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.