Garristown (Baile Gháire in Irish) is a village in the rural part of Fingal, in the north western corner of the former County Dublin, Ireland. It is located in hilly country, sloping down from west to east, with views towards the hills around the Naul, and with the village centre at 120m above sea level.
Records from 1200 show John, Archbishop of Dublin, granting the church at Garristown to the priory of Lanthony. By 1607, features included a windmill at Holtrass hill and two other mills, with 326 acres of land within the townland. The village is also recorded in the Down Survey (1654).
The medieval church was later replaced by a Church of Ireland church.
Garristown’s current street formation has not changed much since the Rocques map of County Dublin (ca. 1746).
In 1837, the village had a population of 741, and the surrounding civil parish 2801. There was a police station, a dispensary, a windmill and churches of both the Church of Ireland (with a ruined residence, only constructed in 1791) and the Roman Catholic Church (built in 1828), along with one national school for boys and two private schools. There were three fairs a year, and the area had natural resources in the form of stone and peat.
A new Roman Catholic church, the Church of Assumption, was dedicated on 10 June 1906.
The village today
The main street of Garristown runs north to south, with a tree-lined mall on the western side, and the central area where Main Street meets the Naul Road.
The population today is under 400 persons, and there is an active Community Council.
The police barracks in the centre of the village dates from the 19th century, and the Carnegie Library, still operational, from the early 20th century. The library was renovated in the 2000s.
Other amenities include a primary school and a community centre, which was a secondary school, Garristown VEC, which, after closure, was acquired by the community council, and comverted into the multi-purpose hall and ancillary facilities. This centre is used by sub-groups of the community council, and by the local branch of the Irish Countrywomens Association, local scout groups (the 76th Garristown) and the youth club.
Other key buildings include the Church of the Assumption and the former church of Ireland and cemetery. The base of the windmill also survives.
The local GAA club, Garristown GFC, has its grounds to the east. Other local groups include Garristown Gun Club and Garristown Historical Society.
There are two public houses, a butchers shop, small supermarket, hair dressing salon and a service station.
Food processor Glanbia has warehouses and a grain mill to the south.
Garristown is in the jurisdiction of Fingal County Council and is in the Dublin North Dail Constituency.
The village has been considered for further development, and in 2005, the County Council adopted an Urban Design Framework for an area immediately to the east of the village.
References and notes
- Swords, 2003, Fingal County Council: Garristown Local Area Plan
- Dublin, 1837, Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, vol. 1
- Dublin, 2005, Murray O'Laoire Architects for Fingal County Council, "Garristown East Urban Design Framework"