Blanchardstown (Irish: Baile Bhlainséir) is a large outer suburb of Dublin in County Fingal, Ireland, which has developed since the 1960s from the historic small village here. It is located 10 km north-west of the Dublin city centre.
Suburb (village core)
Cross roads on Mill Road and Main Street Blanchardstown
|• Local Authority||Fingal County Council|
|• Dáil Éireann||Dublin West|
|Elevation||56 m (184 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Eircode routing key|
|Telephone area code||+353(0)1|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Blanchardstown is the largest urban area in Fingal. One of Ireland's largest shopping and leisure centres, the Blanchardstown Centre, is located in the area.
The name Blanchardstown comes from the Blanchard family, who were granted their estate sometime between 1250 and 1260. The name 'Blanchard' is thought to come from the old French word 'blanch' meaning white, in turn potentially referring to white or fair hair.
Blanchardstown is just outside Dublin's M50 motorway ring road, slightly to the north of the tolled crossing of the River Liffey. The core of the suburb is the townland of the same name, containing the village and the Roselawn housing area. It is bordered to the east by the suburb of Castleknock, to the west by Coolmine, which includes some areas, including Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, central to the district, and Clonsilla/Ongar, to the north by Tyrellstown and Hollystown, and to the south and south-east by Porterstown and Diswellstown. The stretch of suburban housing from Castleknock Way north to the Old Navan Road and Talbot Court, including Laurel Lodge, has an ambiguous status - all of it is in the townland of Blanchardstown. The townland has an area of over 454 acres and is within the historical Barony of Castleknock.
The River Tolka, the second river of Fingal, and Dublin, runs through the centre of the area, meandering to run just north of the village core, and then further north to pass the Connolly Memorial Hospital and then Abbotstown.
Blanchardstown was a predominantly rural area, with a small village, in western County Dublin, alongside the neighbouring district of Castleknock. Both areas shared a common history until well into the 19th century, when their development diverged. In A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published in 1837, Blanchardstown is described as "a village [..] on the road to Navan, containing 57 houses and 342 inhabitants".
In the late 1960s, the first housing estates began to be developed. During the 1970s and 1980s, the village and surrounding housing developments became subsumed into the suburban fabric of Dublin.
The Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB) was established in 1999 and since 2019 is one of the three campuses of the new Technological University Dublin along with Grangegorman and Tallaght campuses.
During the late 1990s a criminal gang from Blanchardstown, known as "The Westies”, controlled the heroin trade in west Dublin. One of its leaders was shot in a pub in Blanchardstown in 2003, while others were killed in Spain in 2004.
There are three Irish Rail train stations in the wider Blanchardstown area: Castleknock, Coolmine and Clonsilla. Trains on the Maynooth/Longford line connect the city centre, at Dublin Connolly, Tara Street and Dublin Pearse stations, to Maynooth, Longford and Sligo. At Clonsilla station, the Dublin–Navan railway line connects Docklands railway station to Hansfield and Dunboyne.
Ballycoolin Industrial Estate is served by a private bus company called AMC Ballycoolin, also known as Express Bus.
Bus Éireann services pass through Blanchardstown on Routes 105,109 and 111. Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead Ireland routes include 17A, 37, 38, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 39, 39A, 39N, 40D, 70, 76A, 220, 236, 238, 239 and 270.
Two Nitelink bus routes also operate on Friday and Saturday nights to Tyrrelstown Route 39N and Dunboyne Route 70N. Express bus routes include service from Aston Quay and from Coolmine Railway Station to Ballycoolin Industrial Estate.
Connolly Hospital, one of Dublin's main hospitals, and a public university teaching hospital, is located in the area, as is the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown.
Local retail outlets include Blanchardstown Centre (a large retail shopping centre with over 180 stores), and WestEnd Shopping Park (a retail park located beside the Blanchardstown Centre). The Carlton Hotel, a 4 Star Hotel north-west of the village, is located by the Blanchardstown Centre complex. There is a SuperValu outlet on Main Street.
Blanchardstown has a large public library and is also home to the Draíocht Arts Centre.
There are a number of primary schools (national schools) in Blanchardstown, including Scoil Bhríde (Cailiní) and Scoil Bhríde (Buacaillí) on Church Avenue, Sacred Heart of Jesus Primary School (Huntstown), Scoile Olilibheir (Coolmine), St Ciaran's Primary School (Hartstown), Mary Mother of Hope Primary School (Clonee), and St Phillip the Apostle Primary School (Mountview).
The National Sports Campus is located in Blanchardstown and includes the National Aquatic Centre, a major indoor aquatics facility with a 50m swimming pool, diving pool, leisure pool and aquapark, and fitness centre. The centre hosted the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games and a number of international swimming events since then.
There are several GAA clubs in the Blanchardstown area, including St. Brigids, Castleknock and St. Peregrines, Clonsilla. There are also a number of association football (soccer) clubs in the area.
St Brigid's Roman Catholic Church is situated behind Main Street at Church Avenue. The foundation stone for the church was laid on 13 October 1835 and the first Mass was celebrated there on 29 October 1837. The construction of the Church and its unusual Flemish spire was finally completed in 1863.
In the 19th century, the Roman Catholic parish of Blanchardstown encompassed much of the area now within the Dublin 15 postal district; some of the component areas were quite distinct from Blanchardstown but Catholic parishes had been merged during Penal Laws times. Following the relaxation of the Penal Laws, it became possible for Catholic adherents to consider the construction of additional churches and to repair the existing stock of religious buildings. Church authorities used the opportunity to implement the Tridentine reform which saw the parish as the basic unit of ecclesiastical organisation and the parish priest as the central figure within the parish.
The new parish priest of Blanchardstown in 1839, Fr Michael Dungan, oversaw the construction of a number of new churches, which today serve independent parishes, and invited a number of religious communities to provide for the education of Catholic children. St Brigid's Church, Blanchardstown – not to be confused with a church of the Church of Ireland in nearby Castleknock – was constructed in 1837 upon the foundation of a church that had been built prior to 1731. It is the mother church of 12 other churches constituted out of the parish over the following 156 years.
- Chapelizod - "Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (separated from Blanchardstown Parish 1883)
- Navan Road - "Our Lady Help of Christians" (separated from Chapelizod 1953)
- Castleknock - "Our Lady Mother of the Church" (separated from Blanchardstown 1976)
- Porterstown - "St Mochta's" (separated from Castleknock 1986. The present church was constructed in 1890 as a Chapel of ease for Blanchardstown.)
- Corduff - "St Patrick's Church" (separated from Blanchardstown 1976)
- Mountview - "St Philip, the Apostle" (separated from Corduff 1979)
- Blakestown - "Church of Mary of the Servants" (separated from Corduff 1979)
- Hartstown - "St Ciarán' Church" (separated Blanchardstown 1979)
- Mulhuddart / Lady's Well - "St Luke, the Evangelist" (separated from Blanchardstown 1993)
For elections to Fingal County Council, the suburb is split between the two local electoral areas (LEAs) of Castleknock (which returns 4 councillors), and Mulhuddart (which returns 5 councillors).
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- "Bus Éireann route 109" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Bus Éireann route 105" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
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- "Dublin Bus route 37". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
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- "Dublin Bus route 236". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Dublin Bus route 238". dublinbus.ie.
- "Dublin Bus route 239". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
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- "Route Details Timetable 7". Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Route Details Timetable 1". Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
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- "Sacred Heart of Jesus". sacredhearthuntstown.weebly.com.
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- Cronin, Elizabeth (2002). Fr Michael Dungan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968. Four Courts Press. p. 10.
- Cronin, Elizabeth (2002). Fr Michael Dungan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968. Four Courts Press. p. 56.
- "Website of Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians". navanroadparish.com. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013.
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- "Website of the Parish of St Mochta, Porterstown". stmochtasparish.ie.
- "Website of the Parish of St Philip". stphilipsmountview.ie. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013.
- "Website of the Parish of Mary of the Servants". blakestownparish.com.
- "Website of the Parish of Huntstown-Littlepace". huntstown-littlepace.ie.
- "Website] of the Parish of St Ciarán, Hartstown". st-ciarans-parish.ie. Archived from the original on 24 January 2001.
- "Councillors – Castleknock". Fingal County Council. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Councillors – Mulhuddart". Fingal County Council. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
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