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This article is about the city in Ireland. For other uses of the name, see Dublin (disambiguation).

Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha CliathTemplate:Fn), is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland, locatedTemplate:Fn near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin RegionTemplate:Fn. The city has served continually as Ireland's capital city since mediæval times. Template:Ireland city infobox

Average temperature (red) and precipitations (blue) in Dublin

The city proper has a population of some 495,000 (CSO Census 2002), though the population of the Dublin metropolitan area is higher, with the development and spread of suburbs and satellite towns continuing into the surrounding areas. The population of the city and region is 1,164,400 (CSO Census 2002); although even this figure does not accurately reflect the population of "urban Dublin", failing to account for largely integrated parts of north-east Kildare and conversely, undeveloped rural areas in north Fingal. The population of urban Dublin is currently projected to be 1,274,100 for the year 2006 when the next census will take place.

The term Dublin Region has become a substitute for the traditional County Dublin, whilst "Greater Dublin Area" is accepted as including Dublin city and all of counties Wicklow, Kildare, Fingal, South Dublin, Meath and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown with the limits of the commuter belt stretching to a much greater distance.


Dublin is a major cultural centre in Ireland. Temple Bar is an important place for night life and often people from Britain and beyond visit for the weekend.

Dublin is the origin of many prominent artists and writers. James Joyce, , Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker, 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 James Joyce, a novel set in Dublin, is full of topographical detail and is both acclaimed and controversial.

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

Multicultural Dublin

Dublin has significant Nigerian, Chinese, Korean, Indian and Eastern European populations. Ireland's economic success since the mid-nineties has attracted immigrant communities from around the world. Old and once run-down streets rapidly became 'ethnic districs' — such as Moore Street's tranformation into 'Little Africa' and Parnell Street East's into the city's defacto 'Chinatown' and 'Asian Village'.


Henrietta Street
A streetscape in georgian Dublin

Dublin is the centre of education in Ireland, having three universities. The University of Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland dating from the 16th Century. Its sole constituent college Trinity College, Dublin was established by Royal Charter under Elizabeth I. The National University of Ireland has its seat in Dublin as well as the location of the associated constituent university of University College Dublin. Dublin City University is the most recent university created in Ireland and specialises in business, engineering, and science courses which are relevant to industry. It prides itself on its research record. The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is an independent medical school located on Stephen's Green in the city centre. The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, another constituent university of the NUI is located about 25 km from Dublin.

Dublin Institute of Technology is a modern technical college and is the country's largest non-university third level institution; it specialises in technical subjects but also has unique arts courses. It is soon to move to the Grangegorman Campus. There are also smaller institutes of technology at Blanchardstown and Tallaght. 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, in the city. One example is The Gaiety School of Acting where they host a two year intensive degree in acting.


Northside vs Southside

The River Liffey divides the city

Traditionally, a north versus south division has existed in Dublin with the dividing line provided by the River Liffey. This tradition has been reinforced by the geographic North South divide. The Northside is generally seen as working-class, while the Southside is seen as middle and upper middle class. This is also reflected by Dublin postal districts, with odd numbers being used for districts on the Northside, e.g: Phibsboro is in D7, and even numbers for ones on the Southside, e.g: Sandymount is in D4.

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 South Side, he replied "Where I go, fashion follows me", and indeed 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 D4 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. (see Scanger)

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 D8, a Southside number. Three of Dublin's wealthiest suburbs, Howth Malahide and Castleknock are to be found on the Northside. The Southside similarly has many working-class suburbs, like Palmerstown, Crumlin, and Ballyfermot.

In fact, a greater division in social terms is evident between the coastal suburbs in the east of the city, both north and south, and the newer developments further to the west, though this too is only a rough guide.


File:From the hill.jpg
Croke Park
Dublin's major sports stadium

Dublin contains the headquarters of almost all of Ireland's sporting organisations. Croke Park, an 82,000-capacity stadium near Drumcondra and Phibsboro, 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. Lansdowne Road is a 48,000 capacity stadium owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and is also the venue for home games of the Republic's national football (soccer) team. 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 nearby Tolka Park, while St Patrick's Athletic play in Richmond Park in Inchicore on the south west edge of the city. Shamrock Rovers are originally from Ringsend but have spent the last two decades in search of a home, and hope to complete a new stadium in Tallaght by 2006. Other senior soccer clubs include UCD and Dublin City.

The National Aquatic Centre, located 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). There are also Basketball, Handball, Hockey and Athletics stadia within the city - most notably Morton Stadium in Santry, which held the athletics events of the 2003 Special Olympics.


The name Dublin is an Anglicism of Dubh Linn (Irish, meaning "Black Pool"), though some doubt this derivation. Historically, in the old script used for the Irish language, 'bh' was written with a dot placed over the 'b'—thus appearing to be Dub Linn or Dublinn. The Norman French speaking English who arrived in Old Irish-speaking Ireland starting in 1169 had no idea the dot over the 'b' signified it was really 'bh,' so they omitted it and spelled the town's name as 'Dublin'.

Meanwhile, the city's name in Modern Irish—Baile Átha Cliath ("The Town of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles")—actually refers to the settlement, founded in 988 by High King Mael Sechnaill II, which adjoined the town of Dubh Linn proper, at the Black Pool.

Some have suggested that "Dublin" is of Scandinavian origin, cf. Template:Ll: "djúp lind" ("deep pond"). That does not work for two reasons. First, the name "Dubh Linn" pre-dates the arrival of the Vikings in Ireland. Second, the Old Norse name for Dublin is simply the words "Dubh Linn" re-spelled as if they were Old Norse: Dyfflin (correctly pronounced "DUEV-linn" - indeed, the letter 'y' is still pronounced like the vowel in "ewe" in Modern Norwegian, Swedish, etc., just as it was in Old Norse).



Radio Telifís Éireann is Ireland's national state broadcaster, and has its main offices and studios in Dublin. Fair City is the broadcasters' capital based soap, located in the fictional suburb of Carraigstown. TV3 the state's only private television broadcaster is also located in the capital, much of its programming is imported from the UK and the US. It aims to attract a young audience. The main infrastructure and offices of An Post and Eircom as well as Vodafone and O2 are located in the capital. The capital is also the location of important national newspapers and radio stations, such as The Irish Times, Irish Independent and Today FM.


File:PIA01804 SpaceRadarImage Dublin-NASA.jpg
Space Radar Image of Dublin with the Wicklow Mountains to the bottom left. [1]

Dublin is the centre of the transport system in Ireland (see Transport in Ireland). Dublin Port is the country's most important sea port. Dublin Airport is the most important airport in the republic and the bulk of passenger traffic travels through the airport. Heuston Station and Connolly Station are the city's major railway stations, Heuston connects with the towns and cities in the south and west of the Republic while Connolly serves the Sligo and Dublin-Belfast routes.

Road network

Dublin is also the main hub of the country's road network. The M50 motorway, a semi-ring road runs around the south, west and north of the city, connecting the most important national primary routes in the State that fan out from the capital to the regions. A toll of €1.80 applies on what is called 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 going either direction but plans are afoot to increase that to three. The National Roads Authority also intends to increase capacity at many of the motorway's busiest junctions by building triple-grade interchanges instead.

To complete the ring road, an eastern bypass is also proposed for the city of Dublin. The first half of this project is currently under construction, the Dublin Port Tunnel. It is scheduled to open in early 2006 and will mainly cater for heavy vehicles. When finished, Dublin City Council hopes to ban all unnecessary trucks and lorries from the city quays. The second half of the project would involve another tunnelling project, linking Dublin Port to the road network on the southside of the city. Plans for this have never been formalised.

The capital is also surrounded by what have been termed by Dublin City Council as 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, as well as the North and South Circular Roads.

Public transport

The Dublin Area Rapid Transit system is the only electrified railway in the country and serves stations at regular intervals on the railway line along the east coast. A 2 line light rail system called Luas opened in 2004 and has proved popular in the (limited) areas it serves. It is hoped a metro system linking Dublin Airport to the city will be the next major infrastructural project. Plans to build a spur from the DART network to the airport and an interconnector system within the city centre area now appear to be another possibility. Commuter lines to Kildare and Maynooth also service many of the suburbs of West Dublin.

The bulk of the public transport system in Dublin is made up of bus services operated by Bus Átha Cliath (Dublin Bus), which operates a network of nearly 200 daytime routes (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, which are identified by a number suffixed with "N" e.g. 40N). Apart from some tourist buses, all Dublin Bus' services are one-man 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. Alternatively, 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.

A number of other bus companies provide services in Dublin, including Bus Éireann which provides services to the more distant parts of Dublin's ever-widening commuter belt. In the absence of an overall transport authority in Dublin, obtaining information about all public transport options available for a particular journey can take some time.


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.

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 Gaiety's bars are open later than any others in the city. The largest theatre in the city is the Mahony Hall in The Helix at Dublin City University in Glasnevin.

The Cineworld cinema complex is located 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 St.


The St. James's Gate Brewery, where Guinness is brewed 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. Microsoft's EMEA Operations Centre is located in Sandyford Industrial Estate to the south of the city along with Xerox and Google. The large volume of computer industry in Dublin has led to it being referred to as the Silicon Valley of Europe. Intel and Hewlett-Packard have large manufacturing plants in Leixlip to the west of Dublin.


City Government

Dublin City Hall
formerly the Royal Exchange

Dublin 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, which first became the residence of the Lord Mayor in 1715. Dublin City Council is based in two major buildings. Its headquarters is in 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, built on top of what had been one of the best preserved Viking sites in the world. The Corporation's (as it was then) decision to bulldoze the historic site proved one of the most controversial in modern Irish history, with thousands of people, including medieval historian Fr. F.X. Martin and Senator Mary Robinson (later President of Ireland) marching to try to stop the destruction. The destruction of the site on Wood Quay and the building of a set of offices known as The Bunkers (because of their ugly appearance) is generally seen as one of the most disastrous acts against Ireland's heritage since independence, with even Dublin Corporation admitting subsequently that it was ashamed of its action. Originally, there were to be four of these 'bunkers' built but only two were ever completed. Instead the river frontage is a less brutal office block designed by the firm Scott Tallon Walker. Completed in 1994, it boasts a leafy atrium and fine views from many of its offices. Council meetings take place in City Hall, one of Dublin's finest buildings and located on Dame Street. It was built to the winning design of Thomas Cooley. In an architectural competition, James Gandon was the runner-up with a scheme that many people favoured. Originally from England, Gandon is one of Ireland's favourite adopted sons and designed both the Four Courts and the Custom House, two of the city's most magnificent classical buildings.

Twinned Cities

Dublin is twinned with Barcelona, Liverpool and San Jose, California

The Dublin Region

The Dublin RegionTemplate:Fn consists of the City of Dublin and the area which was formerly known as County Dublin, and covers an area of 922 km² and contains over a million inhabitants. In 1994 County Dublin (the area excluding the city) was sub-divided into three, each new area with county-level status and its own administration, namely:

Administration of the Dublin Region as a whole is now co-ordinated by the Dublin Regional Authority.

National Government

Leinster House
18th century ducal palace now the seat of parliament

The Republic of Ireland's National Parliament (called Oireachtas Éireann) consists of the President of Ireland and two houses, Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) 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 Éireann meet in Leinster House, a former ducal palace on the south side of the city. The building has been the home of Irish parliaments since the creation of the Irish Free State on December 6, 1922.

The Irish Government is based in the Irish Government Buildings, a large building designed by Sir Aston Webb, the architect who created the Edwardian facade to Buckingham Palace. Initially what is now Government Buildings was designed for use as the Royal College of Science, the last major building built by the British administration in Ireland. In 1921 the House of Commons of Southern Ireland met there. 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. However both it and Leinster House (originally meant to be a temporary home of parliament) became the permanent homes of the government and parliament respectively. Until 1990, the Irish government shared the building with the Engineering Faculty of University College Dublin, which retained use of the central block of the building, However following the building of a new Engineering Faculty at the UCD campus in Belfield, the Government took entire control, and remodelled the entire building for governmental use.

The previous old Irish Houses of Parliament of the Kingdom of Ireland is located in College Green.


Main article: History of Dublin The settlement Dubh Linn dates perhaps as far back as the first century B.C.; Baile Átha Cliath or simply Áth Cliath was founded in 988 near by. 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 replaced the Hill of Tara as Ireland's capital, with much of the power centring on Dublin Castle until independence.

Dublin Castle
Seat of the Lord Lieutenant and his court until 1922

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. Much of Dublin's best 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 the capital in ruins, with many of its finest buildings destroyed. The Irish Free State rebuilt much of the city's buildings and moved parliament into the Leinster House, but took no bold tasks such as remodelling. After The Emergency Dublin remained a capital out of time, modernization was slow and finally the 1960s saw change begin. In recent years the infrastructure has been changed immensely. (See also Development and Preservation in Dublin) The Dublin Area Rapid Transit allowed the city to have a transport system suited for any modern European city.

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

From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, it served as the capital of the Irish Free State (19221937) 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.)


Template:Fnb Baile Átha Cliath (or simply Áth Cliath) and Dubhlinn are the two names of the city, the former being the one currently in official use.

Template:Fnb Precisely Template:Coor dms

Template:Fnb Irish Statute Book: Local Government Act, 1991 (Regional Authorities) (Establishment) Order, 1993 - Dublin Region, "The area consisting of the (then) county borough of Dublin and the administrative counties of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin

See also

Additional reading

  • Pat Liddy, Dublin A Celebration - From the 1st to the 21st Century (Dublin City Council, 2000) (ISBN 0946841500)
  • Maurice Craig, The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880 (Batsford, Paperback edition 1989) (ISBN 0713425873)
  • Frank McDonald, Saving the City: How to Halt the Destruction of Dublin (Tomar Publishing, 1989) (ISBN 1871793033)
  • Edward McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland 1680-1760 (Yale University Press, 2001) (ISBN 0300030641)
  • Hanne Hem, Dubliners, An Anthropologist's Account, Oslo, 1994

External links


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