Foxrock Local History Club publish several booklets every year, which are deposited in Libraries such as Deansgrange Public Library, The National Library, Trinity College Library etc. They may be consulted on request to the various Librarians. They are also on sale at our monthly meetings held on the second Wednesday of every month from September to May, excluding December, in The Parish Hall, situated at the rear of Foxrock Church on the Bray Road Co Dublin. The price per pamphlet is €5.00. They are based on talks given at our meetings. Many of them were given by our Committee Members, and are generally chosen if a talk is suitable to be produced in booklet form, and if it contains original material which has been researched and is not available already in any one publication. Most of them contain a bibliography, which can be helpful for other researchers.
The following short summaries may prove a helpful guide to the contents of our publications.

No. 1 Arson at Kilteragh by Liam Clare-
Kilteragh Pines situated on Westminster Road, was the home of Sir Horace Plunkett. It was at that time known as ‘Kilteragh’. Sir Horace Plunkett was deeply involved in the agricultural co-operative Movement and also in Politics. He was appointed MP for South Co. Dublin in 1892 and later in 1922 was a Free State Senator. It was because of this later connection that his house was burned during the Civil War. On the night of 30th Jan. 1923 while Sir Horace was in America, Kilteragh was set ablaze and destroyed. Art treasures and valuable books were lost. Afterwards the 90-acre estate was sold off for building, and the original mansion was reconstructed in the form of six “maisonettes.”

No- 2 St. Brigid’s School Foxrock by Ethna McGowan.
Education of the poor of the area was sadly neglected until the middle of the 19th century. From 1800, there were 4 small schools including a hedge school in Rathmichael and mud cabin on the lands of the Byrnes of Cabinteely House. About 1845, the Commissioners of Education set up the Cabinteely National School in Cornelscourt village, which is at present occupied by a Chinese Restaurant. In 1914, the school moved to a site on Mart Lane and was renamed St. Brigid’s, Foxrock. In 1989 the school celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of St. Brigid’s.

No. 3 Those Magnificent Men in their Flying machines – at Leopardstown by Liam Clare.
Leopardstown Racecourse has figured more than once in aeronautics since the beginning of the century. Just seven years after the first successful flight of a “heavier-than-air” machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, by Orville Wright in 1903, the Irish Aero Club held its first air-show at Leopardstown on Aug. 29th, 30th 1910. The Aviators were Captain Bentram Dickson, Cecil Grace, and J. Armstrong Drexel. Enormous crowds headed for Leopardstown by every means of transport. A race from Leopardstown to Balmoral. Belfast was planned for 7th Sept. 1912, but bad weather turned this into a fiasco. Once again crowds flocked to the Racecourse. A vivid
description of the various attempts is given in our publication. Twice during World War II landings were made at Leopardstown by aircraft in difficulty, one British and one American.

No. 4 Samuel Beckett – Early Days in Foxrock by Noelle Ryan
“Cooldrinagh” on Brighton Rd. at the junction of Kerrymount Ave. was the birthplace of Samuel Beckett in 1906. His father insisted on outdoor activities for his two sons, Frank, and Samuel. They went swimming at the Forty Foot, walking in the Dublin Mountains, and golfing at Carrickmines.
The family attended the local Tullow Parish Church on Sundays. He was educated at various schools while he lived at Cooldrinagh and finally at Trinity College, at which time he became interested in drama. In 1928 he left Ireland for Paris, but returned to Ireland every year to visit his
mother until her death in 1950. South Co. Dublin and Foxrock are the background for some of his writings, There is a “Beckett Country” in our midst for anyone to seek.

No. 5 Kerrymount House and some Digressions by Vicky Cremin
Kerrymount House, now known as ‘Tresillian’, situated off Brighton Road, was built in 1865 for the Rev. John Fawcett of Tullow Parish Church. Arthur Murphy who held the title of ‘The O’Morchoe’ of the O’Morchoe Clan lived in Kerrymount House from 1896-1918. The lineage of the O’Morchoe’s is discussed in this booklet on Kerrymount House.

No- 6 Loughlinstown House by Dr. Rita Ryan.
A castle built by James Goodman once stood on the site of the present Loughlinstown House. The Goodmans owned a large estate at Loughlinstown, which stretched to the sea at Killiney, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1641 the family were forced to flee and they lost their lands in the Cromwellian settlement. In 1660, Loughlinstown was granted to Sir William Domvile, Attorney General for Ireland, and his descendants held the land for three centuries. A country mansion was erected in place of the castle. In the early nineteenth century the more modern front wing was built. The house was purchased by Sir John Galvin in 1962, and in 1976 became the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions in the European Communities.

No- 7 Stillorgan Park Golf Club by Cornelius F. Smith.
Many people may not be aware that there was once an 18-hole golf course where Stillorgan Park now lies. It had a short life of only ten years from 1908-1917. It lay between St. John of God Hospital and Linden Nursing Home. There was a select membership from the professional and civil service classes resident in the area. A number of appendices to the text give further interesting maps and information.

No. 8 Boss Croker of New York City and Glencairn by Patrick Cronin.
Richard Croker, also known as Boss Croker, was born in Co. Cork in 1841. The family moved to the United States in 1846. In his early twenties, he joined Tammany Hall, an organisation of the Democratic Party in New York City, which started him on the road to political power. He became ‘Boss’ of Tammany Hall, and at the age of 45, he was the most powerful politician in New York. He retired to Ireland and bought Glencairn, where he devoted his time to horses. His horse Orby won the Epsom Derby in 1907, which led to great local celebrations. At the age of 73 he married a 23 year old Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma. He is buried in Kilgobbin Cemetery.

No- 9 A History of Leopardstown Park by Adéle Lydon.
There was a Leper Hospital in the present Leopardstown from the 13th – 17th centuries. In 1796 the house ‘Leopardstown Park’ was built for Col.Charles Henry Coote, MP Among the various people who later occupied the house was the Power Family who founded Power’s Distillery. One of the
Powers, James, married Jane Talbot, and the name became Talbot Power. There were frequent entertainments held at their home. In 1917, the house became ‘Hayes Home for Wounded Soldiers’ and is at present called “Leopardstown Park Hospital.”

No. 10 Burton Hall Leopardstown Road by Dr. Rita Ryan-
Ben Burton was a Banker who established a Bank at 4, Castle Street in 1700. Burton Hall, Leopardstown Road was built for the Right Hon. Benjamin Burton, grandson of the Banker in 1737. In 1858 Burton Hall passed into the hands of Henry Guinness, founder of Guinness Mahon. In the 1930’s Burton Hall was sold to Agnes Ryan of the Monument Dairies, and milk, fruit and vegetables weresupplied to the dairies from the farm. Burton Hall is now the property of Dublin Co. Council and is looked after by the Brothers of St. John of God as a Clinic, and Day Care Centre.

No. 11 A History of the Parish of Foxrock by Patrick Cronin
Christian churches go back as early as the 6th century in the neighbourhood of Foxrock. The Church of Foxrock was built in 1935 on a high site overlooking the 6th century Church of St. Fintan at Clonkeen. Prior to the coming of the Normans in 1169, the Irish Church began re-organising
into dioceses and parishes, and the Normans continued this system, collecting tithes to support the parishes. Seven parishes were created in our area. The Reformation brought unsettled times for the Catholic Religion. Mass was said by a Chaplain in the houses of Catholic gentry instead of in
churches. Better times came with Catholic Emancipation in 1829. Cabinteely Church was opened in 1836 as the Parish Church for the whole area. Other parishes followed. The Parish of Cabinteely and Foxrock combined was set up in 1917. The foundation stone for the new Foxrock Church was
laid in 1934, and Foxrock became a separate parish in 1971.

No- 12 ‘Beatrice Elvery, – Lady Glenavy by Noelle Ryan-
Beatrice Elvery, artist, lived at “Ellesmere” on Brighton Road from 1880-1896, and then at “Rothbury” on Torquay Road. Her father was one of the old Dublin Quaker family who established Elvery’s sportshops. At the age of 13, Beatrice Elvery attended the Metropolitan School of Art where William Orpen was the star of the painting class. She particularly liked the clay modelling classes at the school. She later studied stained glass, and designed many windows including “The Good Samaritan” in Tullow Church. She also illustrated many books, among them was a book for Pádraig Pearse. She married Gordon Campbell in 1912, and he became Governor of the Bank of Ireland in 1940. He succeeded to his father’s peerage title and so Beatrice became Lady Glenavy.

No- 13 Unionist/Nationalist Election Campaigns in South County Dublin by Liam Clare-
This publication describes the Unionist/Nationalist election campaigns in the south county from 1883-1923. There was public voting before 1872. The 1883 election was the second secret ballot in the constituency, the electorate being all male and property owners. An interesting account is given of election meetings and of the election days. People travelled by all means from jaunting car to farm cart and also on foot. There were complaints of the necessity for the voters of Little Bray to walk to Cabinteely to record their vote. At the 1910 election campaign, a new pressure group, the
Suffragettes, had appeared. By 1918 a new era had arrived when Sinn Féin had a majority with Gavin Duffy taking the lead in the local elections. By 1923 the Civil War was over and new Parties had emerged.

No. 14 The Story of Cornelscourt by Ted Farrell.
Cornelscourt can be traced back to the Middle Ages. and was associated with the Corn’ere Family. Hence it’s early name of Cornerescourt. There was a castle or manor house around which was a cluster of cottages. In 1844 the Cabinteely National School was opened where a Chinese restaurant
now operates and in 1846 there were 8 cottages in the village. By 1901 Cornelscourt village had taken on its present shape. It was a busy little town with a school. shops, bookmaker, dressmaker and sawmill. Although the construction of St. Brigid’s Park in 1952. greatly improved the living
conditions of many people, the old village lost its character and sense of community.

NO. 15 Parnell’s “Massive Demonstration at Deansgrange by Liam Clare.
After the Irish Parliamentary Party split on 6th Dec. 1890, Parnell held a number of meetings throughout the country to win support. On 20th Sept. 1891 a “Monster meeting” was held at Deansgrange, thought to be where Clonkeen College and Meadowvale now lie. There was an attendance of 5,000. Parnell travelled by train from Westland Row to Kingstown and from there by coach to Deansgrange. It was pouring rain and Parnell spoke without hat or coat. As a result he had a heavy cold, but he travelled to Creggs, Co. Roscommon for another meeting the following week against his doctor’s orders. It was a wet day again, and on his return to London died of Rheumatic Fever at the age of 45. He had a weak heart, but possibly would have survived longer had he avoided wettings at Deansgrange and Creggs.

No- 16 Loughlinstown Workhouse in the 1840’s by Liam Clare-
A Commission of Inquiry into the conditions of the poorer classes in Ireland was set up in 1833, which led to the establishment of Workhouses throughout the country. The Rathdown Union was set up and Loughlinstown Workhouse was opened on 12th October 1841 to relieve the poor of South Co. Dublin and North Co. Wicklow. It was built to the standard design at the time. A detailed description of conditions in the workhouse is given in our publication. In 1845 the first signs of the famine appeared. There were complaints by the paupers about the bad quality of potatoes in July, and by October potatoes were unobtainable. Rathdown Workhouse was declared full for the first time in December 1846. There was a fever epidemic in the workhouse in 1847 and 1848 and in 1849 cholera struck. Many died. Emigration schemes were set up and people were discharged from the workhouse. 154 people sailed for Quebec and 19 to Australia in 1850.

No. 17 The Diaries of G.F.Collins -, Foxrock Mart 1864-1904 by Dr- Ted Farrell.
George Fintan Collins established a grocery business at Foxrock mart in Cornelscourt in 1864. Sexton’s Garden Centre operated there in recent years, and it has now been divided into a number of small shops. From 1864-1904, G.F.Collins kept a diary, recording day to day events in the
shop and the comings and goings of his relatives, lodgers and servants, against a background of neighbourhood and world events. He was grandfather of the author, Dr. Ted Farrell, who inherited the diaries from his father. He has shared his reminiscences with us and given us a look into the past through the lives of ordinary people.

NO- 18 The Grange. A 19th Century House at Kill of the Grange by Moira Laffan.
This is the story of one of the “Big Houses” of the area. “Grange House” was built in 1864 on a site facing the present “Baker’s Corner.” One of the names most associated with the house was McComas. William McComas was a merchant, and he founded the Kingstown Men’s Christian Institute, which is still in existence in Dun Laoghaire. Two names of note connected with the
theatre lived at the Grange in later years. One was Ernest Broadhurst, Musical Director of the Gaiety Theatre, and the other was George P. Fleming, founder of the La Scala Theatre, in Dublin, later to become the Capitol Theatre. In 1956 the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity came to live at the Grange where they ran a children’s home until 1985. Houses now occupy part of the gardens and the big house is a nursing home.

NO. 19 The Battle of Deansgrange in 1642 by Dermot Kennedy.
Deansgrange had a part to play in the Rebellion of 1641 and its aftermath. Ulster settlers fled from Ulster and joined with the Irish from Longford and Wicklow. Months of lawlessness, which succeeded the outbreak of the Rebellion, were felt at Kill and at Deansgrange, when the rebels
attacked the Protestant landowners. Rev. Joseph Smithson of Kill was attacked and robbed and his wife and her maid carried off and hanged at Powerscourt. On 12th February 1642 a regiment under the command of Lord Lambert marched out to clear south Dublin of the rebels. The texts of
contemporary letters describe details of the Battle. The rebels did not immediately withdraw from Deansgrange, but occupied Carrickmines Castle to prepare to withstand another siege.

No- 20 Carriglea -from Country Demesne to college of Art by Moira Laffan
Carriglea was built c.1830 for Rev. Thomas Goff, whose family came from Carrowroe Park. Co. Roscommon, one mile outside Roscommon town. The house and estate stayed with the Goffs until it was acquired by the Christian Brothers in 1893. They ran an industrial school there for boys. The annals of the Christian Brothers give a report of activities at the school against a background of the times. During the 1914/18 war Belgian boy refugees stayed at Carriglea. The British military encamped there during the 1916 Rising, and used the grounds for drilling before setting off to attack the “Rebels”. In 1956 Carriglea became a Juvenate for the education and training of postulants to the Christian Brothers. In 1982 it was sold to the Co. Council, The Dunlaoghaire Institute of Art design and Technology now occupies the site.

No. – 21 St Helens An 18th Century House on Stillorgan Road. By Moira Laffan
St. Helens was built in 1750 for Thomas Cooley, a barrister. It changed hands over the years until it was sold to Viscount Hugh Gough in 1851. He was the famous field marshall whose equestrian statue once stood in the Phoenix Park. The statue was several times blown up and finally removed.
After Gough the house was bought by Sir John G. Nutting who had considerable alterations and additions added to the house making it one of the most beautiful houses in the country. In 1925 the Christian Brothers bought St. Helen’s as their Provincial residence and Novitiate quarters. They
sold it finally in 1988, and St. Helen’s is now The Radisson Hotel.

No- 22 South County Dubliners and the Building of Independent Ireland by Brian P.Kennedy.
The author divides Ireland into five categories for his study of South County Dubliners and their influence on an independent Ireland. The headings are: Anglo-Ireland, Irish Ireland, Catholic Ireland, Politics in Ireland, and Technology Ireland. Anglo-Ireland is particularly apt for Foxrock, as the area was primarily developed for the wealthy Anglo-Irish in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Architecture and the names of roads in the area are reminiscent of English towns ; e.g. Brighton Road, Torquay Road etc. In Technology Ireland, our area can claim first in many achievements – the first airshow – at Leopardstown, the first wireless broadcast – at the Royal
Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire. This publication is a valuable check-list of famous people of Foxrock and district in the 20th century.

No. 23 South county Dublin and East Wicklow during the 1914-18 War by Patrick Cronin.
A very informative account is given by Mr. Patrick Cronin of the part played by South County Dublin and East Wicklow during the First World War. On the day of the outbreak of the war 4th August 1914, the South County Dublin Unionist candidate, Bryan Cooper, sent a telegram to John Redmond supporting his home defence campaign. By September, Redmond had changed his views on the role of the Volunteers, and tried instead to persuade them to join the British Army. There was a high enlistment in East Co. Wicklow where John Redmond lived, and there were many casualties at the Front. The 1916 Rising brought a change of feeling, and recruiting was reported to be at a standstill by December 1916. Attempts made to impose conscription led to protests and a swing to Sinn Féin, giving them victory in the General Election of 1917. Gavan Duffy won the seat for Sinn Féin in this constituency. In an appendix some local disasters of the War are recorded


As a result of the Burial Act of 1855 and its application to Ireland in 1856 the Board of Guardians of Rathdown Union were empowered to purchase the first land for the establishment of Deansgrange Cemetery in November 1861. It was opened for burials in 1865 the first burial being that of Anastasia Carey, a Roman Catholic servant of St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Kingstown interred on 1st January. Her grave is unmarked. The second burial was not until 10 days later. This was John O’Neill a carpenter from Mount town. There were changes in the authority administering the cemetery following the Local Government Acts of 1898, 1899 and 1930. It is at present administered by the Deansgrange Burial Board. Two churches were built for the holding of Catholic and Protestant services for the dead. Walking through the cemetery and looking at the grave- stones is like reading a list of Ireland’s greats,- her writers, politicians, and scholars. . It is also interesting to note that the names of Burnell, Glendon and Harrison, memorial masons, were connected with the cemetery in its early years and are still with us. No new graves are now being opened in the cemetery. In June 1964 an extension to Deansgrange – Shanganagh – was established. All new graves are now at Shanganagh. However burials are still taking place in family graves.


The main interest in Clonkeen House probably lies in the fact that many of the suburban houses of Foxrock are built on the original estate. For many years since the laying out of roads and the erection of houses in the Beech Park, Clonkeen estates bordered by the Bray Road, Kill Lane and Clonkeen Road, Clonkeen House, previously called Deansgrange House and originally known as Grange House, has been occupied by various distinguished residents. It was the local ‘Big House’, almost hidden from view, yet lying in the heart of the area. It went through several owners until 1984 when it was left vacant. On October 31st, 1988, a fire broke out in the empty house which is now no more


The year, 1986, was the centenary of Lennox Robinson’s birth. He was born on the 4th October 1886, in Douglas, Co. Cork. Most people when they think of Lennox Robinson think of him in connection with the theatre – as a dramatist, critic and producer – but not many realise that a good part of his active life was involved in the library movement. He wrote to Horace Plunkett, who was Irish representative on the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, asking to be allowed to shift his headquarters from Cork to Dublin. He had also being asked by the Abbey Theatre Directors to act as Manager of their Theatre as well as carry out his library work.  His request was granted and soon after this he came to live in Foxrock, in one of Horace Plunketts lodges at Kilteragh on Westminster Road, Foxrock.



Hermann Goertz was born in Lubeck in 1890. He was the son of a wealthy and distinguished lawyer. Following family tradition, Hermann Goertz studied law. During the First World War he served in Russia and was wounded at Christmas 1914. He received the Iron Cross for valour and was enlisted in the Luftwaffe as a reconnaissance officer and later as an interrogation officer. It was decided in May 1940 that Goertz would be sent on a mission to Ireland as an Intelligence Officer charged with liaising with the I.R.A., making the I.R.A. more interested in Northern Ireland, and preparing the way for spying and sabotage operations there. Goertz was trained in sabotage tactics and studied Irish affairs with the help of a number of Irishmen living in Germany including the novelist, Francis Stuart, who was a lecturer in Anglo-Irish literature at Berlin University. He evaded the authorities till November 1941 but was arrested and held till the end of the war in Athlone Internment Camp. In 1947 he was afraid that he was going to be deported back to Germany to face military trials, instead he took a phial of potassium cyanide that he had hidden on him and died. He was buried in Deansgrange but in 1974 his mortal remains were exhumed, under cover of night, by some German ex-army officers, and transferred from Deansgrange Cemetery to the German War Cemetery at Glencree, County Wicklow.


During the War of Independence there was a lot of IRA activity in the South Dublin and Bray area. A Truce was agreed on 11 July 1921 to allow for political talks to proceed. During the period of the Truce both the R.I.C. and the Irish Republic operated separate law courts. In Bray a publican who was threatened by some four IRA volunteers for cash, arranged for the R.I.C. to arrest the culprits as the Republican Police in Bray took no action against these men. Truce Liaisons Officers were sent from Dublin to try and obtain the release of these four volunteers. They were unsuccessful and the prisoners were to be transferred to Dublin for a court appearance. It was while being transferred that various points along the possible roads to Dublin were made ready to ambush the vehicles transferring the prisoners. Hence the junction of Westminster Road and the Bray Road became the spot where this ambush took place.


This publication follows the history of the Plunkett family in Ireland from their early arrival in Ireland right through to the role played by Count Plunkett (1851-1948). His son Joseph was executed for his part in the 1916 rising. Count Plunkett stood in the by-election of 1917 in Roscommon representing Sinn Féin which he won. He was then appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by the first Dáil Éireann held in January 1919. In the 1921 second Dáil Éireann he was appointed Minister of Fine Arts. He was opposed to the Treaty and for this he was imprisoned in 1922. Count Plunkett was representative for Sinn Fein for Roscommon until 1927 the year when he lost his seat. He later stood for election in Galway in 1936 but lost this, he then retired from politics. He died on 12 March 1948 aged ninety-seven.


The M.V. Bolivar was launched at Oslo, Norway in 1940. Due to the outbreak of World War II she was not fully fitted out until 1946. She was damaged by an explosion and fire while nearing completion. She set off on her maiden voyage to South America at the end of 1946. Coming to Dublin with a cargo of grain she hit bad weather and was grounded on the Kish Bank, thirteen kilometers off Dalkey Island at 12.20 pm on Tuesday 4 March 1947. An S.O.S. was sent out as the ship started to break in two. Lifeboats and passing ships came to her rescue and the thirty-three crewmen and twelve passengers were rescued and landed on Dun Laoghaire pier by 11 pm. that night.


 The house St. Ita’s on Newtownpark Ave, was once, the Glebe House for the Parish of Stillorgan and Kilmacud. This was a Glebe House from 1764 till 1882. Then it was sold into private hands. It first appears as St. Ita’s in 1889 when the occupier was James O’Brien, a solicitor, with a practice in Hume Street. In 1943 the house was bought by the Farrell family from John D. Valentine, who ran a dairy farm there and had been in St. Ita’s since 1920. The Farrells brought with them the weaving industry – the Crock of Gold to Newtownpark Ave. The Crock of Gold produced beautiful fine hand-woven tweed in lovely soft shade, reminiscent of the Irish landscape. By 1989 the business ran into trouble and ceased to operate.


Foxrock Estate started developing in 1859, on lands extending from Brewery Road to Carrickmines Cross Roads. These lands were purchased by two brothers, William and John Bentley, from the Ecclesiastical  Commissioners and Richard Whatley, Lord Archbishop of Dublin. By 1867, the banks were moving in on the developers of Foxrock Estate and the Bentleys moved out. Later, the Royal Insurance Co. purchased the land and it was this company that was responsible for creating the village of Foxrock. Cottages were built in 1901 including these having small shops. More of the vacant land was built on and some of the people who lived in these played a role in the development of the country in the twentieth century. By the 1930s a new Catholic church was built, schools were being built and the population expanded. More building in the 1950s filled most of the vacant land in the area of the Foxrock Estate.


The first of the Barringtons to settle in Ireland was an Elizabethan captain who obtained O’Moore lands in Laois, which he managed to retain in spite of constant feuds with the dispossessed owners. In 1598, the Barrington family were among the chief gentry of Laois. A soap works was established in 1775 by John Barrington and became one of the most important manufacturing industries in Dublin. For over a hundred years, the business grew from strength to strength and it became a limited liability company in 1890 under the title of John Barrington & Sons Ltd. The original founder, John Barrington, had a son also called John born in 1765. He was the first to settle at Glendruid. John Barrington began to build a house in 1808, which he later called ‘Glendruid’, and also built two cottages on the land. He planted trees in the glen, and over a number of years, built a tower which he called ‘Tillietudelem’ after the castle in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Antiquary. The tower was completed in 1818. Edward Barrington and his brothers, in 1857, made a private cemetery in the lands of Glendruid. A spot on the sloping bank of the glen was selected, and enclosed by a high iron railing, a vault was built.


There were two rail lines from Bray to Dublin, one went along the coast and the other route was a more inland route connecting Bray with Harcourt Street in Dublin. This line, which was opened in 1854, was known as the `Harcourt Street’ line. Running ten and a half miles to Bray. The first portion of the line to be opened to passenger traffic was the Dundrum to Bray section on 25 July 1853, and the complete line from Harcourt Road, Dublin to Bray opened to passenger traffic on 11 July 1854. This line was closed on 31 December 1958 by C.I.E. as an economy measure, when a review of the line’s operations showed that there was no possibility that the line could ever pay its way. This decision, which was contested by commuters at the time it was made, has shown with the passage of time, to have been a planning error, since the areas through which the line formerly passed were rapidly developed for housing in the 1960s and 1970s, with the result that, if the line was still in existence today, it is possible that it would be a good revenue earner for Irish Rail.


 Watsons Nurseries was founded by William Watson, a Scotsman, who started his nursery in the late 1880s at Strandville Avenue, Clontarf. It was known as Clontarf Nurseries. After William’s death in 1912 the business was carried on by his sons, James and John. They bought Kilbogget Farm in 1913. The nursery operation was then moved from Clontarf to Killiney. James and John Watson were gifted nurserymen and built the Killiney nurseries into the largest nursery by far in this country. James looked after the fruit trees, flowering trees and roses while John specialised in shrubs. The entrance to the nurseries was from Church Road, opposite the wall of Killiney Golf links. In the 1960s when the adjoining farm, Brodericks’, sold for building for £1,000 an acre, an unheard of price for land up to that time, Humphrey Watson, the son of James Watson, who took over the business after John and James death, made a sudden decision to sell. The Killiney nursery was sold to the Gallagher group for circa £300,000. This decision was communicated to the staff on Christmas Eve, 1966, when they were told that there would be no more work for them after the 15 March 1967.


 Like some of our leading hospitals, St. Columcille’s Hospital was established in the last century and through the passage of time has undergone many changes to become the medical facility that it is today. A workhouse was established at Loughlinstown in 1839. The Government imposed their first public health duty by requiring the workhouse to have smallpox vaccinations administered by the medical officers to the people living in the fourteen vaccination districts that the Union was divided into. The first admissions to the Rathdown Union facility at Loughlinstown were made on 12 October 1841. In 1899 The Order of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God took over the running of Loughlinstown, the hospital prospered with patient care improving through the skill, care, dedication and compassion of the Sisters. Sometime in 1922 or early 1923, the name of the hospital was changed to ‘St. Columcille’s’, and, as a district hospital, it continued in this role into the 1940s. In 1991, the Order of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, in common with many other religious orders, found that a decline in religious vocations meant that they were no longer able to manage, to the full potential, all the hospitals that they were associated with  it was decided with great regret, to withdraw from St. Columcille’s Hospital. This resignation was received with great regret by the Eastern Health Board thus ending a link between the Order and the Hospital stretching back to 1899. Since 1991, new facilities have been added to this very busy Hospital as part of its on-going development programme to meet the needs of the ever growing population that it serves, and, annually, the range of services is being added to all the time


 To the north-east of Dalkey Island is the group of rocks known as the `Muglins’ on which in 1766 were hung in chains the bodies of the pirates Mackinley and Gidley who were executed for the murder of Capt. Cochrane, Capt. Glass and other passengers of the ship ‘Earl of Sandwich’ on the high seas in the previous year. These pirates killed all aboard and headed for Waterford with the ship. They loaded the longboat with the treasure on the ship, opened the ballast seacocks and sunk the ship. They reached Waterford Harbour and went upriver to a point about two miles from Duncannon, near Broomhill. Here, they landed and buried most of the treasure at half ebb, two hundred and fifty bags of it. They hid more in holes in the rocks near the sea. Then they set off again upriver, taking what they would be able to carry, and landed at Fisherstown, four miles from New Ross. They went to an ale house at a village called Ballybrazil and over-indulged themselves and were robbed of one thousand three hundred dollars. They came to the attention of the local press and when the wreck of the Earl of Sandwich was discovered the ‘pirates’ were arrested. They confessed to their crime and were tried and hanged in Dublin. The bodies were brought in a black cart from Newgate to be hung in the most conspicuous places in Poolbeg. People taking walks began to complain about the sight and the `atmosphere’ and indeed also that the metal hoops containing the bodies were imperfect. Two of the bodies were removed to Dalkey Island and there fixed in the new irons which are said to be ‘the compleatest ever made in this kingdom’. And so it was that these became known as the Pirates of Dalkey or of The Muglins where their gibbet was finally set.


Kill Abbey, built in the late 16th century, is on the site of the old manor of the monks. The Prior of Christ Church held great estates on both sides of the city, the manor of Glasnevin and Gorman on the north, and Clonkeen on the south, a great manor covering the parishes of Stillorgan, Kill, Killiney and Tully. George Ussher, a Dublin merchant, leased out the farm of Clonkeen, from the Chapter of the Cathedral. He built Kill Abbey in 1595. In the Penal Days, 1691-1778, when the ownership of land in Ireland was placed almost entirely in Protestant hands, the house and lands were assigned to William Espinasse of Dublin. William Espinasse was a descendant of a French Hugenot family. The Espinasses were Brewers. Documents in the Registry of Deeds state that a brewery situated on the ground called ‘Piper Land’ in the Parish of St. James passed into the Rainsford family in 1693 and in 1725 to Paul Espinasse.

Paul Espinasse was killed in a horse accident in Drogheda and the lease was passed to the Guinness family in 1754. Perhaps, if not for that accident, we might be asking in our local for ‘a pint of Espinasse please’. In 1947, Louis and Yvonne Jammet bought Kill Abbey with seven acres of land. The Jammets had originally come from a Catalan farming family.   Jammet’s restaurant was originally situated on the corner of South Andrew Street and Church Lane. It was here that the two brothers, François and Michel, – Louis’ father – had introduced Dubliners to ‘haute cuisine’.  In 1967, the McInerneys bought Kill Abbey and land. The land was built on and the house preserved. The pointed gables still remain but the finial or pinnacle of a granite-ball can now be found abandoned under the bushes nearby. A preservation order has been served on the house.


Strolling the fields above the ruins of Tully church, it is difficult to envisage the sense of popular interest, of excitement, of enthusiasm, which was generated in this spot once a year for many years, on a selected afternoon in March. I am referring to the holding at Lehaunstown, of the Bray Harriers’ annual point-to-point races. It was not just the regular racegoers, not just the hunting set, but people from all walks of life, young and old, who walked, cycled, bussed, drove or came by train to participate in the great occasion. The Lehaunstown venue hosted the races from 1946 to 1960. The Lehaunstown venue attracted a very large attendance in the early years, though the numbers attending fell off very considerably during its last few years. Because of this, the races were discontinued for a few years after 1960 and were subsequently re-established at Newcastle, County Wicklow. The Bray Harriers’ point-to-point races are now held at Ashford, County Wicklow.


In Carrickmines there is a fragment of what is obviously an old building. This fragment is all that remains of a strongly fortified castle, which was erected soon after the Anglo-Norman invasion to guard the area of the Pale around Dublin. The castle was occupied by a branch of the Walsh family, to which the lands of Carrickmines had been given. At first, they needed help to withstand the attacks of the native Irish from the mountains. Then in the Rebellion of 1641 the Walsh family, who were Catholics, sided with the native Irish gentry to seize control of the administration of the government in Ireland. There is nothing to show what part Theobald Walsh took in the Rebellion of 1641, but he was implicated, probably due the actions of other members of his family who joined the native Irish. Whether with or without the consent of the owner, the castle at Carrickmines became the rebel headquarters in south County Dublin. Having being defeated in the Battle of Deansgrange in February 1642, the rebel Irish took shelter in Carrickmines castle. Sir Simon Harcourt besieged the castle in March 1642 for three days and nights. Harcourt was killed during the siege. Lieutenant-Colonel Gibson now took command, and, as they had two cannons, he ordered a vigorous bombardment of the castle. At last a breach was made in the castle wall and the furious besiegers rushed in, headed by Lieutenant Robert Hammond. Fearful slaughter followed on that Sunday evening. All who were in the castle, men, women and children, estimated to be three hundred people were put to the sword. The castle was then blown up and the walls were levelled with the ground. The loss to the besiegers is said to have been only seven killed and nine wounded.


This booklet focuses on local people who volunteered to take part in the First World War from 1914 to 1918. These are people from an area centred in Foxrock, Carrickmines and Cabinteely and stretching to Kill-o-the-Grange, Stillorgan and Kilternan. Some have memorials erected to them on Tully church or Cabinteely and Kill-o-the Grange. Others remembered on the memorials on the battlefields in France etc. This book notes the names and families of the fallen from this local area.


The burning of the D.M.P. police station at Kill-o’ -the -Grange and the R.I.C. station in Ballybrack occurred on the night of 12 May 1920. These coordinated attacks on police stations were occurring throughout the country at the same dates during the War of Independence. This booklet looks at the various newspaper reports published at the time on the attacks on Kill-o’ -the –Grange and Ballybrack and outlines the events of the night and following days after the attacks.


This booklet takes a look at the natural features along the coast from Killiney strand to Bray harbour. Starting with the classification of the various stones found on Killiney beach from various geological events to looking at the impact of the ice flow on the formation of the ground in the area. The cause of the petrified ‘sunken forest’ beside Bray harbour is explained. The impact of man on the landscape is also covered. The building of Martello towers in the 1800s to protect the area from a feared invasion by the French. The construction of the railway line in the mid 1800s. The impact coastal erosion has on this area, this resulting in the moving of the railway line further inland in 1913. This is a good guide book to bring along with you if you are walking along this area of the coast.


In this publication you will see how local Land League meetings could draw thousands of people to an area. Public meetings of the Land League were almost always held on Sundays. Many of these meetings were suppressed by proclamation, others, particularly in northern counties, were disrupted by bands of Loyalists and Orangemen. In January 1844, in a field off Rochestown Avenue donated by James Grehan, a Land League meeting was held. The crowds came in their thousands to this meeting accompanied by music bands from Kingstown, Bray, Dunleary, Kilmacanogue, Enniskerry, Dundrum, Dalkey, Ballybrack and the John Dillon Band. There were several M.P.s present including T.D. Sullivan, Thomas Sexton and T.N. Healy as well as Michael Davitt. The Lancers and the local constabulary kept to the roads outside the fields but could not stop the crowds from attending this suppressed by proclamation meeting. The Loyalist and Orangemen’s planned demonstration was called off when only about twenty people turned up at the assembly point in Ballsbridge.


‘Frescati’ house was built about 1762 for the Provost of Trinity College, Hely-Hutchinson. The Duke of Leinster bought it four years later in 1766. The Duke of Leinster was James Fitzgerald, 20th Earl of Kildare, of the illustrious Fitzgerald earldom of Leinster, one of the great dynasties stretching back to the Anglo-Norman conquest, when the Fitzgeralds were given huge tracts of central fertile lands. They became Protestants at the Reformation, but were distinctly Irish and remained loyal to other Old Irish families. This booklet outlines the different families of the Fitzgeralds that lived in Frescati. The last Fitzgerald to live here was Emily, Dowager Duchess of Leinster resided at Frescati until 1802, when it was sold to Sir Henry Cavendish, Receiver-General for Ireland. In 1804 it became a boarding school for boys, a classical and mercantile academy, the Principal being Rev. Robert Craig. It was greatly extended and then sold and subdivided into 3 separate houses. Some later residents were Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, Henry James Dudgeon, stockbroker, and businessman Benjamin McKinley. The land was rezoned by Dun Laoghaire Corporation in the 1970s.  Pressure groups tried to save the house, but unfortunately the battle was lost. In 1981 after much neglect and vandalism the wings were demolished as part of a scheme to reconstruct the main house, but it too was also demolished in 1983.


In November 1863, seven railway and tramway proposals for the Dublin area were announced. One of these was an outer link by the Dublin South Suburban Railway, and the Dundrum, Foxrock and Kingstown Junction Railway. The railway would have used the existing Harcourt Line from Dundrum to Foxrock where it would deviate from the existing railway to run on a single track to a point just north of Glenageary station on the Kingstown to Dalkey track. At the time, the entire route crossed an undeveloped rural area. It would have left the existing railway line just to the north of Foxrock railway station, crossing the present Westminster Road. The line would have headed eastwards in a cutting, across what is now Gordon Avenue to a point just north of Cornelscourt Garage, crossed by bridge above the main Bray Road east of Cornelscourt village. Then the line would go across the Clonkeen Valley to a point between Pottery Road and Rochestown Avenue where it would have entered a cutting. At Clonkeen Road there would have been a bridge, a smaller bridge would have carried the railway over Pottery Road. The track would have crossed under Rochestown Avenue and continued in a cutting through what is now the football field south of Sallynoggin, then under the Glenageary Road north of Altidore, before dividing in two just short of Silchester Road, one branch bending northwards to join the Kingstown line near Glengara Park; the other branch swinging south to join it at Glenageary station.


The summer of 1946 was one of the wettest on records and this resulted in many of the crops on the land either being washed away or damaged. When the weather did dry up in September there was only a short period of time that the harvest could be saved. Thus the government of the day made a call for volunteers to help save the harvests. The war in Europe had just ended so there were still shortages of items as a result. Fear of another famine helped rally thousands of volunteers to help save the harvest. By October all was gathered and a crisis adverted. Then the winter of 1946 and 1947 was one of the severest on record. The wet summer reduced the turf harvest supplies, the British Government banned the export of coal due to their own problems after the war. Things were looking bleak, then at the end of January 1947 the temperatures plummeted to minus -14oC. A snow blizzard covered the country on 1 Feb, roads and rail transport were mostly blocked. The snows kept coming right up to March 10th. So severe were conditions, particularly for the poor, that trees were cut down in the Phoenix Park for firewood. By St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th a thaw started and slowly life returned to normal.


George Darley was born in Dublin in 1795. He lived, in the care of his grandfather, at Springfield, Kilternan. Springfield is now the Kilternan Golf and Country Club. . He showed a remarkable talent, when as a student in Trinity College, for mathematics and would have obtained high honours were it not for an incurable stammer. While still at Trinity he began his ‘The errors of Ecstasie’ – his first book of verse, where there is a reference to his giving up the idea of an academic career to seek fame as a poet. He moved to live in London in 1821. From 1826 to 1828 he wrote for Taylor’s series of popular scientific treatises:- A System of Popular Geometry, A System of Popular Algebra, A System of Popular Trigonometry, Geometrical Companion, the last named noticeable for the numerous illustrations derived from matters of ordinary observation. He got himself a post of drama critic to the London Magazine, then at the height of its popularity, where he wrote under the pseudonym of John Lacey. In the autumn and winter of 1845 Darley was in Italy and France, but his health was failing. During his illness he wrote to one of his young cousins saying that ‘a single fern from the Three Rock Mountain was worth a whole English forest.’ He returned to England from Paris in March 1846 and died of consumption.


In the early 19th century, the area lying between Leopardstown, Cornelscourt and Galloping Green was all farmland, and there were only two significant buildings here before 1840. These were Foxrock House and Foxrock Lodge.  Foxrock House was a one-storey villa that had been added to an older two-storey structure, possibly a farmhouse. To the front, the house enjoyed views of Dublin Bay, while to the back it looked towards the mountains. Both Foxrock House and Foxrock Lodge (not to be confused with the lodge of Foxrock House) stood on part of the Galloping Green lands, which stretched towards Foxrock and belonged to the Lindsay family in the mid 1800s. It changed ownership and leasehold twenty-three times between the 19th and 20th centuries. Foxrock House was demolished in about 1976. In the 1980s a housing estate called Westminster Park was built on the lands of Foxrock House. The house was located at what is now the junction of Willow Park, Chestnut Avenue and Pine Avenue in Westminster Park.


This publication covers the legends surrounding the figure of Brigid, which carries over from pre-Christian goddess to the present. This publication covers a wide range of traditions associated with the female goddess of fertility. We celebrate the feast of St. Brigid at the start of spring. A lot of what we know of Saint Brigid comes from folk tradition and before trying to assemble the jig-saw of Saint Brigid, we need to be aware of the problems arising from the conventions of the art of writing the lives of Saints. The authors of the lives of the saints (called hagriopher) were not historians. Their job was not to record and interpret factual detail, but to build up the spiritual life of the readers, stressing the subject’s holy way of life and the supernatural phenomena associated with him or her. Hagiographers, like creative poets, could, and did, take licence with the truth.  St Brigid has many associations with our area, we have the ancient name of Bride’s Glen, Tully church, formerly Tulach na nEaspac at Lehaunstown some say the west cross at Tully, shows an image of a female figure with a crozier, representing Saint Brigid, it was known locally as Saint Brigid’s cross. The Church of Ireland church at Stillorgan, situated on the site of an ancient place of worship, is dedicated to Saint Brigid. The schools, nearby are also named after Saint Brigid. And there was a holy well attached to the church in times gone by, which is now buried beneath Merville Road. In modern times were added Saint Brigid’s Catholic Church at Cabinteely, Saint Brigid’s schools at Cabinteely and at Foxrock, and Saint Brigid’s Park in Foxrock.


This booklet describes the many sea baths that covered the south-coast of Dublin Bay from Ringsend to Killiney Bay. Bath Street in Irishtown had bathing boxes along the strand. Murphy’s baths in Ringsend are mentioned but there is no trace of this now. Cranfield Baths were situated between Tritonville Avenue and Leahy Terrace. The remains of what were called Merrion or Sandymount baths can still be seen on Sandymount Strand. These baths were linked to the shore by a fifty-yard Victorian cast iron pier or causeway. Next sea baths along the coast were the Peafield Baths, these are now part of Blackrock Park as the railway line in 1834 cut off this from access to the sea. The well known Blackrock Baths operated until the 1980s. Further along at Blackrock was an area called Vances Harbour at the rear of Blackrock House, when the railway was built a bridge was constructed to allow access to this bathing area. Seapoint Baths operated from 1849 to 1962 and is now a private dwelling.  Dun Laoghaire Baths operated from 1828 to recent times. Sandycove had Baths where the Curragh Sub Aqua Club now operate in. Of course the Forty-Foot has been a well known bathing area for many years and still going strong. A couple of bathing places operate on Killiney Bay, one at the cliffs just after the railway tunnel, and the White Rock is well used by bathers. Finally we finish at Homan’s of Killiney which had chalets that were let out to summer visitors and operated a tea room up to the 1980s.


For at least 600 years, from AD 1344 until the 1970s, pottery manufacturing was undertaken at Kill of the Grange. The reserve of good pottery clay which exists at Kill of the Grange, is reflected in the local placename, Marlfield. Typical clay suitable for pottery and brick-making would consist chemically of around 60 per cent silica, 20 per cent alumina and 20 per cent oxides, the colour of the product depending on the particular oxides involved. The main product from the pottery was unglazed pots, flower pots, jars, land drainage pipes, some glazed tiles were made as well as glazed products for Lucan Dairies. The brickworks were located next door to the pottery, on what is now the large undeveloped field on Pottery Road at the back of the hospital. While Kill of the Grange pottery and Kill of the Grange brickworks were two separate entities, bricks were produced in both the brickworks and the pottery. The bricks were called Kill of the Grange bricks but did not have the name stamped on them. They were poor quality brown bricks with white spots on them because the lime was lumpy. This booklet covers the various periods both works went through and the history of the owners of the works. The last pottery operation was in the 1970s when the business closed. The name Pottery Road was assigned to the road passing the area in the early 1960s, to replace the previous name of the Lower Cabinteely Road.


This booklet concerns one small commons, Loughlinstown Commons, and one small battle – not even a battle, just a small skirmish – during this great land war, a skirmish which was repeated with variations, many thousands of times in the history of these islands. A history of how the commons evolved is given and then the attempts being made by the landlords to ‘enclose the commons’ by the 1868/69 Enclosure Bill. The entire valley of the Shanganagh River, together with the side-valleys of its tributaries, was a typical location for a commons. The valley was a waste land; it was in the border territory between two land ownerships; it was a flood plain of gravely humps and boggy hollows but was nevertheless fertile and therefore useful for pasturage. The Commons Road is a modern thoroughfare; it was not constructed until the mid-1800s. It effectively replaced ancient tracks serving Shanganagh Castle on the Southern tip of the valley.


One hundred years ago forges were to the people of this country, and indeed to this city, what petrol filling and service stations are to us now. There was always one not too far away, and it supplied a very important element in the infrastructure of transportation. This booklet looks at the history of the operations carried out by blacksmiths and farriers at a time when horses were the mainstay of farming and transport. Gates, fences and other iron works were also part of a forges task. There are still elements of forge buildings in the area. The horse-shoe door of Larkin’s Forge in Kill-o-the Grange has been replicated on the new building that replaced the old forge building. Horse-shoe shaped doors still are visible on the older forges such as Pascal Kennedy’s Motors in Dun Laoghaire or the beautiful stone building in Enniskerry. This booklet gives a history of the many local forges in the South Dublin area, twenty-two forges are covered which shows how well needed in the area were our blacksmiths.


 Every day, un-remarked and unobserved, a little part of our heritage of historical knowledge slips quietly into oblivion, as elderly people take their folk-memories to the grave, as public authorities and private firms discard redundant records, as local streetscapes are modified in minor but multitudinous ways to serve the community’s, changing social and economic needs. You can be a local historian by observing, collating, recording the history around your area. There are so many areas you can look at in your area from say: local politics and the council, policing, law and order, religion, schooling, social conditions, trade and industry, transport, sport and leisure, social life, water sewers and electricity, land and agriculture, architecture and buildings, the troubles, population. This booklet guides you through the steps you need to take to help you find your way through the various archives, oral sources, field work and of course joining your local history society. Then presenting your work to others can be rewarding and also help in expanding your knowledge from feedback from other history society members.


Nowadays it is called Loreto College, but in the early 1940s, it was a new school – established in 1941 – and most definitely a convent. It had an august Mother Superior, Mother Gonzaga, and a community of teaching nuns, as well as non-teaching sisters, called ‘lay sisters’. The story of the early years of the ‘convent’s’ history is covered in this booklet from the teaching staff to the sports facilities, the choir and religious groups,  as well as the day to day life of the students. Access from the Harcourt Street railway line was by right-of-ways through the Foxrock Golf Club! The catchment area for the school was from Delgany to Stillorgan and Dun Laoghaire as the area was still quite rural in 1940s. This collection of a pupil’s memory of her schooldays are a great insight in the education system of the 1940s and 1950s.


Cosslett Quin, (1907 – 1995) otherwise Ó Cuinn, was probably the greatest scholar who lived in Foxrock in recent times. He was a Gaelic scholar in the true sense of a term which has been squandered and devalued. Cosslett, son of a moderate Orangeman, was a Northerner, a Church of Ireland priest, a professor of Biblical Greek, a collector of folklore, a poet, a writer a theologian, a translator and a great traveller. Cosslett was a natural folklore collector. When he was learning Irish in the Blaskets and in Gola he was already writing down songs and poems and he continued collecting through the nineteen forties and fifties. Cosslett was elected president of the Cumann Gaelach in TCD and became involved with Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, the Irish speaking association of the Church of Ireland. Cosslett came to the fore as a translator in the nineteen sixties, mostly in the area of religious works such as his Irish translation of The Book of Common Prayer in 1965. He also translated religious works from French and German into English. His most notable work was An Tiomna Nua, the New Testament in Irish, which was published in 1970. Cosslett was in the mould of Dubhghlas de hÍde and was indeed mentioned as a possible candidate for the Presidency, an idea he did not take seriously.


The Revd. Maxwell Henry Close was a leading figure in the cultural and Irish language movement of this island. Maxwell’s scholarly pursuits covered Pleistocene geology, science, mathematics, physics, astronomy, the Public Library Movement, and the Gaelic Union as well as the funding of the definitive dictionary of the Irish language. Maxwell Close was a member of The Royal Geology Society of Ireland. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1867. He was a council member of the Royal Dublin Society – Science Branch. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland. He served as vice-president and treasurer of The Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language. He was the treasurer of the Gaelic Union (Aondacht na Gaeilge). In addition, he served as a mmember of the Irish Naturalist Club and was a founder member of the Irish Microscopic Group, which was an offshoot of the Irish Naturalist Club. He was involved with the inception of the Public Library Movement. Revd Maxwell Close was involved in a wide range of intellectual pursuits during his lifetime.


Charles Haliday was a successful businessman, public benefactor, patriot, philanthropist, writer, humanitarian, a tireless scholar, an avid collector of antiquities which verged on an obsession, and a pioneer in local history. Charles was president of the Dublin Chambre of Commerce, a director of the Bank of Ireland and of the Ballast Office, for which he wrote the history of Dublin harbour from Viking times and arranged the lighting of the coastal approaches to the harbour. He lived in Monkstown Park, which is now the CBC Monkstown School. Charles was very charitable in his life works and was deeply involved in: The coal fund, the Dorcas Society (clothing for the poor), the Orphan Society, the Penny Bank (a savings bank to encourage the habit of thrift), an infant school, a workmen’s Lending Library, and a Parish Union Benefit Society. He described the slum conditions that existed in parts of Dun Laoghaire which led to several outbreak of cholera. It was while helping cholera victims that he caught an infection which led to his death. He is buried in Carrickbrennan graveyard in Monkstown.


In 1894 the modern parish of Killiney and Cabinteely was established, based at Ballybrack, and in 1906, a new Parish Priest, Canon Michael O’Hea arrived. He immediately organised the construction of a temporary chapel-of-ease to Ballybrack, at Torquay Road Foxrock, near the entry road to Foxrock Golf Club. The site was leased at a nominal rent from the Royal Exchange Assurance Company, which owned most of Foxrock. The building of a temporary ‘tin church’, implied the need for a future permanent building, a need which was emphasized by the creation of the new, smaller, parish of Cabinteely and Foxrock to serve the increasing population. In 1922 the parish priest, Fr. Ryan started fundraising for a new permanent church to replace the ‘tin church’. A search began for an alternative site midway between Foxrock, Deans Grange, and Cornelscourt villages from where the ‘tin church’ drew its congregation. As a result, the present site was selected in 1933, the first sod was turned on 23 Nov 1933, and then the cornerstone was laid on 17 June 1934. On the 23 June 1935, His Grace, the  Revd Dr. Byrne, the Archbishop of Dublin, blessed and opened the new Foxrock Parish church with a crowd of 3,000 in attendance. Cabinteely was the parish church until 1971 when Foxrock was made a full parish although no formal status of this can be found. As the population was expanding the addition of an extension was proposed but instead, the church of the Holy Family was built in Kill-o-the Grange in 1972 to cater for the expanding population.


William Dargan, who was born in Carlow in 1799, was the great nineteenth century builder of railways, canals and harbours, as well as the instigator of many philanthropic projects throughout the island of Ireland. His first railway building contract was the Dublin – Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) railway which was started in 1831 and was completed by 1834. By 1863 he had built over 1,000 miles of railways in Ireland and had become known as the ‘Founder of Irish Railways’. During the famine years Dargan made sure that his workers were well paid and employed many people on the railways to help alleviate as much poverty as possible, frequently being referred to as; The Man with his Hand in his Pocket’ for his generosity.  He lived in ‘The Dargan Villa’ near Goatstown, better known today as Mount Anville Sacred Heart Secondary School for Girls. When the railway reached Bray in 1853 it was Dargan’s ambition to develop a seaside resort in what was then a village. He laid out a seafront esplanade, built fashionable Turkish baths and a substantial terrace of houses, developed wide roads, a fair green, a market, and helped to install gas lights in the new town. He was also a major investor in a modern one-hundred and thirty bedroom International Hotel near the railway station. In 1864, while still alive, he had the distinctive honour of having a statue of himself unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant at Merrion Street, Dublin. It was to mark the public’s gratitude to him for instilling national self-confidence in the country in the aftermath of the Great Famine. It was also in recognition of his funding single-handed the Great Exhibition of Art & Industry in 1853 on the lawn of Leinster House Dublin, which led directly to the founding of the National Gallery of Ireland. On the 7 Feb 1867 he died. In 2004, when the new Luas Green Line was opened; the magnificent cable-stayed bridge at Dundrum was formally named the William J Dargan Bridge.


In the mid-1800s, Ireland had a well-developed countrywide system of agricultural education. There was a long-felt necessity for a great Agricultural College for Ireland. Such an undertaking was initiated by the Royal Agricultural Improvement Society of Ireland, with the opening in 1845 of Leopardstown Agricultural College. The college was under the patronage of both the Royal Dublin Society and the Royal Agricultural Improvement Society of Ireland. The farm secured for the college was, the property of Anthony Hawkins, and was formerly the residence of Lord Castlecoote. The Demesne, which had a surrounding wall 12-foot high, contained 327 statute acres of arable and pasture land of different qualities. It had a mansion with a farmhouse located a half-mile away and central to the arable land, as well as an excellent garden with hot-houses and plantations containing every kind of tree and shrub suited to the environment. The college seemed to have had a short lived existence maybe due to the famine or other financial circumstances. By 1848 the property reverted to its original owner, Anthony Hawkins. Two further attempts were made to establish an agricultural college at Leopardstown. The Benedictine Community at Ramsgate, England, purchased in 1867/68 the property known today as the Leopardstown Racecourse, with the intention of forming an agricultural college to instruct the sons of gentlemen in the most modern farming practices. Due, however, to over-ambition, including undue expenditure on machinery, the initiative ran into financial difficulties, and the property was deserted for some years. Later, the Benedictine Community, transferred to Buckfast Abbey in 1883. An old complex of buildings, comprising a disused oratory and a monastic arrangement of rooms, was in living memory, located to the right of the racecourse grandstand which was then established on the old Agriculture College and Benedictine Community land.


The writer of the letter, James Joseph Collins, was born in Dublin on the 25 March 1867. His parents were Joseph and Mary Collins, of 3 Marlborough Place, Dublin. James’s mother died on 10 March 1870, when he was three years old. His uncle George Fintan Collins adopted him, taking him into the home of himself and his wife, Marianne and their children, Mary Kate (who married a Ted Farrell, who ran Collins shop in Cornelscourt then renamed Farrells / Foxrock Mart) and her younger sister Anastasia. James lived in Foxrock for fifteen years. In 1899 James left Ireland to work in South Africa where he met and married Molly (née O’Leary) in Kimberley on 10 April 1897. They had at least one, perhaps two children by the outbreak of the war on 11 October 1899. Kimberley and two other towns, Mafeking and Ladysmith were isolated and poorly defended. In the first weeks of the war, the Boers seized the initiative by laying siege to these towns. James’s letter to his uncle in Foxrock describes the conditions endured by the family during the siege as well as descriptions of causalities of the many battles that occurred in the area. Collins letter show sympathy to the Boers who were treated badly by the British, he also writes how of how the mining interests of the London Stock Exchange dominated the causes which directed the course of the war to ensure the diamond mines were held by British companies.


When you travel on the Luas Green line between the Laughanstown to Cherrywood stops you are going through an area that once was of major military significance. In 1793 England was at war with France. In 1794 the Hon. George Napier, a colonel in the British Army, said, ‘There is no part of the King’s dominions so much exposed to the attempts of the enemy in this war as Ireland is, and of all Ireland the part most exposed is its capital.’ To meet this threat a military camp was established in Laughanstown between the years 1795 to 1799. By 1 June 1795 the camp was laid out, originally it was set for a summer’s stay when it was expected that the militiamen would fold up their tents and leave. This did not happen and the camp was to be more permanent. To accommodate the militia the tents were seen as not suited to the colder weather. ‘Wooden Huts’ or as then called ‘Wooden Tents’ were constructed. In a short space of time these soldiers home from home were erected and made ready for occupation.  By 23 April 1799 it was announced that: ‘The camp at Laughanstown is broke up, but a guard of three hundred of the military are stationed near that place.’ By 1812 the land was divided into farms of ten and fifty acres and leased out. Traces of the camp had disappeared


The Dublin Cattle Market Company was publicly launched in November 1861, but the existing cattle market facilities in Smithfield were deemed as unsatisfactory. Smithfield being the location of Dublin’s cattle and produce markets since 1541. An area proposed for the new market was around Sherriff Street/ East Wall due to its closeness to the railway and the docks. Objections from the Smithfield Councillors and other interests opposed this site. Others sites were proposed until finally, in July 1862, a site owned partly by Jameson’s the distillers and partly by the Martin family, was secured. This site, officially No. 51/54 Prussia Street, bounded by Prussia Street, Aughrim Street and North Circular Road, became the Dublin Cattle Market.  It was fitted out as a purpose built market to trade cattle, sheep, pigs and goats and opened in November 1863. The Dublin Cattle Market grew to be one of the largest in Europe in its time, replacing fairs etc., It had many ancillary facilities near it from slaughter houses, rail links from Broadstone as well as cattle allowed graze in the Phoenix Park. A railway tunnel was built under the Phoenix Park to allow cattle trains from the south of the country access to Broadstone station. Changes in bovine tuberculosis controls in 1958 and during the following years, caused a major disruption of trade in the market around 1960. The introduction of auction houses in various towns around the country also disrupted business. Finally, in July 1971, the Corporation announced a closure to take effect on 1 October 1971.


This publication covers the development and changes of the nursery business from seedsmen to garden centres in the south Dublin area. As this is a history item, a look at the planting developments from early history to the present. This is to help set in context each stage of the nursery industry. Seedsmen were the main source of plant material to the farmers, gardeners, dyers, medical profession. These seedsmen had other business interests such as apothecary etc, Plants were mostly grown for their medicinal and herbal use or for cloth dying. The bulk of planting carried out then in private gardens was mostly for food crops. As private houses and suburban gardens spread the demand for plants for enhancing these areas increased. Nurseries were then established around the city suburbs to meet these new suburban garden demands. By the 20th century garden centres started to appear in the suburbs as a way of displaying the flowers and plants for sale in comfortable surroundings. These Garden Centres now cater for all planting needs, indoor and outdoor plants, vegetable growing, sheds, glasshouses, etc., Many seedsmen, nurseries and garden centres have come and gone over the years, this publications lists some of these and maybe bring back memories.


This publication gives a brief outline of the history of the Royal Irish Constabulary. The RIC existed for one hundred years from 1822 to 1922 and most of the historical events of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century involved the RIC in one form or another.   The story of the RIC is almost written out of the history books. Memories of the RIC police force will be forgotten if family members do not record their experiences in the stories passed on to them. It is almost a century since the disbandment of the RIC so the memories handed on to families will fade if not recorded. The Irish Constabulary Act of 1822 formed the provincial constabularies. This 1822 act established a force in each of the four provinces of Ireland with chief constables and inspectors general under the control of the UK civil administration for Ireland at Dublin Castle. In 1835 three city police forces were created: Belfast city, which existed up to 1865 and then adsorbed into the RIC, the city of Derry -Londonderry police. The Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) which was the police force for the city of Dublin, in 1922 it became ‘Póilini Átha Cliath’. In 1925 it was amalgamated into the new Garda Síochána.


This booklet describes the area between Blackrock and Foxrock in the late 1930’s when it was still quite a rural area. Blackrock was considered a large village then. The well known Cross of Blackrock was considered the centre of the town. Funerals would stop at this cross on their way to Deansgrange and the coffin would be carried in a circle around it. A few religious orders held land in the area the Sisters of Mercy in Carysfort Teacher Training College, whose lands extended well beyond Stillorgan Park, and St Joseph’s Vincentian Seminary on Temple Road whose farmland extended as far as Newtown Park, then a sizeable village of some 50 small cottages, with two public houses, a post office, a forge, a dairy, three small shops, a district nurse and the respected Avoca School. This booklet describes the many shops in Blackrock village as well as the door-to-door delivery men in the area. Religious segregation is describes as well as some of the examples of poverty that was evident. Sporting and leisure activities are described. The transport links in the area from rail to tram which later changed from Dart to busses are outlined. The character of the area from its rural past to its suburban present is well told in this booklet.


This booklet looks at the Bentley family in Dublin and how they rose to prominence in the 18th and 19th century. In the late 1850s the Bentley brothers, William and John, saw a development opportunity in the Foxrock area when the new railway was completed from Harcourt Street to Bray. Land was purchased in Foxrock in 1859, and funds were given to the railway to build a station at Foxrock. A hotel was constructed beside the railway station. Sites were offered for people to build their houses on. He also purchased land in Dundrum and in Harold’s Cross. He was cashing in on Dublin snobbishness by naming his developments after genteel English areas. Harold’s Cross he called Kenilworth. Dundrum he called Sydenham and of course Foxrock had Westminster, Brighton and Torquay. Then the threat of the Fenian rising in the late 1860s made the moneyed people nervous, and where they invested it. This period stopped many people going for weekends to the hotel and it did not thrive. There was also no rush to take up the sites in Foxrock that Bentley had banked on which he needed in order to keep solvent. William Wellington had started to develop a cash flow problem and was getting deep into liquidity problems with the banks. In 1864 he mortgaged the Foxrock Estate to the Hibernian Bank. In 1865 he mortgaged Kerrymount, part of Foxrock, Taney and Newcastle in Wicklow to Anthony Fox. He then vanished.


The twin villages of Deans Grange, at the junction of Kill Lane and Clonkeen Road, and Kill of the Grange at Baker’s Corner go back 1,000 years and more, and that each of them have been relocated to different sites during that period. The Grange lands were donated to the pre-Norman Priory of the Holy Trinity, now represented by Christ Church Cathedral. The Grange became the home-farm and administrative centre for the entire Holy Trinity land holdings in the South County – a swathe of some 2,500 acres, stretching from the foot of the Three Rock Mountain near Sandyford, to the stony, sea-shore at Shanganagh. The village of the Grange was originally located near today’s Foxrock Avenue, and the Kill village originally grew up around the ancient ‘Kill’ or church, behind today’s Kill Abbey estate. With the coming of the Normans in 1169 the Prior of the Holy Trinity Convent became the ‘Lord of the Manor of Clonkeen’. Life in the area is described from the various wars, plagues and famines as well as the farming practices from the written records. With the reformation in 1540 the description ‘the Prior and Convent’ of Holy Trinity’ was replaced by the title ‘the Dean and Chapter’ of Christchurch. Henceforth the Grange of Clonkeen was to become known as ‘The Dean’s Grange’. With the building of new Deans Grange Road and Clonkeen Road around 1815 the village of Deans Grange started to develop on its present site. The history of the development of the lands in the area is covered as well as some of the changes that have taken place in the 20th and 21th centuries.


This booklet looks at the past two-hundred years of the development of Foxrock from its rural setting in 1816 to its present setting where the different boundaries of the Foxrock townland, parish and the postal district cover. The events and people who influenced the area are outlined from the arrival of the railway in 1859 to the developers, the Bentley Brothers, who started the first house building in the Foxrock area in 1860, right up to the various developments that have happened in the area to the present time. The influences of many of the world and national events on the area are described, such as the losses suffered in World War One and Two, the War of Independence, and the Civil War. Also, the various people who lived and were influential in their fields who come from the area such as, Samuel Beckett the play-right, Sir Horace Plunkett the founder of the Co-Operative movement, right up to present time, people such as the author Colum McCann, who was born in the area etc. Sporting life in the area is covered from the various golf clubs, football and tennis clubs, race courses etc., and the people in the various clubs who rose to fame in their sporting careers. The social life of the area is noted from the various different church groups in Tullow and Foxrock right up to the previous Foxrock Folk Club of the 1970s to the present Dolman Theatre in Cornelscourt. The many musicians and well known artists who lived in the area are noted. The many schools and educational institutions that both operated in the past and are now gone to the newer schools are described. This booklet captures a period where previous residents memory is recorded from the contributors to the Local History Club.


This publication looks at the various sources of the many street names around the city and suburbs of Dublin. Starting at Red Cow Lane which links North King Street with North Brunswick Street, it took its name from a tavern, the Red Cow, in Church Street. Some streets are named after trades – Cook, Merchant, Fishamble, Weavers, and Linenhall Streets. There are those who are named after the ascendency, Georges, York, William Street etc., also those named after the early developers of the city streets, Gardiner, Findlater, Hatch, Dawson to name a few. Many saints get a mention with , (St) Patrick Street, St Audoen’s Lane, Saint James’s Gate, (St) Kevin Street, St Mary le Bon (Marrowbone Lane) to mention a few. Then moving to more modern times the streets named after early Irish heroes, O’Connell, Wolfe Tone, Parnell etc., As the suburbs develop roads get named after poets and writers, Goldsmith, Le Fanu, Synge, Joyce, Beckett etc.,  Some of newer estates have say mountains as in Drimnagh– Cooley and Mourne Roads. Galway names appear in part of Ballyfermot – Spiddal Road, Cleggan Road, and Moycullen Road. Names of lakes are in Kimmage – Corrib Road etc., Ballybrack has island names – Achill, Lambay, and Aran etc., Many of the unusual road names are explained in this booklet. Finally between Bride Street and Patrick Street were laneways, one was Bull Alley, perhaps named from an ancient animal market as it lay close to Sheep Street, now Ship Street which brings the end of the journey around the city stretching all the way from Red Cow Lane to Bull Alley Street.


Edward Fitzmaurice Chambré Hardman was born in 1898 and lived at Foxrock House.  Hardman developed an interest in photography at an early age. He recalled how his first negatives were made using his father’s quarter plate brass and mahogany Lancaster stand camera, and how the exposed glass plates were processed in the wine cellar and contact prints made in the apple loft. By 1916 he was eighteen years old and followed a family tradition of service in the Indian Army and Colonial Service. By January 1918 he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Indian Army. Hardman met a fellow officer, Captain Kenneth Burrell, and agreed that they would return to England and would open a portrait studio where Hardman would make the pictures and Burrell would look after the business. Their first studio was established in March 1923, at 51A Bold St. then one of Liverpool’s most prestigious thoroughfares. They succeeded in attracting a number of important portrait clients including the 17th Earl of Derby and staff from the University of Liverpool. They also had sitters from Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre and many other famous people during the 1920’s. Hardman joined the Sandon Studios society in 1923 a social focus for Liverpool artists, Painters Sculptors and musicians. By 1923 anyone with social pretensions found it necessary to be photographed by the Burrell and Hardman Studio.


James Mullett had seen his family evicted and their thatched cottage being burned down when he was a child in Wexford. This left its mark on the young boy who became attracted to the objectives of the Land League and the Fenians in later life.   After he moved to Dublin as a young man he was persuaded to join the Irish Republican Brotherhood and his public house in 12/13 Lower Bridge Street became a well-known centre for nationalists. James Mullett was encouraged by a veteran Fenian organiser, John Walsh, to form a committee of four, of which James Mullett was appointed Chairman, and had as their objective ‘to remove all tyrants of the country’. It became known as the Dublin Directory of the Invincibles. It was this organisation that plotted and executed the Phoenix Park Murders on 6 May 1882. He did not personally take part in the assassinations, as he had previously been arrested by the police on 4 March 1882 and detained in Dundalk Jail. The booklet describes how James family life developed after he was discovered as being the chairman of the ‘Invincibles’ and jailed for ten years. It describes his life after his time in prison and follows the lives of his family members up to the present time.


This booklet looks at the contribution George Victor Du Noyer gave to the pictorial records of the mid nineteenth century Irish Landscape. It also looks at his Geological drawings and other Antiquary drawings. George Victor Du Noyer was active during the great intellectual golden age which started to flower in the middle of the nineteenth century in Ireland. This period has mainly been looked at through the political lens of the famine, the Land Wars, and other political struggles occurring throughout the nineteenth century. There was at the time the founding of new societies dedicated to natural history, zoology, geology, archaeology, architecture, chemistry, medicine, the advancement of science, the preservation of the music of Ireland, visual art and many other pursuits including the mapping of the country by the Ordnance Survey. George Victor Du Noyer covered many of these fields: Botany, Art, Antiquity, and Geology. There are over two-thousand of his drawings and his paintings lodged in various locations; The National Gallery, The Royal Irish Academy, The Royal Society of Antiquarians in Ireland, The Geological Survey of Ireland, and The National Botanic Gardens as well as many privately held paintings. Du Noyer achieved a great deal in his lifetime and has left us a wonderful collection of the visual records of life in mid nineteenth century Ireland before the advent of photography. Du Noyer’s works should be better known to help our understanding of the layout of the Irish landscape.


This publication takes a look at some of the former, and still, prominent houses in the village of Blackrock. It tells the many stories of the former owners and describes some of the interesting events in their lives. Frescati House and the Lord Edward Fitzgerald family connection, Lios an Uisce a.k.a. Peafield Cliff was the home of Lady Arbella Fitzmaurice Denny who founded the Magdalen Asylum for Protestant Girls in Leeson Street and introduced silkworms in Blackrock to promote Silk Culture in the late 1700s. Deepwell, originally called Fairy Hill, which was built in the 1700s, the house has a well which supplied water to Frescati House and other local houses, hence the name change to Deepwell.  There are descriptions of some of the residents on the Main Street, the Station House and Idrone Terrace, number 15 of which was visited by the Pope in the 1950s. Descriptions of some of the churches in Blackrock are given as well as the Town Hall and the Carnegie Library.  The lives and scandals of the Lords Cloncurry’s of Maretimo House and of the Lees of Blackrock House are described. Dr O’Meara, who was born in Newtown House, read of his connections to Napoleon Bonaparte.  The various residents and events that occurred in and around Neptune House a.k.a. Temple Hill House are given. Count John McCormack and his Blackrock connection to Glenea are described. The well known former shop family of Edward Lee, who lived in Bellvue on Cross Avenue, is given.  Finally we come to the Tram Yard where a history of tramways in Blackrock is given.


Parishioners in Foxrock have long spoken about the ‘Harry Clarke’ stained glass window panel in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. The story behind the image had faded from the community memory, although there was a certain feeling that the panel was not the work of Harry Clarke RHA himself, but instead was the work of one of his artists who designed and created it under Harry Clarke’s influence. This understanding was based on an incorrect belief that the window panel was manufactured during the building of the church in 1935, four years after Harry Clarke had died. Many other parishioners have never heard of a ‘Harry Clarke window’ in the church. In January 2001 I was given the incorrect story that the decorative window panel had been donated by the architect who designed the church, but this is now known to be incorrect. This publication follows the trail of this window from its 1927 origin to its installation in Foxrock Church in 1935.


A booming local history scene in the seventies and eighties saw new local history books being published, new local history societies popping up, also an increasing interest in local studies by public libraries, new courses being offered in local history, and the foundation of a federation of local history societies. Foxrock Local History Club was part of that wave. This story was assembled from the records of the History Club and from the memories of its members. The early activities of the club right up to the present day are described. From the monthly talks, the summer outings and the publications and books produced by the club in its nearly forty years of existence in 2018


After Catholic Emancipation Daniel O‘Connell started agitating for the repeal of the Act of Union. The English government counteracted this agitation effectively, by obscuring in the minds of the Irish people the consciousness of separate nationhood. This was done among other ways, by introducing a scheme of compulsory education where the Irish language was forbidden and Irish literature, history and legends were not taught, Irish games were prohibited. These were the very essentials Padraig Pearse considered necessary in the education of Irish youth. Severe penalties were imposed if this law was contravened, in other words, the people were brainwashed and became almost unable to distinguish between the two discrete races of people, Irish and English. Pearse was twenty-nine years of age, when he founded Scoil Eanna or St. Enda’s, in 1908, in Cullenswood House, Ranelagh, his object was to provide an elementary and secondary education, distinctly Irish in complexion, bi-lingual in method and of a high modern type generally for Irish Catholic boys. Scoil Eanna was ‘the bravest attempt to reform Irish education’. It taught Irish boys how to be Irish men, to be proud of their heritage, to put Irish things first. This is Pearse’s ideal for the Ireland he envisaged, free, Gaelic, bilingual but Ireland must be put first. The British government in the nineteenth century was obscuring in the minds of the Irish people the consciousness of separate nationality – that was in the nineteenth century.  To-day, in the twenty-first century, the same thing is happening. The Failure of Pearse’s Triumph


Saturday, 29 April 1916, saw the end of the fighting in the Easter Rising. Two days later, Monday, 1 May 1916, the first contingent of Irish volunteers was sent to Stafford Jail, my father [Feargus De Búrca] amongst them. Others were transported to various jails in England and Scotland, up until 16 June. The men were first held for a few weeks in their respective prisons. During this time nearly six-hundred and fifty were released and the remainder were then transferred to the prison camp in Frongoch, in North Wales. The men had smuggled in books on military tactics so they studied the strategy of guerrilla warfare and as there was a representative from every county in Ireland present in the camp, each was delegated, when released, to start organising the forces in his home place with these tactics in mind. It was said of those who were in the camp had completed the graduate course, in guerrilla tactics. Hence the sobriquet ‘The University of Revolution’.


Traces of the Anglo-Normans are to be found in the many castles and tower houses around the south of county Dublin built after the Normans arrived in 1166. The Anglo-Norman rule change the way the area was administrated from the Gaelic clans to a more formal system of church administration from central cathedrals, manor farms and a more feudal social order. This caused problems with the native Irish and many attacks occurred on the new settlers. It is noteworthy that our own local area, through ‘mottes’, castles and tower houses, played such a key role in establishing and sustaining the Anglo-Norman conquest of the Dublin region. That conquest subsequently led to the establishment of the Pale and to the creation of the first English colony in Ireland. Brian explores the timeline of the Anglo-Norman impact on our area.


Horace Plunkett was a leading figure in the development of the agricultural co-operative movement in Ireland. A politician, he had an interesting career which spanned more than three decades. English born, he spent most of his life in Ireland and lived in the US for ten years.  For more than sixteen years Foxrock, was his home and residence. Horace is considered to be the father and first leader of the Irish Co-operative movement. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the first Irish Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction which he led with distinction for more than seven years. He influenced US policy on agriculture and co-operation. The Plunkett Foundation, which he founded and financed, is his enduring legacy today. As Chairman of the Irish Convention in 1917/18 he tried hard but without success to broker a thirty-two county settlement for the country. He continued to try to achieve a settlement for Ireland up to 1922. His house became a meeting place for people of different backgrounds to be entertained and to discuss and debate during the years he lived in Foxrock. He deserves to be remembered today for his work to improve the economic, social and political life of Ireland.


The area of South County Dublin surrounding us here in Foxrock presents a very attractive setting when viewed from the sea. The earliest inhabitants of South County Dublin were known as Mesolithic people who arrived abour 5000BC. These were hunter-gatherers peoples.  Then the practice of farming reached Ireland around 4000 BC when a more settled population lived here and constructed some of the larger stone monuments found in the local surroundings. From the Bronze Age and  Iron Age periods many artifacts have been found in our area made by the people living here then. When Christanity arrived we now start to find remains of the early churches, stone crosses etc, showing that more ordered and settled society existed. This area,which was then called Cuala, covers what is now Dun Laoghaire, Rathdown. Some enclosed Ráth were constructed around this period to enclose and safeguard homes and to protect farm animals from raids from surrounding areas. These Ráthanna can be found in placenames like Rathmichael, Rathdown etc. This publication gives us a glimpse of the development of our early society that settled in the area now known as Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown.

No. 84 FAMILY MEMORIES OF THE 1914-1924 PERIOD by Various contributors

Read about the stories of the people who were involved in the events of the Decade of Commemoration in the 1914-1924 period by their family descendants. Stories that were handed down within families can sometimes better describe how it was for the ordinary people on the ground rather than the facts and figures of warfare. From a WWI daughter’s collection of her father’s role as signal corps engineer in the trenches in France , a granddaughter of Michael Mallin’s collection of his love letters, the impacts of ambushes during the War of Independence on a family businesses, Bloody Sunday as described by a  son of a member of the Dublin football team, R.I.C. family memories from a grandson of serving policemen, the family member’s story of his father who help draft the 1922 Constitution after the Anglo-Irish treaty was signed, and a families Civil War story. This 61 page booklet is a valuable contribution to our publications


In 1940 Rosmeen Gardens, at the southern end of Dún Laoghaire, had no strategic importance other than being a suburb of Dún Laoghaire. On Friday 20 December 1940,  at around 7.30 p.m. that evening, several people in Glasthule heard the sound of a low flying aircraft. The main road was empty of people and traffic while in Sandycove railway station a number of women and children were waiting the arrival of the train from Bray due to depart for Dublin at 7.32 p.m. An Irish Press employee was walking toward the railway station at this time when suddenly the entire area was lit up by a blinding flash followed by the sound of an explosion, followed seconds later by a second one. Shocked by this occurrence, he just stood still while being showered with bricks and stones.

Construction of the Atmospheric Railway line from Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey was completed by 19 August 1843 when thousands of sightseers saw the successful operation of the first train from Glasthule Bridge to Dalkey with one hundred passengers on board consisting of Dublin & Kingstown Railway directors, their friends and guests. They covered this distance in a time of four minutes, after which they adjourned to the Salthill Hotel, Dun Laoghaire for a banquet. Testing continued for some time with passengers being carried free as most of these travelled from Dublin to Kingstown by the existing D&KR service so the Company was not too much out of pocket. A nine-coach train weighed in the region of 70 tons and during testing a 60 – 65-ton train was drawn to Dalkey in less than four minutes.

86. THE IRISH BOUNDARY COMMISSION 1924/25 by Declan Ryan

The partition of Ireland in 1921 into the six counties of Northern Ireland and what became the Irish Free State left a substantial (Catholic) minority of 35% in the new Northern Ireland. There was also a significant Unionist (Protestant) minority in the three Ulster Counties in the Irish Free State. Under Article XII of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 between the UK and Ireland, an Irish Boundary Commission was proposed to delineate the border between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland in accordance with the people’s wishes and taking into account geographic and economic conditions. The proposed Commission was a compromise agreed during the Treaty negotiations to deal with the difficult question of the partition of Ireland and the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Irish delegation at the treaty negotiations and all Nationalists wanted to end partition. They expected that large areas of Northern Ireland would be given to the Irish Free State by the Boundary commission. They hoped that what remained of Northern Ireland would be too small to be viable. The Unionist Government and Unionists in Northern Ireland were opposed to any change in the border and refused to cooperate with the Commission when it was set up. The Boundary Commission was established in November 1924 and, over the next year, worked on defining a revised border.  Following a newspaper leak of its findings in November 1925, the Commission’s report was suppressed. In December 1925, a new agreement was made between the Irish Free State and the UK which retained the existing boundary.

So how did this come about? This booklet tells the story of the Boundary Commission: the background, its work and some conclusions about what happened.

by James Scannell

Up to about 50 years ago until newspapers changed their reporting styles, mishaps sustained by people, no matter how minor or trivial, complete with details of name, address, age, and a brief description of the incident, were regular items.  Meetings of local authorities and other bodies, clubs and voluntary organisations were frequently reported in full as were inquests. This booklet is based on four inquests in which fatal accidents occurred in Dalkey or to Dalkey people between 1890 and 1913.


The subject of this booklet is about the townland of Deansgrange and its relationship to Christ Church cathedral in Dublin. Deansgrange lies in the civil parish of Kill and half-barony of Rathdown in the county of Dublin. It was once the location of a grange belonging to the dean and chapter of Christ Church. A grange was a monastic farming unit. The word ‘grange’ in its French origins meant a barn or granary, but in Ireland the word came to describe the monastic farm inclusive of land and buildings or to describe the farmyard only where the plough teams were housed and the grain was stored (Stout, 2015). At its earliest, this townland name can refer back to the sixteenth century, when the first dean of Christ Church was appointed. Nevertheless, the area already had a long history as church land.


The word ‘conjoined’ indicates that the two institutions had much in common- both at their outset had engaged the same architect, the extraordinary John Loftus Robinson. Secondly both had employed the same eminent firm of builders, Michael Meade and Son. Thirdly, both had shared roots in the contentious and sometimes sectarian history of the Kingstown township during the second half of the 19th century. Firstly, the architect: in question, John Loftus Robinson. He was the founder of an architectural practice that left its imprint on the face of the capital city. In our own times they were known as Robinson, Keefe and Devane. Many of us have at some time might have been in -or known -churches or public buildings designed by the practice over its long and distinguished history.