Video of Rathmines, Dublin City, Republic of Ireland
Rathmines (Irish: Ráth Maonais, meaning "ringfort of Maonas") is a suburb on the
southside of Dublin, about 3 kilometres south of the city centre. It effectively
begins at the south side of the Grand Canal and stretches along the Rathmines Road
as far as Rathgar to the south, Ranelagh to the east and Harold's Cross to the west.
Rathmines has thriving commercial and civil activity and is well-known across Ireland
as part of a traditionally known "flatland" - providing rented accommodation to newly
arrived junior civil servants and third level students coming from outside the city
since the 1930s.
Rathmines has a long history stretching back to the 14th century. At this time, Rathmines
and surrounding hinterland were part of the ecclesiastical lands called Cuallu or
Cuallan, later the vast Parish of Cullenswood, which gave its name to a nearby area.
Cuallu is mentioned in local surveys from 1326 as part of the manor of St. Sepulchre
(the estate, or rather liberty, of the Archbishop of Dublin, whose seat as a Canon
of St. Patrick's Cathedral takes its name from this). There is some evidence of an
established settlement around a rath as far back as 1350. Rathmines is part of the
Barony of Uppercross, one of the many baronies surrounding the old city of Dublin,
bound as it was by walls, some of which are still visible. In more recent times,
Rathmines was a popular suburb of Dublin, attracting the wealthy and powerful seeking
refuge from the poor living conditions of the city from the middle of the 19th century.
Rathmines is well known for the large army barracks which is located there, Cathal
Brugha Barracks (known in the past as Portobello Barracks), home to many units of
the Irish Army including the 2nd Infantry Battalion.
Another well known feature is the prominent copper dome of Mary Immaculate, Refuge
of Sinners Church. The original dome was destroyed in a fire in 1920 and replaced
by the current dome when reopened in 1922. The dome was to be used in St Petersburg
but the political and social upheaval in this city caused it to be diverted to Dublin.
One of Rathmines' most prominent buildings is the Town Hall and its clock tower (designed
by Sir Thomas Drew, completed in 1899). This building, now occupied by Rathmines
College, once housed a town council for the Rathmines Township, made up of local
businessmen and other eminent figures.