Video of Skerries, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Skerries (Irish: Na Sceirí, meaning "(The Rocks") is a seaside town in County Dublin,
Ireland, now part of the Fingal council area. The name comes from the Norse word
Skere which has descended into the Irish word Na Sceirí which means ¨The Rocks.¨
Skerries has five islands off its coast. These are Shenick Island, St Patrick's,
Colt and Rockabill. Rockabill is in fact two islands, "The Cow" and "The Calf", separated
by a narrow channel.
Early writers tell how an island off Skerries was used as a landing place for an
invasion, which happened in the second century. This island was either Shenick or
Red Island, which would have been a tidal island at the time. When the invaders landed,
they formed ranks and at low tide marched to the mainland, where they were promptly
defeated at the ancient settlement of Knocknagin, north of Balbriggan. The islands
were previously known as the Islands of Cor possibly after the original inhabitants.
Historically, Skerries has been a thriving fishing port and a major centre of hand
embroidery. In the late 20th century, it became a resort town (golf, sailing, motorcycling,
etc.), and a dormitory town for commuters to the city of Dublin.
A holiday camp was set up on Red Island in the 1950s but was later torn down in the
1980s as foreign holidays became cheaper and more popular. Red Island is now an amenity
area for the local community, with a playground, and swimming areas.
Recently the Skerries Mills were restored by Fingal County Council as a local amenity
and tourist attraction. There are two fully restored and working windmills, watermill
and a museum and coffee shop. One of the windmills lost sails during storms in January
2007, but has since been repaired.
In common with much of Dublin's hinterland, Skerries saw massive growth in residential
property and associated prices during the late 1990s and early 21st century.
There is also an amusement park in the town, near Skerries beach.
In Flann O'Brien's book "The Dalkey Archive" Skerries is the location of the narrator's
meeting with James Joyce.