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Dún Laoghaire | History

Dun Laoghaire

Apart from been a popular spot for a Teddy’s ice cream, local sailing and walks around one of the worlds finest harbours, Dún Laoghaire has a long and impressive history. Dún Laoghaire takes it's name from the great King Laoire who in the fifth century maintained a great "Dún" or stone fort which would have stood probably where the bridge over the railway to the Coal Harbour is now. Unfortunately the fort was demolished in 1803 to make way for a Martello tower which in turn was replaced in 1834 by the first suburban railway in the world which is now the DART.

By 1760 the area only made up a small village of a few fishermen’s houses where the Purty Kichen Pub is today. However this village changed when a decision was made to build a harbour in 1817. This decision was taken as entry into the River Liffey was becoming more and more difficult, with ships having to wait days before they could berth and off load their cargo. The amount of shipwrecks was also becoming unacceptable, regular wrecks off the coast of Blackrock and Monkstown occurred with tragic consequences with many lives lost, which eventually led to the setting up of the lifeboat station in 1803.

After the construction of the harbour. The thriving port prompted the building of a railway to link the Southside of Dublin to the City. Churches, schools and shops had sprung up to accommodate the needs of the labourers and their families working on the construction of the harbour and then the railway, transforming the fishing village of Dún Laoghaire into a prosperous victorian town that catered for the day trippers who would come from all over Dublin to enjoy the shopping and entertainment that the markets, the bandstand and the pavilion provided This can still be seen with the recently reconstructed victorian peoples park, architecture, and yacht clubs. Dún Laoghaire has also had its share of Famous figures passing through on Visits to Ireland includeing Queen Victoria.

The Queen Victoria fountain erected in 1900 to commemorate the Royal visit. James Joyce lived for a short period of time in one of the Martello towers (built to defend against a potential napoleon invasion) in Sandycove. This was included it in his book Ulysses. Some also say that St. Patrick when a boy shepherd arrived at Dún Laoghaire as a slave, it was the same Patrick who returned in 432A.D. Now nearing the 21st Century, Dún Laoghaire stills provides excellent shopping value and entertainment, with plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants to choose from. Today in Dún Laoghaire, people still enjoy a stroll along the "Prom", and then down the Pier. Stopping off at Teddy's for an ice-cream on the way home. During your visit you can enjoy anything your heart desires. Dún Laoghaire has a Wide Range of Activities for everyone, old and young. With the Harbour as the center piece of the town, you can be assured of a wide and varied selection of water sports and to choose from. Whether it's speeding through the waves of Dublin Bay and dancing the night away until the wee hours of the morning, or just taking it easy, Dún Laoghaire has everything on offer. It is also the ideal place to base yourself if your planning a visit to Dublin, or the rest of Ireland.

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