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Coordinates: 53°22′18″N 6°12′15″W / 53.37155°N 6.20419°W / 53.37155; -6.20419
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Irish: Cill Easra
Shops in central Killester
Shops in central Killester
Killester is located in Dublin
Location in Dublin
Coordinates: 53°22′18″N 6°12′15″W / 53.37155°N 6.20419°W / 53.37155; -6.20419
Country Ireland
CouncilDublin City Council
Dáil ÉireannDublin Bay North
European ParliamentDublin
24 m (79 ft)
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
D03, D05
Area codes+353(0)1

Killester (Irish: Cill Easra) is a small residential suburb of Dublin, Ireland on the Northside of the city in the Dublin 3 and Dublin 5 postal districts. It was the site of a church and convent or monastery centuries ago, and later a small village developed. In 1922, a settlement for ex-servicemen and their families was established, and the area grew with suburban housing later. The local parish church has for many years hosted a relic of St Brigid.

Killester is also a civil parish in the ancient barony of Coolock.[1]

Location and access[edit]

Killester is located between Clontarf, Donnycarney, Raheny and Artane, on the Northside of Dublin. It is one of the smaller suburbs, with the entire civil parish just 228 acres in size. The village centre is on the Howth Road, about 5 kilometres from Dublin city centre, and the bulk of the area lies between the Howth and Malahide Roads, and Brookwood Avenue.

Killester has a rail station on the DART line (also on the Dublin-Belfast line but with no stopping of inter-city trains), and Dublin Bus routes H1, H2, H3, and 42A connect the district to the city centre and other suburbs to the east and north. The original Killester railway station opened on 1 October 1845[2] but closed after two years, re-opening on a new site about 200 m (656 ft) further north in 1923.[3]


Edwardian-era houses in Killester, Dublin D05

Killester has been noted in city and church records going back many centuries, with variant spellings such as "Killtrsta" (St. Laurence O'Toole), "Quillestra" and "Kylestre", and was the site of both an early church and a convent or monastery. The name probably means "Church of (St) Stra". The ruins of a religious building can still be seen, and nearby there is a modern convent, with a school.

The manor of Killester was given to one Adrian le Brun in the twelfth century. In the seventeenth century, it was owned by the White family, from whom it passed by inheritance to the St Lawrence family, Barons and later Earls of Howth. In the seventeenth century, it went to the Cootes, a branch of the family of the Earls of Mountrath. By the 1830s the population was around 110, and there were several large houses, the principal being Killester House, others being Maryville, Woodville, Hollybrook House, Hollybrook Park and Killester Lodge.[4]

Housing for ex-soldiers and sailors[edit]

Killester, a primarily residential area, is perhaps best known for its association with World War I veterans who were settled there from early 1922 onwards, in a development managed by the Irish Sailors' and Soldiers' Land Trust from 1925 onwards, when the Trust's Dublin office opened.[5] The Trust, created in 1924, catered for the housing needs of ex-servicemen at the time, and took responsibility for 2,700 homes built in Ireland from 1919 to 1934 to house the men who fought in World War I.[6] The Killester scheme was one of many started in answer to the early-20th-century housing crisis and worsening housing conditions of the working classes at the time; the 1914 "Housing Enquiry" found that 14,000 homes were needed to cater for the working classes at a cost of 3.5 million pounds.[7]


Developer Henry McLoughlin, who was leader of both the British Army-supporting Irish Recruiting Council and the Dublin Relief Committee, purchased 40 acres of land in the Killester area in 1916 and made them available to the relief committee; their use as a model farm was explored in 1917, and lasted two years. After the end of the war, the lands were offered to Dublin Corporation for housing but when this did not proceed, McLoughlin, who then headed Lord French's Irish Demobilisation Committee, gifted them to the Local Government Board for Ireland (LGB), which had as key tasks the provision of houses for both labourers and ex-servicemen and their families. The operational head of the Irish LGB, Henry Robinson, took a personal interest in the site, and in late 1920 sought funding for site clearance.[8]: 222 


A budget of 10,000 pounds was made available to the LGB in December 1920 and work began under an ex-Royal Engineer colonel and a team of approximately 180 ex-servicemen, first building roads, and then, from February 1921, laying foundations and drains.[8]: 223  For reasons of both speed and economy, the LGB proposed to use an Irish company's new "semi-permanent" building system, branded "Orion" and patented; one of the directors of this company was the same Henry McLoughlin who had donated the land. The system had been deployed in nearby Clontarf, with 24 homes built on Victoria Road and taken on by the government. Ireland's Board of Works had doubts about the new system, and it was eventually not used in Killester.[8]: 223–4  Instead a planned 247 dwelling houses were made with concrete blocks. The "Killester Garden Village "colony" was laid out according to "garden suburb" principles,[8]: 224  with the plans approved of by both the Treasury in Ireland and leading town planner Patrick Abercrombie.[8]: 225 


The estate was laid out at a low density, with winding streets and breaks for green space and amenities, and with existing trees retained to a large degree. All initial housing was single-storey, and there were three standard designs. 32 were detached, with 5 rooms, and were intended for officers, while the remainder were semi-detached.[8]: 225  However, in the event, housing was distributed on a first-come first-served basis, and ranks were mixed in all areas. Over 170 of the semi-detached or terraced houses had 4 rooms, while 38 had 3 rooms.[8]: 225  The LGB expected the bungalows to cost between 700 and 900 pounds each, but the average cost ended up around 1,500 pounds, which contributed to the original contract being closed and re-tendered. A further factor in the re-tendering was the transfer of responsibility for the development to the Office of Public Works, which was already responsible for all other veterans' housing projects in Ireland. The 247 houses were completed by August 1923.

42 further houses were later added.[8]: 226  The high costs led to high rents, and also created an additional challenge when the British Government looked to transfer the housing of ex-servicement to the new Irish Government.[8]: 225, 231 

Rent backlash[edit]

The houses began to be occupied by May 1922,[9] and in the initial years after occupation, the ISSLT faced a backlash over rent prices, resulting eventually in a rent strike. The dwellings were leased with rents on a sliding scale, with the aim of the individual eventually owning their home, i.e.: the cost of rent was based on the amount of income an individual made. However despite this, on average a dwelling cost around 1500 pounds. The strike saw a decrease in the rent prices, however, further problems arose between the Trust and occupiers. In 1925, an investigation revealed that rents were higher than necessary to keep the organisation afloat. Rents were reduced again and with the reduction, but this prevented the Trust from building up capital for major maintenance and future developments.[10]


The area became well-established over time, with the development boasting its own water supply tower, and access improved, to both the city and neighbouring towns. This was particularly evident with the opening of Killester railway station in 1923.[11] Further, Killester acquired a "special" bus route for the area, operated by “The Contemptible Omnibus Company”.[12]


Killester has a central shopping plaza on Howth Road, with a supermarket, pub, chipper, Chinese takeaway, florists, estate agents, hardware, pharmacy, doctor, dentist, florists, solicitors' offices, and other shops.[13] The local bank branch closed in October 2021 and was replaced by a pizza restaurant.[14] There is also a service station towards the eastern end of the area.[15]

St. Anne's Park lies just beyond Killester on the Raheny / Clontarf side, and there are a number of small green spaces in the area.[16]


The primary schools in the area are St Brigid's national schools, both under Catholic patronage: on Howth Road for boys, and on St Brigid's Road for girls. Killester/Clontarf/Raheny Educate Together is located at St Peter's College. Some children also attend Greenlanes (Church of Ireland/multi-denominational) and Belgrove (Catholic) national schools in Clontarf. Local secondary schools include St Mary's in northern Killester and St Paul's College, Raheny, right on the border of the district. Many children from the area also attend secondary schools in neighbouring districts and some commute to schools in the city centre. Killester is also the site of a third-level institution, Killester College of Further Education, formerly known as St Peter's College.[17]


Today there is a Roman Catholic Parish of Killester. The current Roman Catholic church, on Howth Road, opposite St. Brigid's National School, was constructed from 1924, and was consecrated in 1926. For many years, it was the parish church for the combined parish of Killester and Raheny. It was extended in 1952. Alongside the church is a parish resource centre, opened in the autumn of 2004, with multiple rooms and a coffee shop overlooking the church's peace garden. Notably, the church holds a reputed relic of St. Brigid, one of Ireland's three patron saints; a fragment of her cheekbone was brought from Portugal, where her skull is stored, in 1928. The church's reliquary was stolen in 2012 but the relic was not in it at the time.[18]

The old Parish of Killester in the Church of Ireland (the Parish of St. Brigid) was merged with Clontarf Parish in 1686 (the parish church is located on Seafield Road, Clontarf), and the combined entity still serves the Anglican communities of both areas. A new parish centre was built beside the parish church in the 2000s, to serve the needs of parishioners and, as capacity allows, the wider community of all faiths.[citation needed]


The local football (soccer) club is Killester Donnycarney F.C., who play in the Leinster Senior League.[19] The local basketball club is Killester. The local rugby, cricket & hockey clubs are Clontarf. The local GAA club is Craobh Chiaráin CLG, based at Parnell Park.[20]

Representation and governance[edit]

Killester lies within the Clontarf local electoral area, and the Dublin Bay North national constituency. Richard Bruton is the TD for the area.[citation needed]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland Archived 2021-09-26 at the Wayback Machine - Killester civil parish
  2. ^ "Killester station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Killester". eiretrains.com. Retrieved 5 May 2022.
  4. ^ Dublin, Ireland, 1837: Lewis, Samuel: Topographical Dictionary of Ireland
  5. ^ Aalen, F. H. A. (1 July 1988). "Homes for Irish Heroes: Housing under the Irish Land (Provision for Soldiers and Sailors) Act 1919, and the Irish Sailors' and Soldiers' Land Trust". The Town Planning Review. 59 (3). Liverpool University Press: 305–323. doi:10.3828/tpr.59.3.x2w0tg8837816033.
  6. ^ Oireachtas, Houses of the (10 October 1988). "Irish Sailors and Soldiers Land Trust Act, 1988 – No. 33 of 1988 – Houses of the Oireachtas". www.oireachtas.ie. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  7. ^ Houses, Committee on Control and Improvement of Tenement (1914). "Housing in Dublin: report of Committee on Control and Improvement of Tenement Houses". The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland. hdl:2262/7938.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fraser, Murray (1993). John Bull's other homes: State housing and British policy in Ireland, 1883-1922. London: University College London.
  9. ^ "Killester Housing Scheme". The Irish Times. 4 May 1922. p. 9. ...while a few houses have been finished, and are now occupied, there are considerably over 200 houses in various stages of construction...
  10. ^ Aalen, F. H. A. (1988). "Homes for Irish Heroes: Housing under the Irish Land (Provision for Soldiers and Sailors) Act 1919, and the Irish Sailors' and Soldiers' Land Trust". The Town Planning Review. 59 (3): 305–323. doi:10.3828/tpr.59.3.x2w0tg8837816033. ISSN 0041-0020. JSTOR 40111696.
  11. ^ "Killester". eiretrains.com. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  12. ^ Pope, Conor (4 April 2016). "Pricewatch queries: British Airways 'less sympathetic than Ryanair'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  13. ^ "Dublin 5: Sustainable increases in D5 with Killester being most in demand". The Irish Independent. 19 January 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2021. ... location of the highest grossing SuperValu store in the country ... The Beachcomber, a bar and restaurant, ... cafe, and ... Bistro, as well as the convenience of the SuperValu supermarket and DART station ...
  14. ^ Brennan, Joe (1 March 2021). "Here is the list of Bank of Ireland branch closures". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  15. ^ "M/17/019 – Petrogas (Applegreen) / certain assets of PR Reilly". Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Geohive - zoomed to Killester". Geohive. Ordnance Survey Ireland (Government of Ireland). Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Killester College of Further Education". The Irish Times - Feeder School Map. The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  18. ^ Staff writer, and PA (31 January 2012). "Reliquary stolen from Dublin church". Irish Times, The.
  19. ^ "Wexford bring Killester Donnycarney's FAI Cup run to an end". independent.
  20. ^ "Craobh Chiarain History". Craobh Chiarain.
  21. ^ Keys, Colm (28 September 2019). "Maintaining standards over a long period is now my big motivator". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 2 August 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Garrett, Arthur; 2006 (new edition); Killester, Dublin: History of Killester Parish

External links[edit]