Essential Architecture-  Ireland





Ireland > County Cork








  Dublin Castle- Seat of the Lord Lieutenant and his court until 1922, right, Henrietta Street and Leinster House  an 18th century ducal palace now the seat of parliament
  Front Square and Campanile, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland [1] and Dublin City Hall formerly the Royal Exchange
  The River Liffey divides the city
Georgian Dublin is a phrase used in the History of Dublin that has two interwoven meanings,

to describe a historic period in the development of the city of Dublin from 1714 (the beginning of the reign of King George I of Great Britain and of Ireland) to the death in 1830 of King George IV. During this period, the reign of the four Georges, hence the word Georgian, covers a particular and unified style, derived from Palladian Architecture, which was used in erecting public and private buildings;

to describe the modern day surviving buildings in Dublin erected in that period and which share that architectural style.
Though strictly speaking, Georgian architecture could only exist during the reigns of the four Georges, it had its antecedents prior to 1714 and its style of building continued to be erected after 1830, until replaced by later styles named after the then monarch, Queen Victoria, ie Victorian.

 Dublin's development

Dublin from the air
This view shows the quays as laid out by the Earl of Ormonde, and O'Connell Street (originally Sackville St.) as laid out by the Wide Streets Commission (the street running from the top left hand corner to the bridge). Few of the buildings in view are Georgian, as most of this area was destroyed and rebuilt, albeit along the Georgian street pattern, following the Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War (1916-1923)
Dublin was for much of its existence a mediæval city, marked by the existence of a particular style of buildings, built on narrow winding mediæval streets. The first move towards becoming a Georgian city actually occurred during the reign of King Charles II when the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Earl of Ormonde (later made Duke of Ormonde) issued an instruction which was to have dramatic repercussions for the city as it exists today. Though the city over the century had grown around the River Liffey, its buildings as in many other mediæval centres backed onto the river, often allowing for the dumping of household waste directly into the river, it being a form of collective sewer. As Dublin's quays underwent development, Ormonde insisted that the frontages of the houses, not their rears, should face the quay sides, with a street to run along each quay. By this one development, Ormond changed the face of the city. No longer would the river be a sewer hidden between buildings. Instead it became a central feature of the city, with its quays lined by large three and four storey houses and public buildings, such as the Four Courts, the old Custom House and, later and grander, The Custom House designed, as was the Four Courts, by master architect James Gandon. For his initiative, Ormonde's name is now given to one of the city quays.

It was however only one of a number of crucial developments. As the city grew it size, stature, population and wealth, two changes were needed. (1) The existing narrow-streeted mediæval city required major redevelopment, and (2) major new development of residential areas was required.

 Rebuilding Dublin's Core

An example of Georgian opulence

A ceiling from the Dublin townhouse of Viscount Powerscourt, showing the splendour of Georgian decoration. His former townhouse was sensitively turned into a shopping centre in the 1980s.
A new body called the Wide Streets Commission was created to remodel the old mediæval city. It created a network of main thoroughfares by wholescale demolition or widening of old streets or the creation of entirely new ones. On the northside of the city, a series of narrow streets were merged together and widened enormously to create a new street, called Sackville Street (now called O'Connell Street). At its lower end, a new bridge (now called O'Connell Bridge) was erected, beyond which two new streets in the form of a 'V' appeared, known as Westmoreland Street and D'Olier Street. Westmoreland Street in turn led to a renamed Hoggen Green, which became College Green because it faced unto Trinity College Dublin. The new Irish Houses of Parliament, designed by Edward Lovett Pearce, also faced onto College Green, while from College Green a new widened Dame Street led directly down to the mediæval Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, past Dublin Castle and the Royal Exchange, the latter a new building, the former in the process of rebuilding, turning it from a mediæval castle to a Georgian palace.

 18th Century Property Developers

Henrietta Street

The street contains some of the oldest and largest Georgian houses in Dublin. It was converted into tenements in the 19th century.
While the rebuilding by the Wide Streets Commission fundamentally changed the streetscape in Dublin, a property boom led to additional building outside the central core. Unlike twentieth century building booms in Dublin (which by general agreement were disastrously mismanaged) the eighteenth century developments were carefully controlled. The developing areas were divided into precincts, each of which was given to a different developer. The scope of their developments were restricted, however, with strict controls imposed on style of residential building, design of buildings and location, so producing a cohesive unity that came to be called Georgian Dublin.

Initially developments were focused on the city's northside. Among the earliest developments was Henrietta Street, a wide street lined on both sides by massive Georgian houses built on a palatial scale. At the top end of the street, a new James Gandon building, the King's Inns, was erected between 1795 and 1816. In this building, barristers were trained and earned their academic qualifications. Such was the prestige of the street that many of the most senior figures in Irish 'establishment' society,[1] peers of the realm, judges, barristers, bishops bought houses here. Ultimately the northside was laid out centred on two major squares, Ruthland Square (now called Parnell Square), at the top end of Sackville Street, and Mountjoy Square. Such was the prestige of the latter square that among its many prominent residents was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. Many of the streets in the new areas were named after the property developers, often with developers commemorated both in their name and by their peerage when the received one. Among the streets named after developers are Capel Street, Mountjoy Square and Aungier Street.

Dublin Castle's Georgian Upper Castle Yard

The main body of the Castle was rebuilt along Georgian lines following a disastrous fire in the late seventeenth century
For the initial years of the Georgian era, the northside was the place to live. However all that was changed by one building and one aristocrat. When the Earl of Kildare, Ireland's premier peer, chose to move to a new large ducal palace built for him on what up to that point was seen as the inferior southside, he caused shock. When his Dublin townhouse, Kildare House (renamed Leinster House when he was made Duke of Leinster) was finished, it was by far the biggest aristocratic residence other than Dublin Castle, and it was greeted with envy.

The Earl had predicted that his move would be followed, and followed it was. Three new residential squares appeared on the southside, Merrion Square (facing his residence's garden front), St. Stephen's Green and the smallest and last of Dublin's five Georgian squares to be built, Fitzwilliam Square. Aristocrats, bishops and the wealthy sold their northside townhouses and migrated to the new southside developments, even though many of the developments, particularly in Fitzwilliam Square, were smaller and less impressive than the buildings in Henrietta Street. While the wealthier people lived in houses on the squares, those with lesser means and lesser titles lived in smaller, less grand but still impressive developments off the main squares, such as Upper and Lower Mount Street and Leeson Street.

 The Act of Union and Georgian Dublin

Leinster House

18th century ducal palace but by the Duke of Leinster. Since 1922 it has served as the seat of the modern Irish parliament, Oireachtas Éireann.

The old Irish Houses of Parliament

Built in the 1720s, the building served as the seat of The House of Commons and House of Lords until 1800. It is now a branch of the Bank of Ireland.

Georgian house on St. Stephen's Green

A surviving Georgian house on St. Stephen's Green, stuck between a victorian building (picture right) and a 1960s office block (left). Over half the Georgian buildings on St. Stephen's Green having been lost since the Georgian era, with many demolished in the 1950s and 1960s .
Through the Irish Parliament was exclusively made by up of the representatives of the minority Protestant community in Ireland, it did show sparks of independence, most notably the achievement of full legislative independence in 1782, where all the restrictions previously surrounding the parliament in College Green, notably Poyning's Law were repealed. This period of legislative freedom however was shortlived. In 1800, under pressure from the Dublin Castle administration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and amid mass bribery, both the House of Commons and the House of Lords passed the Irish Act of Union, uniting both the KIngdom of Ireland and its parliament with the Kingdom of Great Britain and its parliament in London. As a result, from 1 January 1801 Dublin found itself without a parliament with which to draw hundreds of peers and bishops, along with their thousands of servants. While many did come to Dublin still for the Social Season, where the Lord Lieutenant hosted debutantes balls, state balls and drawing rooms in a period from January until St. Patrick's Day (17 March) every year, many found the appeals of such most less than in the days when they could sit in parliament for a session in College Green. Many of the leading peers, including the Duke of Leinster and Viscount Powerscourt, almost immediately sold their palatial Dublin townhouses, Powerscourt House and Leinster House. Though many still flocked to Dublin every social season, many didn't or went to London. The loss of their revenue and that of their extensive staff hurt the Dublin economy severely. While the 'new' Georgian centres southside continued to flourish, the northside Georgian squares soon fell into squalor, as new owners of the buildings crammed in massive numbers of poor into the former residences of earls and bishops, in some cases cramming an entire family into one old drawing room. Mountjoy Square in particular became run-down, until such was its state and degree of dereliction in the 1980s that it was used as a film set for stories set in post-blitz London and post-war Berlin. The empty shells of the graceful houses, reduced to unsanitary tenements before being demolished in the 1980s, were used as a backdrop for a U2 rock video.

 Georgian Dublin today
In the years after independence in 1922, independent Ireland had little sympathy for Georgian Dublin, seeing it as a symbol of British rule and of the unionist identity that was alien to "Irish" identity. By that stage, many of the gentry to had lived in them had moved elsewhere; some to the wealthy Victorian suburbs of Rathmines and Rathgar, Killiney and Ballsbridge, where Victorian residences were built on larger plots of land, allowing for gardens, rather that the lack of space of the Georgian eras. Those that had not moved in many cases had by the early twentieth century sold their mansions in Dublin. The abolition of the Dublin Castle administration and the Lord Lieutenant in 1922 saw an end to Dublin's traditional "Social Season" or masked balls, drawing rooms and court functions in the Castle. Many of the aristocratic families lost their heirs in the First World War, their homes in the country to IRA burnings (during the Irish War of Independence) and their townhouses to the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Daisy, the Countess of Fingall, in her regularly republished memoirs Seventy Years Young, wrote in the 1920s of the disappearance of that world and of her change from a big townhouse in Dublin, full of servants to a small flat with one maid. By the 1920s and certainly by the 1930s, many of the previous homes in Merrion Square had become business addresses of companies, with only Fitzwilliam Square of all the five squares having any residents at all. (Curiously, in the 1990s, new wealthy businessmen such as Sir Tony O'Reilly and Dermot Desmond began returning to live in former offices they had bought and converted back into homes.) By the 1930s, plans were discussed in Eamon de Valera's government to demolish all of Merrion Square, perhaps the most intact of the five squares, on the basis that the houses were "old fashioned" and "un-national". They were only saved by Adolf Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939; the plans were put on hold in 1939 and forgotten about by 1945.

Though that did not stop the destruction of some of Georgian Dublin. Mountjoy Square was ultimately reduced to a state of near collapse, with many of its finest houses on what had once been Dublin's finest Georgian square, reduced to rubble by property developers. The world's longest row of Georgian houses, running from the corner of Merrion Square down to Lesson Street Bridge, was sliced in two by the decision of the Irish government in the early 1960s to demolish part of the row and replace them by a modern office block.

Georgian Houses on Capel Street

These buildings were refronted in the 19th century and later used as shops. The grey house of the right was bought by an Irish gay resource centre, Outhouse in early 21st century. On restoration, the building which had been used as a warehouse turned out to have 18th century ceiling decoration and a large tiled hall floor, all of which had been obscured over the previous two centuries.
The decision in the late 1950s to demolish a row of Georgian houses in Kildare Place and replace them with a brick wall was greeted with jubilation by a republican minister at the time, Kevin Boland, who said they stood for everything he opposed. He described members of the fledgling Irish Georgian Society, newly formed to seek to protect Georgian buildings, of being "belted earls".

By the 1990s, attitudes had changed dramatically. Strict new planning guidelines sought to protect the remaining Georgian buildings, though some property owners still found their way around the restrictions. A surprising number of old houses in poor repair, if an owner wished to demolish them but had been refused planning permission, just happened mysteriously to go on fire and be burnt to the ground, facilitating 'development'. However, in contrast with the lax development controls applied in Ireland for many decades, by the 1990s a whole new mindset among politicians, planners and the leaders of Dublin City Council (formerly Dublin Corporation) produced a determination to preserve as much as possible of the remaining Georgian buildings, with prosecutions for unauthorised developments a regular occurrence. See An Bord Pleanála and An Taisce.

Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that residence that marked the move of the aristocrats from the northside to the southside (where the wealthier Dubliners have remained to this day), and that in some ways embodied Georgian Dublin, Leinster House, home of the Duke of Leinster, ended up as the parliament of independent republican Ireland.

^ Under the anti-Catholic Penal Laws, Roman Catholics, though the overwhelming majority in Ireland, were harshly discriminated against, barred from holding property rights or from voting in parliamentary elections. Thus the houses of Georgian Dublin, particularly in the early phase before Catholic Emancipation was granted in 1829, were almost invariably owned by a small Church of Ireland Anglican elite, with Catholics only gaining admittance to the houses as skivvies and servants.

Baile Átha Cliath

Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas
(Latin for "Happy the city where citizens obey")[1]

WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates:
53.3472° N 6.2592° W
Province: Leinster
County: 'Dublin Region'
Dáil Éireann: Dublin Central, Dublin North Central, Dublin North East, Dublin North West, Dublin South Central, Dublin South East
European Parliament: Dublin
Dialling Code: 01, +353 1
Postal District(s): D1-24, D6W
Area: 114.99 km²
Population (2006) 505,739

Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath[2], IPA: [b?al?? a:ha kl?i?h]) is the capital and largest city in Ireland, near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a centre of Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's capital since mediæval times.

The city of Dublin is the entire area administered by Dublin City Council. However, when most people talk about 'Dublin', they also refer to the contiguous suburban areas that run into the adjacent local authority areas of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. This area is sometimes known as 'Urban Dublin' or the 'Dublin Metropolitan Area'.

The population of the administrative area controlled by Dublin City Council was 505,739 at the census of 2006. At the same census the Dublin Region population was 1,186,159, and the Greater Dublin Area 1,661,185. (estimated by the CSO to reach two million by 2021).[3]

A person from Dublin is known as a Dubliner or colloquially as a Dub, or, pejoratively, a Jackeen.

In a 2003 European-wide survey by the BBC, questioning 11,200 residents of 112 urban and rural areas, Dublin was the best capital city in Europe to live in, and Ireland the most content country in Europe. [4]

Dublin is the third most visited capital city in Europe (after Paris and London) with over four million visitors a year. [3][4]


The name Dublin is an Hiberno-English derivative of 'Dubh Linn' (Irish, meaning 'black pool'). Historically, in the traditional Gaelic script used for the Irish language, 'bh' was written with a dot over the 'b', viz 'Du? Linn' or 'Du?linn'. The French speaking Normans omitted the dot and spelled the name variously as 'Develyn' or 'Dublin'.

Some sources doubt this derivation, and suggest that 'Dublin' is of Scandinavian origin, cf. Icelandic: djúp lind ('deep pond'). However, the name 'Dubh Linn' pre-dates the arrival of the Vikings in Ireland, and the Old Norse (and modern Icelandic) name for Dublin is simply the words 'Dubh Linn' re-spelled as if they were Old Norse: 'Dyflinn' (correctly pronounced "Duev-linn" — the letter 'y' is still pronounced like the vowel in 'ewe' in Modern Norwegian, Swedish, etc., just as it was in Old Norse; Icelandic, while keeping the spelling, has changed this sound to /i/).

The common name for the city in Modern Irish is 'Baile Átha Cliath' ('The Settlement of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles'), which refers to the settlement, founded in 988 by High King Mael Sechnaill II, that adjoined the town of Dubh Linn proper at the Black Pool.

The writings of the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy, provide perhaps the earliest reference to Dublin. In around A.D. 140 he referred to a settlement he called Eblana Civitas. The settlement 'Dubh Linn' dates perhaps as far back as the first century BC and later a monastery was built there, though the town of was established in about[[5]] 841 by the Norse. 'Baile Átha Cliath' or simply 'Áth Cliath' was founded in 988, and the two towns eventually became one.

The modern city retains the Anglicised Irish name of the former and the original Irish name of the latter. After the Norman invasion of Ireland, Dublin became Ireland's capital, with much of the power centring on Dublin Castle until independence. From the 14th to late 16th centuries Dublin and the surrounding area, known as the Pale, formed the largest area of Ireland under government control.

From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly, helped by the Wide Streets Commission. Georgian Dublin was, for a time, the second city of the British Empire after London. Much of Dublin's most notable architecture dates from this time. The Easter Rising of 1916 left the capital in an unstable situation and the Anglo-Irish War and Irish Civil War left it in ruins, with many of its finest buildings destroyed. The Irish Free State rebuilt many of the buildings and moved parliament to Leinster House, but took no bold tasks such as remodelling. After The Emergency (World War II), Dublin remained a capital out of time: modernisation was slow, but finally the 1960s saw change begin. In recent years the infrastructure of Dublin has changed immensely, with enormous private and state development of housing, transport, and business. (See also Development and Preservation in Dublin). Some well-known Dublin street corners are still named for the pub or business which used to occupy the site before closure or redevelopment.

Since the beginning of English rule in the 12th century, the city has served as the capital of the island of Ireland in the varying geopolitical entities:

the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541)
the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800)
the island as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922)
the Irish Republic (1919–1922),[5]
From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, it served as the capital of the Irish Free State (1922–1937) and now as the capital of the Republic of Ireland. (Many of these states co-existed or competed within the same timeframe as rivals within either British or Irish constitutional theory.)


Dublin enjoys a maritime temperate climate characterised by mild winters, cool summers, and a lack of temperature extremes. Contrary to popular belief, Dublin does not experience as high rainfall as the West of Ireland, which receives twice that of the capital city. Dublin has fewer rainy days, on average, than London. The average maximum January temperature is 8°C (46°F), the average maximum July temperature is 20°C (68°F). The sunniest months, on average, are May and June, with six hours of sunshine daily (though daylight in these months is a lot more). The wettest months, on average, are December and August, with 74 mm (2.9 inches) of rain. The driest month is April, with 45 mm (1.7 inches). The total average annual rainfall (and other forms of precipitation) is 762 mm (29.5 inches), lower than Sydney, New York City and even Dallas. Due to Dublin's high latitude, it experiences long summer days (around 19 hours of daylight) and short winter days (as short as nine hours). Like the rest of Ireland it is relatively safe from common natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Strong winds from Atlantic storm systems can affect Dublin, though usually less severe than other parts of Ireland. Severe winds are most likely during mid-winter, but can occur anytime, especially between October and February. During one of the stormiest periods of recent times, a gust of 151 km/hr (94 mph) was recorded at Casement Aerodrome on 24 December 1997.

Dublin has a microclimate, which makes the city a few degrees warmer than surrounding areas. There is also a slight temperature difference between the city centre and the city's suburbs, with the city centre slightly warmer, as it is more built up. There are slight differences between the city centre [6] and the Airport[7], just 12 kilometres north.

The city is not noted for its temperature extremes due to its mild climate. The lowest recorded temperature was -12°C (10.4°F), and the highest 31°C (88°F). The main precipitation in winter is rain. The city can experience some snow showers during the months from November to April, but lying snow is rare (on average, only 4/5 days). Hail occurs more often than snow, and is most likely during the winter and spring months. Another rare type of weather is thunder and lightning, most common in summer. Typically, the coldest months are December, January and February. However, temperatures in summer in recent years have been rising to substantially above average figures, e.g. 31°C (88°F) in July 2006, over 11°C higher than the average maximum, especially during the heat waves in 2003 and 2006.

Despite a number of high profile drug-related and gangland murders in recent years, Dublin is much safer than most other European capitals [6]. However, many sociologists believe this is more due to the fact indigenous Dubliners rarely alert law enforcement of local crimes, so recorded crime rates would be lower than actual rates. Official statistics from An Garda Síochána for 2001-2005[7] show that the overall headline crime rate for the metropolitan area per 1,000 of population is the highest in the country. Parts of the inner city have headline crime rates three to four times as high as those in other urban areas in Ireland.[citation needed] During the 1980s and 1990s a heroin epidemic swept through working class areas of the inner city and outlying suburbs. High-profile anti-drug marches took place in many areas.


 General situation
Dublin is a major European cultural centre and the origin of many prominent literary figures, including Jonathan Swift, Maeve Binchy, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, J.M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Seán O'Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, and Roddy Doyle. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by James Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. Ulysses, also by Joyce, is a novel set in Dublin, full of topographical detail and is both acclaimed and controversial.

The National Print Museum of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, both the National Gallery and the National Library of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, the Chester Beatty Library and three centres of the National Museum of Ireland are in Dublin.

There are a number of galleries and art centres in the city centre, such as The City Arts Centre, Four, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy.

Temple Bar is a popular night-life location and attracts many people from Great Britain and beyond for weekend visits.

The city is one of the most youthful in the world — an estimated 50% of inhabitants are younger than 25.

 Multicultural Dublin
Despite having a long tradition of emigration that continued up until the early 1990s, Dublin now has a sizeable number of immigrants, especially from China, Poland, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Lithuania, and Romania. There are also considerable numbers from other fellow EU member states, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia, while over the last decade a large number of Irish who had emigrated have returned to settle.


Dublin is the primary centre of education in Ireland, with three universities and several other higher education institutions. There are 20 third-level institutes in the city. [9] The University of Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland dating from the 16th Century. Its sole constituent college, Trinity College, was established by Royal Charter under Elizabeth I and was closed to Roman Catholics until Catholic Emancipation; the Catholic hierarchy then banned Roman Catholics from attending it until 1970. The National University of Ireland has its seat in Dublin, which is also the location of the associated constituent university of University College Dublin (UCD), the largest university in Ireland; although it is located in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, just outside the city boundary. Dublin City University (DCU) is the most recent university and specialises in business, engineering, and science courses, particularly with relevance to industry. The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is a medical school which is a recognised college of the NUI, it is situated at St. Stephen's Green in the city centre. The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, another constituent university of the NUI, is in neighbouring Co. Kildare, about 25 km from the city centre.

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is a modern technical college and is the country's largest non-university third-level institution; it specialises in technical subjects but also offers many arts and humanities courses. It is soon to move to a new campus at Grangegorman. Two suburbs of Dublin, Tallaght and Blanchardstown have Institutes of Technology: Institute of Technology, Tallaght, and Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown.

The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (DLIADT) support training and research in art, design and media technology.

There are also various other smaller specialised colleges, including private ones. Examples include The Gaiety School of Acting which hosts both a two year intensive degree in acting and a three year undergraduate BA degree in acting in conjunction with Dublin City University, and Dublin Business School, which is the largest independent institute of third-level education in the country, located on Aungier Street.

1853 — Great Industrial Exhibition
1865 — International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures
1874 — International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures

 Northside and Southside

Traditionally, a north-south division has existed in Dublin with the dividing line being the River Liffey. The Northside is seen by some as working-class, while the Southside is seen as middle and upper middle class. Dublin postal districts have odd numbers for districts on the Northside — for example, Phibsboro is in Dublin 7 — and even numbers for the Southside — for example, Sandymount is in Dublin 4. An exception to the rule is Dublin 8, which straddles the river.

This division dates back centuries, certainly to the point when the Earl of Kildare built his residence on the then less-regarded Southside. When asked why he was building on the Southside, he replied "Where I go, fashion follows me", and he was promptly followed by most other Irish peers.

The Northside/Southside divide is punctuated by examples of Dublin "sub-culture" stereotypes, with upper-middle class constituents seen as tending towards an accent and demeanour synonymous with (but not exclusive to) the Dublin 4 postcode on the Southside (see Dublin 4, Ross O'Carroll-Kelly), and working-class Dubliners seen as tending towards accents and demeanour associated with (but not exclusive to) Northside and inner-city Dublin neighbourhoods.

This simplification of economic and social communities in Dublin ("Southside rich, liberal and snobby"/"Northside poor, industrial and common") does not survive more than a few real-world examples however. For example, the President of Ireland's residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, is on the Northside, although its postal district is Dublin 8, a Southside number. Similarly, some of Dublin's working-class suburbs such as Tallaght, Dolphin's Barn, Crumlin, Inchicore, Ringsend, Irishtown, Clondalkin and Ballyfermot, are south of the river while wealthy suburbs such as Castleknock, Clontarf, Glasnevin, Howth, Malahide, Portmarnock and Sutton are on the Northside. Areas of the north inner city such as Smithfield, the IFSC and Spencer Dock are also associated with affluence.

The north-south divide has mellowed considerably in the past number of years. This is primarily due to the favourable economic conditions currently in Ireland and the emergence of the Celtic Tiger economy in Ireland. Correspondingly, Dublin has progressed to become one of the wealthiest cities in Europe.

The economic divide in Dublin is east-west as well as north-south, the east side generally being wealthier than the west. There are significant social divisions between the coastal suburbs in the east of the city, including those on the Northside, and the newer developments further to the west.

In 2006, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Dublin as the 16th most expensive city in the world, and the Mercer world-wide quality of living survey rated Dublin as the city with the 24th best quality of life in the world [10].


The headquarters of almost all of Ireland's sporting organisations are in Dublin. Croke Park, an 82,500-capacity stadium near Drumcondra, is the base of the Gaelic Athletic Association and hosts Gaelic Football and Hurling games during the summer months and on St Patrick's Day, and International rules football in alternating years. The Dublin branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association play their league games at Parnell Park.

Lansdowne Road is a 48,000 capacity stadium owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and is the venue for home games of the Republic's national football (soccer) team. It is due to be demolished at the end of 2006 and replaced with a state-of-the-art 50,000 all-seated stadium.

Dalymount Park, in Phibsboro and the traditional Home of Irish Soccer, is now used only for home games of local club Bohemian FC. Rivals Shelbourne FC play at Tolka Park, in Drumcondra, while St Patrick's Athletic play in Richmond Park in Inchicore on the south west edge of the city. Shamrock Rovers, Ireland's most successful club, are originally from Milltown but have spent the last two decades in search of a home, and hope to complete a new stadium in Tallaght in 2006. The other senior soccer clubs are University College Dublin F.C., based in Belfield, and the now defunct Dublin City F.C. (formerly Home Farm F.C.).

The National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown is the first building to open in the Sports Campus Ireland. There are several race courses in the Dublin area including Shelbourne Park (Greyhound racing) and Leopardstown (Horse racing). The world famous Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, Ballsbridge, which hosted the Show Jumping World Championships in 1982. There are also Basketball, Handball, Hockey and Athletics stadia — most notably Morton Stadium in Santry, which held the athletics events of the 2003 Special Olympics.

The Dublin Marathon has been run since 1980.

There is a vibrant night life in Dublin — the most internationally notorious area for these activities is the Temple Bar area south of the Liffey. This area has become synonymous with stag and hen parties and tourists, causing many locals to steer clear of the area. Temple Bar was originally redeveloped as Dublin's cultural quarter and retains part of this spirit in the form of street performers, drummers, and many intimate small music venues. The area around Stephen's Green - especially Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street - has also become a centre for some of the most popular nightclubs and typical Irish pubs in Dublin.

There are several theatres within the city centre, the largest of which include the Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Olympia Theatre, and the Gaiety Theatre, which opens its doors after the evening theatre production to host a variety of live music, dancing, and films. The largest theatre is the Mahony Hall in The Helix at Dublin City University in Glasnevin.

There are two large cinemas in the city centre; the Savoy Cinema and the Cineworld Cinema are north of the Liffey. Alternative and special-interest cinema can be found in the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar, and in the Screen Cinema on d'Olier Street. Numerous larger cinemas are in the suburbs.



The City is governed by Dublin City Council (formerly called Dublin Corporation), which is presided over by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who is elected for a yearly term and resides in the Mansion House. Dublin City Council is based in two major buildings. Council meetings take place in the headquarters at Dublin City Hall, the former Royal Exchange taken over for city government use in the 1850s. Many of its administrative staff are based in the controversial Civic Offices on Wood Quay.

The City Council is a unicameral assembly of 52 members, elected every five years from Local Election Areas. The party with the majority of seats decides who sits on what committee, what policies are followed, and who becomes Lord Mayor. Chaired by the Lord Mayor, the Council passes an annual budget for spending on housing, traffic management, refuse, drainage, planning, etc. The Dublin City Manager is responsible for the implementation of decisions of the City Council.


The national parliament of the Republic of Ireland, the Oireachtas, consists of the President of Ireland and two houses, Dáil Éireann (Chamber of Deputies) and Seanad Éireann (Senate). All three are based in Dublin. The President of Ireland lives in Áras an Uachtaráin, the former residence of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State in the city's largest park, Phoenix Park. Both houses of the Oireachtas meet in Leinster House, a former ducal palace on the south side. The building has been the home of Irish parliaments since the creation of the Irish Free State on December 6, 1922.

Government Buildings
Formerly the Royal College of Science

The Irish Government is based in the Government Buildings, a large building designed by Sir Aston Webb, the architect who created the Edwardian facade of Buckingham Palace, as the Royal College of Science. In 1921 the House of Commons of Southern Ireland met here. Given its location next to Leinster House, the Irish Free State government took over part of the building to serve as a temporary home for some ministries. Both it and Leinster House, meant to be a temporary home of parliament, became permanent homes.

The old Irish Houses of Parliament of the Kingdom of Ireland are in College Green.

 Economy and infrastructure

 Communications and media
Dublin is the centre of both media and communications in Ireland, with many newspapers, radio stations, television stations and telephone companies having their headquarters there. Radio Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) is Ireland's national state broadcaster, and has its main offices and studios in Donnybrook, Dublin. Fair City is the broadcaster's capital-based soap, located in the fictional Dublin suburb of Carraigstown. TV3, Channel 6, City Channel and Setanta Sports are also based in Dublin. The main infrastructure and offices of An Post and the former state telephone company Eircom, as well as Meteor, Vodafone and O2 are located in the capital. Dublin is also the headquarters of important national newspapers such as The Irish Times and Irish Independent.


Space Radar Image of Dublin with the Wicklow Mountains to the bottom left[2].
Dublin is at the centre of Ireland's transport system. Dublin Port is the country's most important sea port. Dublin Airport is the busiest airport by far on the island, registering over 21 million passengers in 2006, making it the 14th busiest airport in Europe with flights to other airports in Ireland, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Heuston Station and Connolly Station are the major railway stations: Heuston connects with the south and west, while Connolly serves Sligo, Wexford and Belfast. These two mainline stations have recently been connected by a Light-Rail connection called the Luas. Dublin also has the busiest Bus Depot in the country which is called Busarus. From here, there are frequent departures to all areas of the Island.

 Road network
Dublin is the main hub of the country's road network. The M50 motorway (the busiest road in Ireland), a semi-ring road runs around the south, west and north of the city, connecting the most important national primary routes that fan out from the capital to the regions. A toll of €1.90 applies on the West-Link, two adjacent concrete bridges that tower high above the River Liffey near the village of Lucan. Construction of the M50 took almost 20 years, with the final section opening in June 2005. A court case regarding the destruction of medieval ruins at Carrickmines Castle delayed the final completion of the route. The M50 currently has two traffic lanes in each direction but work is underway between the N4 and N7 junctions to increase it to three. The National Roads Authority also intends to increase capacity at many of the motorway's busiest junctions by building triple-grade interchanges, work on which has begun.

Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge
Beyond it, the dome of the 18th century Custom House and Liberty Hall

To complete the ring road, an eastern bypass is proposed. The first half of this project, the Dublin Port Tunnel, has recently been completed. It opened on 20 December 2006 and caters mainly for heavy vehicles, with tolls being levied on lighter vehicles. Dublin City Council hopes to ban all unnecessary trucks and lorries from the city quays in the near future.

Though originally intended to be a two-lane single bore catering specifically for HGV traffic, the Port Tunnel has been built to motorway standard as two separate tunnels for all traffic, although HGV traffic will not be tolled. The tunnels are deeper than originally planned to reduce disturbance to residential areas, and were built one kilometre longer and with more ancillary works to facilitate this.

The capital is surrounded by what have been termed by Dublin City Council an inner and outer orbital route. The inner orbital route runs roughly around the heart of the Georgian city from St. Stephen's Green to Mountjoy Square and from the King's Inns to St Patrick's Cathedral. The outer orbital route runs largely along the natural circle formed by Dublin's two canals, the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal, and the North and South Circular Roads.

 Public transport
In 2002 around 46% of Greater Dublin's commuters walked, cycled or used public transport to get to work.[8][9] The public transport system is made up of hundreds of bus routes, five suburban rail lines (one electrified) and two light rail lines. Plans under the government's Transport 21 initiative are underway to build two high capacity metro lines, extend the electrified DART lines westward and to expand on the highly successful Luas light rail system. The public transport network is overlooked by the Dublin Transportation Office.


A DART train, forming part of the Dublin Suburban Rail network.
The bulk of the public transport system in Dublin consists of nearly 200 daytime Dublin Bus routes operated by Bus Átha Cliath (identified by number and sometimes suffixed with a letter, e.g. 40, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D) and 24 "Nitelink" overnight services, which run on Monday to Saturday nights, identified by a number suffixed with "N" e.g. 40N). Apart from some tourist buses, all Dublin Bus services are one-person operated, and daytime fares are determined by the number of fare stages travelled through. Fares are payable in coin and only the exact fare is acceptable — if passengers overpay, they are issued "change tickets", which must be presented at the Dublin Bus office in O'Connell Street to be converted to cash. Various pre-paid tickets and passes can be bought from Dublin Bus or its agents, and are processed by a validating machine on the right of the entrance door of the bus. Nitelink buses charge a flat fare regardless of the distance travelled. Dublin bus has been criticised for overcrowding and under-serviced routes.[citation needed] A number of smaller other bus companies provide services as well.

 Suburban Rail/DART
The Dublin Suburban Rail network consists of five lines serving mainly the Greater Dublin Area, though some trains go further to commuter towns such as Drogheda. One of these lines runs along Dublin Bay and is known as the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) line, and is the only electrified railway in the country. Over 80,000 people use the DART line every day.

Plans are underway to greatly expand DART by the Dublin Interconnector rail project, boring a tunnel under the city centre, allowing the creation of two separate DART lines, running from the north west & south west through the city centre to the south and north respectively.

Luas Tram

 Light rail/tram
A two-line light rail/tram network called the Luas opened in 2004 and has proved popular in the areas it serves, although the lack of a link between the two lines is widely criticised. There are ambitious plans for the Luas, with seven projects (including a link between the two lines) planned. It is estimated that around 80,000 people use the Luas daily.

In 2006 the Railway Procurement Agency announced that the Luas system reached profitability ahead of schedule, after only a year of operation. The Luas is the only mass transit in the country to operate without Government assistance, and among the few in Europe to do so.

 The future
The Irish Government has launched a national transport plan, which is expected to cost €34.4 billion over the next 10 years. Most of this will go towards the Dublin Port Tunnel, seven new Luas projects, two Metro lines, DART extensions, and an underground station at St Stephen's Green integrating all services. Another project is the Interconnector, a rail tunnel connecting Connolly and Heuston stations via St Stephen's Green. This map shows how the Greater Dublin Area rail network is projected to look by 2015. By the time Transport 21 is complete, it is estimated that over 365 million passenger journeys will be made in the Greater Dublin Area on all forms of public transport annually, or 1 million daily (on average).

 Industry and economy
Probably the most famous industry in Dublin is brewing: Guinness has been brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewery since 1759.

During the Celtic Tiger years of the mid to late nineties a large number of pharmaceutical and information technology companies have located in Dublin and its suburbs and there are many Information and Communications Technology companies operating in and around the city. Microsoft's EMEA Operations Centre is located in Sandyford Industrial Estate to the south of the city and Google and Amazon have established operational bases in the city. Intel and Hewlett-Packard have large manufacturing plants in Leixlip, County Kildare, a suburb to the west of Dublin. Google, Yahoo! and PayPal (among others) also have their European headquarters in Dublin. Dublin is internationally recognised for its large amount of high-tech industrial estates, business centres and financial centres — which have led it to be known as the "Silicon Valley of Europe".

The Spire viewed from Henry Street

The Digital Hub — St Patrick's Tower

Dublin is at the centre of Ireland's economy, and in 2004 the Greater Dublin Area contributed over €69.6 billion (US$92 billion) to the total Irish GDP, or around 45%. Banking, finance and commerce are also important in the city — the IFSC alone handles over €1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) a year. And many international firms have established major headquarters in the city (eg. Citibank, Commerzbank). Also located in Dublin is the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ), Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX) and Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX).

In 2005, around 800,000 people were employed in the Greater Dublin Area, of whom around 600,000 were employed in the services sector and 200,000 in the industrial sector. [11]

The Celtic Tiger boom has led to a sharp increase in construction, which is now also a major employer, especially for immigrants. Redevelopment is taking place in large projects such as Dublin Docklands, Spencer Dock, "A New Heart for Dublin"PDF and others, transforming once run-down industrial areas in the city centre. Dublin City Council seems to now have loosened the former limits on "high-rise" structures. The tallest building, Liberty Hall, is only 59.4 m tall; already under construction in the city is Heuston Gate, a 117 m building (134 m including spire). The 120 m Britain Quay Tower and the 120 m Point Village 'Watchtower' tower have been approved. Construction has started on the latter.

 Tourist Attractions

The Garden of Remembrance commemorates the Irish fight for independence during the Anglo-Irish War.

^ Dublin City Council Dublin City Coat of Arms (retrieved 16 February 2007
^ 'Baile Átha Cliath' (or simply 'Áth Cliath') and 'Dubh Linn' are the two names of the city, the former being the one currently in official and common usage.
^ CSO population trendsPDF
^ BBC record of Survey
^ It should be noted that this state was unilaterally declared and was not recognised by any other country apart from Russia. The control did not extend to all of the island, particularly unionist areas in the north east.
^ Dublin's weather
^ Dublin Airports weather
^ Weather and climate data from BBC Weather.
^ Dublin facts
^ Economist ranks Dublin as 16th most expensive city
^ Dublin employmentPDF

 Additional reading
Pat Liddy, Dublin A Celebration — From the 1st to the 21st Century (Dublin City Council, 2000) (ISBN 0-946841-50-0)
Maurice Craig, The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880 (Batsford, Paperback edition 1989) (ISBN 0-7134-2587-3)
Frank McDonald, Saving the City: How to Halt the Destruction of Dublin (Tomar Publishing, 1989) (ISBN 1-871793-03-3)
Edward McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland 1680–1760 (Yale University Press, 2001) (ISBN 0300090641
Hanne Hem, Dubliners, An Anthropologist's Account, Oslo, 1994
John Flynn and Jerry Kelleher, Dublin Journeys in America (High Table Publishing, 2003) (ISBN 0-9544694-1-0)