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The Oblates Church in Inchicore
Location and access
Located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) due west of the city centre, Inchicore lies south of the River Liffey, west of Kilmainham, north of Drimnagh and east of Ballyfermot. The majority of Inchicore is in the Dublin 8 postal district. Portions of Inchicore extend into the Dublin 10 and Dublin 12 postal districts.
The townlands of Inchicore North and Inchicore South are located in the civil parish of St. James, Dublin, in the Barony of Uppercross.
The Grand Canal was developed by the leading economic progressives of the day who formed the Grand Canal Company. This state-of-the-art waterway was, at its peak, the major passenger and commercial trading route through central Ireland. It runs through the lush productive farmlands and peat bogs of the Irish midlands. It carried significant traffic in the great boom of the eighteenth century, but faded after the railways were introduced. It is now a recreational waterway. It runs along the southern perimeter of Inchicore, along with the Luas tramway system, which runs along its filled-in permanent way, and serves the area from Blackhorse to Suir Bridge. Inchicore is also served by a range of Dublin Bus routes.
Modern day Inchicore grew from a small village near the Camac River marsh at Inse Chaoire (Irish Gaelic for "Sheep Island") where sheep were herded and watered outside Dublin city prior to market. The village developed into a significant industrial and residential suburb in the late nineteenth century, due primarily to its engineering works and west city tramway terminus. It was incorporated by the expanding city more than a century ago.
The first railway station in Ireland was established in 1834 and was located between Dublin and Kingstown. This affected the town of Inchicore. Between the years 1846 and 1848 several houses and a Workmans Dining Hall was built on Inchicore Road. The building of houses increased as the business complex of the railway station grew. Employment in Inchicore at this time evolved around the railway station.
Inchicore's centre, at the junction of Emmet Road and Tyrconnell Road, still retains a village atmosphere. The area includes one bank, a variety of local stores including a butcher/deli, hardware, ethnic stores, and two mid-size supermarkets. The village is served by several pubs, including the ancient Black Lion Inn, and several restaurants and take-aways including an Italian Restaurant called Enotica Torino.
Inchicore has a strong association with the national transportation system. A large tramyard terminus and coachworks and one of the major engineering works of the Irish railway network are located here. They are still a major employer among other significant industries and national distribution depots. Inchicore is undergoing considerable public and privately funded development. It is experiencing strong growth in the density and diversity of its population.
The Camac river enters Inchicore flowing northeast from the Landsdowne Valley in Drimnagh. It flows east through Inchicore, through Kilmainham and Bow Bridge, and into the River Liffey near Heuston Station. Much of its course is now culverted and covered by buildings. During the eighteenth century small industries, primarily paper and textiles, developed along the Camac, which at the time was characterised by water mills, water wheels and weirs. In the 18th century, mills at Goldenbridge (Glydon Bridge) were producing paper and flour. Much of the industrial archaeology has disappeared but remnants still exist in the area. Kilmainham mill still exists and much of the machinery is still in place. Although derelict a new committee has been set up with a view to securing its preservation.
The Irish National War Memorial Gardens contain a monument designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It lies to the north of Inchicore. There is an Inchicore entrance on Con Colbert Road. It commemorates the fallen Irish of the Great War. Official record books held in museum buildings there are inscribed with the names those who gave their lives. The gardens are also accessible from the South Circular Road, en route toward Phoenix Park can be accessed by crossing over Islandbridge (Sarah Bridge).
Goldenbridge Cemetery in Inchicore was the first dedicated Roman Catholic cemetery in Ireland opened after Catholic Emancipation. The U.K. Catholic Relief Act 1829 was passed by the Duke of Wellington's government, and signed by the King under some Prime Ministerial pressure. In 1830 Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator, who was the vigorous Irish leader of the campaign for Emancipation was able to take his House of Commons seat as the first Roman Catholic M.P. (Clare) in the U.K. Parliament since 1649. Goldenbridge is the final resting place of modern Ireland's first head of government, President of the Executive Council W. T. Cosgrave who died in 1965.
Nearby Kilmainham Jail, now a national museum, was the scene of the execution of leaders of Easter Rising of 1916. St. Michael's National School is built on the site of the former Richmond Barracks. Prisoners were taken there for processing after the surrender of the insurgents in 1916. Timothy Coughlin, one of the trio of Republican dissidents who assassinated Kevin O'Higgins, Minister of Justice of the Irish Free State in 1927 lived there.
In local government elections Inchicore is part of the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Ward. Since the last local elections in 2014, the local elected representatives on Dublin City Council are:
- Paul Hand (Independent)
- Daithí Doolan (Sinn Féin)
- Vincent Jackson (Independent)
- Greg Kelly (Sinn Féin)
- Bríd Smith (People Before Profit)
- Daithí de Róiste (Fianna Fáil)
Inchicore Railway Works is the headquarters for mechanical engineering and rolling stock maintenance for Iarnród Éireann. Established in 1844 by the Great Southern & Western Railway, it is the largest engineering complex of its kind in Ireland with a site area of 295,000 m² (73 acres). CIÉ also builds bus coaches for its fleets at the Spa Road coach works.
Inchicore has been home to a number of distinguished Irish poets. Michael Hartnett, lived on Tyrconnell Road from 1984 until about 1986. A plaque marks the house where he wrote some of Inchicore Haiku near Richmond Park, home to St. Patrick's Athletic Football Club. 'Inchicore Haiku' recounts the hard times in his life after his separation from his family.
Another Irish poet Thomas Kinsella was born near Sarsfield House at the Ranch and attended the Model School. He is winner of the UCD Ulysses Medal.
Francis Ledwidge has associations with St. Michael's CBS, formerly Richmond Barracks. This is where he enlisted and trained before shipping out to the trenches in Flanders during The Great War. The Inchicore Ledwidge Society runs events to raise awareness of the life and works of the poet-soldier and hold a wreath-laying ceremony annually in the Memorial Park to honour Ledwidge.
The court-martials of all the leading figures in the 1916 Rebellion took place in Richmond Barracks. The surviving three buildings of the Barracks (formerly the recreation rooms) are in the process of being conserved. Building one has been completely refurbished as the atrium to the new Primary Health Care Centre and the gymnasium has received funding for its restoration ahead of the 1916 centenary celebrations.
The tramp writer Jim Phelan was born in Inchicore in 1896. On completing 15 years in prison for his part in the murder of a post mistress's son in a robbery in Liverpool in 1923, Phelan roamed the byways of England and wrote of his prison experience in books such as Lifer and Jail Journey and of his vagabond days in Tramping the Toby and We Follow the Roads. Phelan died in 1966.
Mercy Secondary School in Inchicore is an all girls Roman Catholic school under the trusteeship of CEIST. It is located on Thomas Davis Street West, just off Emmet Road. It is member of the Trinity Access Programme (TAP) and the very successful International College for Every Student (CFES) programme. They won CFES School of Distinction in 2015. They have a long tradition of academic achievement and progression. Their choir has performed with local and international choirs.
Inchicore College of Further Education is located at Emmet Road in Inchicore. Local primary schools include the Oblates National School, St. Michael's National School, Goldenbridge, and the Irish speaking Gaelscoil Inse Chor.
The restored Model School (Inchicore National School) built in 1853 was a prototype facility for government funded non-denominational primary school education in Ireland.
The Oblates' Church features a full size replica of the Grotto of Lourdes, which was opened in 1930. The grotto is 15 m (50 ft) high, 40 m (130 ft) wide and 12 m (40 ft) deep, and is built of reinforced concrete. Pilgrims visit the shrine all the year round. It is especially popular during the Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes (February 2 - February 11). The grotto houses the famous Inchicore Christmas Crib. Arus Mhuire was for many years the location of a popular Sunday night dance for teenagers.
The Church of St. James serves the Church of Ireland.
St. Patrick's Athletic (founded in 1929 and commonly known as St. Pat's) play in Richmond Park. St. Pat's have played in Inchicore since 1930 (save for time spent exiled due to ground redevelopment). They are strongly associated with Inchicore. The club have won the League of Ireland Championship on 9 occasions.
Famous St. Pat's players include Paul McGrath (affectionately nicknamed The Black Pearl of Inchicore), Ronnie Whelan Snr., Shay Gibbons, Gordon Banks, Curtis Fleming, Paul Osam, Eddie Gormley, Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, Ryan Guy, Keith Fahey, Kevin Doyle, Christy Fagan, Chris Forrester and Ian Bermingham. St Patrick's Athletic support many junior and intermediate sides based at Inchicore. Chief among these are Lansdowne Rangers, Inchicore Athletic and West Park Albion.
Guinness Rugby Football Club is the nearest rugby union club. It is based in the Iveagh Grounds.
The 1889 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final between Tipperary and Laois was played nearby at what is now the Inchicore Sports and Social Club.
The Inchicore Ledwidge Society was formed in 1995 to mark the poet Francis Ledwidge's association with the area.
The Kimainham and Inchicore Heritage Group was set up in 2004. It works in co-operation with Dublin City Council to conserve and promote the heritage of the area.
- Thomas Kinsella, one of Ireland's most important poets was born in Inchicore.
- Constantine Scollen, the famous Oblate missionary priest, began his career here as a teaching brother prior to going to Canada.
- Richie Towell, professional footballer for Celtic, Hibernians, Dundalk and Brighton & Hove Albion grew up and lived in Inchicore for most of his life.
- Craig Walsh, contestant on tv series Football's Next Star at Inter Milan and later professional footballer for League of Ireland sides Shamrock Rovers, Longford Town, Bohemians and Shelbourne is from Inchicore and has lived there all his life.