermarket. There is also a local credit union, a post office and a Chinese restaurant, while the local pubs are Scholars, The Speaker Conolly, Mortons and the Firhouse Inn. The area is served by a once-a-week Mobile Library stop.[11]

Firhouse is in the Rathfarnham Garda District.[citation needed]


Primary schools[edit]

Scoil Carmel, Firhouse

Local primary schools are Scoil Carmel (a Junior National School),[3] Scoil Treasa,[3] Holy Rosary, Firhouse Educate Together National School, Gaelscoil na Giuise.

Scoil Carmel is a junior national school, offering education from junior infants to second class (ages 4 to 8). Scoil Treasa covers third class to sixth class (8 to 12-year-olds).[3]

Gaelscoil na Giúise is a multi-denominational, co-educational Irish language primary school (a gaelscoil), which opened in September 2013. The school is located off Ballycullen Drive and Killininny Road, in a purpose-built 16-classroom building, including a 2-classroom Special Needs Unit.

Firhouse Educate Together National School (FETNS) is an Educate Together school which opened in September 2013.[citation needed]

Secondary education[edit]

Firhouse College

The local secondary school, Firhouse Community College, was established in 1982, launching in September of that year,[3] and as of 2009 had around 700 students and 60 staff members. The school contains a theatre, physical education hall, a multi-sport arena and a large playing field which is used for soccer and rugby matches.[12] The school's 4th years go on an annual trip to an adventure at Delphi in Mayo. They also perform an annual play.[13]


There is a Roman Catholic parish entitled Parish of Firhouse which stretches out as far as Hunterswood and has a church named Our Lady of Mount Carmel.[3] Various regions of Firhouse belong to the Parish of Ballyboden. Bohernabreena Parish also takes up much of the area, with a church in the mountains and another in Holy Rosary school. Historically the broad area was part of the large post-Penal Law parish of Rathfarnham.

Adjacent to the Dodder valley stood the Victory Centre, a Christian theological facility, and subsequent to its closure, a facility of the Church of Scientology opened there in 2017.[14]


Firhouse Carmel Football Club,[15] based at Firhouse Community Centre, caters for schoolboys and girls from the local area. Its playing grounds are at Carrigwood and Scholars pitches, and 2005 saw Brian Kerr open the purpose-built changing rooms at the Community Centre after years of fundraising.[citation needed] Local side Firhouse Clover fields teams in the Leinster Senior League.[16]

Ballyboden St Enda's GAA, located on Firhouse Road, and St Anne's GAA, located in Bohernabreena, are Gaelic Athletic Association clubs in the area, fielding camogie, hurling and Gaelic football teams.[citation needed]

Firhouse also has a basketball club, and Firhouse Community College has GAA and basketball teams.[citation needed]

Village status and planning[edit]

Two community groups are registered with the local authority, representative body Firhouse Village Community Council, and civic activity group Firhouse Tidy Towns.[17] In 2001 the voluntary group Firhouse Village Community Council was given a mandate at a general meeting to have the title "Firhouse Village" recognised for the area. In pursuing this they obtained EU and National Development Plan grant aid for Firhouse Village Park.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Teach na Giúise / Firhouse". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Dublin, 1889: Handcock, George Domville: "The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin", 2nd edition, Chapter 17
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l O Neill, Seamus (1992). Firhouse (History, Legends, People, Places). Dublin, Ireland: Scoil Treasa Publications. ISBN 0951919903.
  4. ^ a b Ordnance Survey Ireland, through Online maps, Firhouse searched, accessed 16 February 2021
  5. ^ a b Dublin, Ordnance Survey Office: Ordnance Survey Mapping, 1911 and 1935 editions
  6. ^ 'The Location of Criticism, or, Putting the "I" into Ireland', in Gerry Smyth, Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 93-129
  7. ^ The History Show, RTÉ Radio One, 12 June 2011, "Public executions through history"
  8. ^ "Area Committees". South Dublin County Council. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  9. ^ Templeogue / Walkinstown / Rathfarnham / Firhouse (Development Plan). Dublin, Ireland: South Dublin County Council. 2021. pp. 1–2.
  10. ^ "Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009: Schedule". Irish Statute Book database. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Firhouse Shopping Centre (Mobile Library stop)". South Dublin County Council. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  12. ^ "Firhouse Community College (home page)". Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2009.
  13. ^ "Firhouse Community College, CDVEC". Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2014.[failed verification]
  14. ^ Finn, Christina (25 December 2017). "Varadkar not concerned that a group of Scientologists were hosted in Leinster House". Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  15. ^ Firhouse Carmel F.C.
  16. ^ "Sacred Heart Firhouse Clover do double in LSL". 2 September 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Firhouse Village Council and Tidy Towns". South Dublin County Public Participation Network. South Dublin County Council. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2021.