Video of Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland
The present town of Dún Laoghaire dates from the 1820s. An earlier Dún Laoghaire
village was located around the area where "The Purty Kitchen" pub is now located
(sometimes mapped as "Old Dún Laoghaire"). Dún Laoghaire had a coffee house, and
a small cove, both of which are shown on a number of old maps, and it may have had
a salt mine (Salthill is close by). At that time, the area on which the town is currently
located was a craggy, rocky pasture area with some quarries.
The events of the night of November 18/19, 1807 were to lead eventually to the transformation
of the area. On that night, the troopships, the Prince of Wales, and the Rochdale,
both of which had departed from Dublin, were driven on the rocks between Blackrock
and Dún Laoghaire with the combined loss of over 400 lives. This disaster gave new
impetus to an existing campaign for a new harbour to be constructed near Dublin.
By 1816, the legislation was passed authorising the construction of what is now called
the "West Pier". When King George IV came to visit the new port under construction
in 1821, the name Dunleary was dropped in favour of the name "Kingstown"; the town
returned to its former name with the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921.
Some maps show the commencement of a small town centre along what is now Cumberland
St, close to the junction with York Road, but from the 1820s the harbour brought
new business to the area, and a new town centre began to form along Georges St. That
street may originally have been laid out as a military road connecting the Dún Laoghaire
Martello Towers—one at the "Peoples Park", the other near the end of the West Pier—both
of which have long disappeared.
Ireland's first railway from Dublin to Kingstown, opened for business in 1834, terminated
near the West Pier. It established Kingstown as a preferred suburb of Dublin, and
led to the construction of elegant residential terraces. By 1844 the "Atmospheric
Train" (designed by Robert Mallet) connected Kingstown to Dalkey, leading to further
development. The Atmospheric Train ceased in 1854, but was replaced by the extension
of the railway, which was subsequently extended to the ferryport of Rosslare. The
opening of the railway from Dublin saw Kingstown become a Victorian era seaside resort.
Dún Laoghaire, sometimes unofficially spelt using modern Irish orthography as Dún
Laoire, is a suburban seaside town in County Dublin, Ireland. It is about twelve
kilometres south of Dublin city centre. Dún Laoghaire is the county town of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown
county and formerly a major port of entry from Great Britain. From 1821 to 1921 it
was officially called "Kingstown".