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Clondalkin

Cluain Dolcáin
Suburban town
The Clondalkin round tower
The Clondalkin round tower
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County South Dublin
Population
 (2016)
 • Urban
46,813
Time zone UTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Eircode routing key
D22

Clondalkin ( klun-DAWK-ən; Irish: Cluain Dolcáin, meaning Dolcan's meadow) is a suburban town situated 10 km south-west of Dublin city centre, Ireland, under the administrative jurisdiction of South Dublin. It features an 8th century round tower that acts as a focal point for the area. Clondalkin forms part of the Dublin Mid-West Dáil constituency.

Clondalkin is also the name of a civil parish in the ancient barony of Uppercross, and is also used in relation to some local religious parishes.

History

Prehistory

Neolithic tribes first settled in the area around 7,600 years ago, taking advantage of the site's favourable location on the River Camac, overlooking the River Liffey and the inland pass between the mountains and the river. Evidence of the presence of the Cualann Celtic people (an early tribe possibly noted on as the Cauci on Ptolemy's world map) can be found in various mounds and raths.

Christian era

Clondalkin is believed to have been founded by Saint Cronan Mochua as a monastic settlement on the River Camac over 1,400 years ago (possibly late 6th or early 7th centuries). The round tower was built perhaps two centuries later (circa 790 AD) as part of the monastery. This would make it an unusual tower, as most scholars assume that the main period of their construction was between the start of the 10th century and the end of the 12th century, and that this one was built in the 10th or 11th century. By the 8th century, Saint Fugillus was Bishop of Clondalkin and noted gospel manuscripts were produced – the most famous of these being the Clondalkin mass book which is on display in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Viking arrival

Clondalkin was sacked by Vikings in 832 AD, and the monastery was burned to the ground. One of the early Norse kings of Dublin, Amlaíb Conung, built a fortress on the site in the middle of the 9th century. In 867 a force led by Cennétig mac Gaíthéne, king of Loígis, burned the fortress at Clondalkin and killed 100 of Amlaíb's followers. The monastery was later restored and, with help from other surrounding monasteries, influenced the Viking settlers in their conversion to Christianity. The district remained under Norse control until the Viking defeat by Brian Boru at the famous Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Norman era

Round Tower Clondalkin Dublin 1820
View from 1820
NEWENHAM(1830) p117 DUBLIN - CLONDALKIN CASTLE & TOWER
Clondalkin Castle - view from 1830

Clondalkin witnessed another historic event during the Norman invasion in 1171 when there was a battle there between Richard de Clare (Strongbow) and the last High King of Ireland Ruaidhrí Ua Conchabhair.

Clondalkin is a civil parish in the ancient barony of Uppercross. An exclave of the parish, consisting of the single townland of Blundelstown, is located in the neighbouring barony of Newcastle to the west.

17th century and beyond

Centuries later, Clondalkin was the scene for some of the fighting in the 1641 Rebellion, when the Gaelic Irish in Ulster, and later in the rest of the kingdom, and the Old English in the Pale of Leinster rebelled against rule from Westminster. (Ireland had its own parliament at this time, but it was severely limited in its powers, e.g. by Poynings' Law.)

Clondalkin Paper Mill was established at the start of the 19th century by Thomas Seery and Son. Having changed ownership over the years, activity peaked during the First World War as the focus moved to war production. Productivity slowed until the mill closed its doors for the last time in 1987. The Mill Shopping Centre was later built on the same street, keeping the name alive.

Historical features

A focal point for Clondalkin is the eighth-century round tower, one of the four remaining towers in the historic County Dublin. Acknowledged as one of the oldest in the country, it is 25.6 metres high and has its original conical cap. In July 2017, The Round Tower Heritage Centre opened in the village core, the result of a €3.5 million investment into enhancing the historic Round Tower with an interactive interpretive centre and a monastic-style garden. The centre addresses the history of Clondalkin and the round tower.

Clondalkin is also home to St Brigid's Well, which is said to have been established as a well for baptising pagans by Saint Brigid in the 5th century. It was believed that the well-possessed powers of healing.

Tully's Castle is a castle and a National Monument.

Localities

North Clondalkin, within Dublin 22, also comprises multiple housing estates and apartment complexes, including Neilstown, Rowlagh, St Marks, Quarryvale (Greenfort and Shancastle), Harelawn and Ronanstown.

Amenities and businesses

Modern Clondalkin is a busy satellite town of Dublin, with a population of 46,813 in 2016.

Retail facilities include branches of four major supermarket chains and petrol filling stations. The village centre is a base for small businesses including solicitors, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, pharmacies, and a tattoo and piercing studio.

Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and The Square shopping centre in Tallaght are nearby.

Clondalkin has a branch of South Dublin Libraries in a building which used to house a Carnegie Library. North Clondalkin Library, opposite the Immaculate Heart of Saint Mary's Church, was due to open in late 2019. There is also a post office.

Wheatfield Prison and Cloverhill Prison are two prisons near Clondalkin.

Microsoft, Google, Arytza, Wyeth, Takeda and Pfizer all have significant data centres and development facilities in the Grange Castle Business Park.

On 7 March 2014, Clondalkin became the 51st "Fairtrade town" in Ireland. Farmers from Belize and El Salvador, along with local councillors and community representatives, attended a ceremony in Clonburris National School to mark the occasion.

Transport

Clondalkin is served by public transport to Dublin city centre, to nearby suburbs, and to neighbouring settled areas such as Tallaght.

Dublin Bus provide bus routes including the 13, 68, 69, 76, 239, 40 and 151. Many of these run from areas near Clondalkin, such as Rathcoole and Newcastle, into the city centre via Clondalkin. Some services, such as the 76, do not service the city centre.

The Luas Red Line runs from the Red Cow interchange park and ride station providing links to the town square in Tallaght and Dublin city centre. However, the Luas station is approximately fifteen to twenty minutes' walk from Clondalkin village.

Clondalkin railway station opened on 4 August 1846 and was closed for goods traffic on 9 June 1947. It was reopened during the 1990s for commuter services. Commuter trains are operated by Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) and run between Heuston station in Dublin and Kildare Town in County Kildare. A new station, to replace rather than supplement the previous station, has been built at Fonthill, north of Bawnogue. The original Clondalkin station was demolished in 2008 to facilitate a four-line track, allowing express trains to pass through without affecting local services on the Kildare line.

Bus Éireann services stop to collect and set down passengers at Newlands Cross, on the N7 road near Clondalkin. These services have destinations all over the west and south of the country; services to the north do not pass Newlands Cross.

Clondalkin is on the preferred route for the proposed Dublin Metro West line, as of the announcement of the preferred route in 2007. The Metro is intended to provide a transport link from Dublin city centre to Dublin Airport which will not have to go through street traffic. It is proposed that the Metro will have stations near Luas and train stations in some cases, including at Clondalkin train station.

Media

Two local newspapers, the Clondalkin Echo and Clondalkin Gazette, serve the area. The latter is published by Gazette Group Newspapers (part-owned by the Irish Times), and was launched in October 2005. The Clondalkin News is delivered free into households in Clondalkin.

Sport

GAA

The town's oldest sports club is the Round Towers GAA Club, which was founded in December 1884 and is located on Convent Road. Club members have represented Dublin in the inter-county competition since the nineteenth century, when Tom Errity won All-Ireland Senior Football medals in 1892, 1894, 1898, 1899 and 1902. More recently, Jim Gavin won an All-Ireland senior medal with Dublin in 1995 and as a manager in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Soccer

The towns main association football team is Clondalkin Celtic F.C. formed in 1969 with teams competing in the Leinster Senior League, Dublin and District Schoolboys League.

The town's two main previous association football teams were Moyle Park Past Pupils FC, and Neilstown Rangers (past winners of the FAI Junior Cup). St Francis Boys FC are one of the leading schoolboy clubs in the Republic of Ireland, and have been at home at John Hyland Park, Baldonnel, close to Clondalkin since relocating from their original home in The Liberties.

Some other local teams include Booth Road Celtic, Castle Park F.C., Moorefield United, and Knockmitten United – an up-and-coming senior and schoolboy football club which was founded in 2008 with the amalgamation of Hillview and Monksfield.

More recently, the likes of Collinstown FC, Liffey Valley Rangers and Clondalkin Celtic F.C. have emerged as strong soccer clubs in the area.

Rugby

Rugby union is played at Clondalkin Rugby Club, Kingswood, who were winners of the 2006 Spencer Cup and 2006 Under-18 Premier League. The club was formed in 1973–74 and fields four senior teams and under 19s, 17s, 15s and other youth teams. The club will celebrate its 40th season 2013–2014

Boxing

Bernard Dunne the former WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion is from Neilstown in Clondalkin.

Kenny Egan, winner of a silver medal for boxing in the 2008 Olympics, comes from Clondalkin, originally Woodford estate.

Basketball

Dublin Lions Basketball Club has teams playing in Division 2, 3 and 4 of the Dublin Men Basketball League, Teams in Senior 2, 5 and 6 of Dublin Ladies Basketball League, there are boys and girls teams from u11 to u20s and an academy for children between ages 4 – 10. The club is based between Coláiste Bride and Moyle Park College.

The National Baseball Facility in Ireland, O'Malley Field, is located in Corkagh Demesne Park, in southwest Clondalkin. This is the home of the Irish national baseball team.

Education

Clondalkin has primary and secondary schools of different denominations.

Among its primary schools are: Sacred heart of Shruleen, St. Ronans, Clonburris National School, Sacred Heart National School, St. Joseph's Boys National School, Scoil Íde, Scoil Áine, St John's National School (Church of Ireland), Scoil Mhuire, Talbot S.N.S and Scoil Nano Nagle.

The secondary schools are: Moyle Park College (for boys), Deansrath Community College, Coláiste Bríde (for girls), Collinstown Park Community College and St. Kevin's Community College.

Clondalkin also contains three Gaelscoileanna (Irish-language schools) – Gaelscoil Chluain Dolcáin and Gaelscoil na Camóige at primary level and Coláiste Chilliain at second level.

Local organisations

Community organisations include a unit of Toastmasters International, an Order of Malta branch and several youth groups including Clondalkin Youth Theatre (associated with the Irish National Association for Youth Drama).

The town is also home to St Joseph's Pipe band (established in 1937). The band is one of Ireland's most successful having won several All-Ireland Championship Titles. The Clondalkin Youth Band was founded in 1986 is consistently ranked among the top bands in Ireland.

Scouting Ireland meet in the Scout Hall most evenings. Boy's and Girl's Brigades, girl guides and Brownies meet at St John's Parish Hall. Local drama groups are Clondalkin Drama Group and Clondalkin Youth Theatre.

The Clondalkin Tidy Towns group started in 2012. They were awarded the South Dublin County Community Group of the Year 2012 and were also nominated for a Pride of Place award for 2012.

The Civil Defence established a unit in Deansrath during 2010. It specialises in auxiliary fire fighting, emergency medical services and swift-water technical rescue. A notable task assigned to the Clondalkin unit of Dublin Civil Defence was responding to flooded homes next to the Camac River in Clondalkin Village on 24 October 2011. The unit successfully rescued families from rising floodwaters.

Irish language

Áras Chrónáin promotes Irish language and culture (e.g. music and dancing). Muintir Chrónáin have been awarded the main national Glór na nGael awards in 1978 and 1988 and hosted Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1991. The national director of Oireachtas na Gaeilge is Liam Ó Maolaodha from Clondalkin. The grassroots Irish language project Pop Up Gaeltacht was co-founded by Clondalkin native Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh.

There are an estimated 1,500 Irish-speaking pupils in Clondalkin, attending the two Gaelscoileanna (Irish language primary schools) and Gaelcholáiste (Irish language secondary school).

The idea of designation for Clondalkin as a Gaeltacht Network region was raised in 2012, based on proposed amendments to the definition of "Gaeltacht," to be "based on linguistic criteria instead of on geographic areas".

Politics and local government

Clondalkin is included in the Dublin Mid-West Dáil Éireann constituency. Four TDs were elected to Dáil Éireann in 2020 – two from Sinn Féin, one from People Before Profit and one from Fine Gael.

Clondalkin is mostly in the Clondalkin Local electoral area for county council elections (along with Rathcoole, Newcastle and Saggart), with parts in the Tallaght Central local electoral area.

People

  • Karl Bermingham, footballer
  • Mic Christopher, singer-songwriter
  • Brendan Courtney, television presenter
  • Seán Dillon, footballer
  • Simon Young, broadcaster
  • Bernard Dunne, boxer
  • Corrina Durran, member of girlband Wonderland
  • Kenny Egan, boxer
  • Jim Gavin, footballer and manager
  • Mary Kennedy, television host
  • Cathal Mac Coille, broadcaster and journalist
  • Sinéad Mulvey, singer, represented Ireland in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest
  • Adrienne Murphy, model and Miss Universe Ireland 2012
  • Derek Murray, footballer
  • Graham Norton, comedian and presenter
  • Neil O'Donoghue, American footballer
  • Eoin Ó Murchú, writer and journalist
  • Stephen Quinn, footballer
  • Dermot Ryan, Archbishop of Dublin (1972–1984)
  • Aidan Turner, actor
  • Katharine Tynan, novelist
  • Glenn Whelan footballer
  • Arthur Wolfe, 1st Viscount Kilwarden

Climate

The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).

Climate data for Clondalkin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.8
(46)
8.3
(47)
10
(50)
12.2
(54)
15
(59)
17.8
(64)
20
(68)
19.4
(67)
17.2
(63)
13.3
(56)
10
(50)
8.3
(47)
13.3
(56)
Average low °C (°F) 2.2
(36)
2.2
(36)
3.3
(38)
3.9
(39)
6.7
(44)
9.4
(49)
11.7
(53)
11.1
(52)
9.4
(49)
7.2
(45)
4.4
(40)
2.2
(36)
6.1
(43)
Precipitation mm (inches) 66
(2.6)
51
(2)
51
(2)
48
(1.9)
61
(2.4)
53
(2.1)
51
(2)
64
(2.5)
71
(2.8)
71
(2.8)
69
(2.7)
79
(3.1)
734
(28.9)
Source: Weatherbase
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