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Blanchardstown (Irish: Baile Bhlainséir) is a large suburb of Dublin in Fingal, Ireland, located 10 km north-west of the city centre. It is within the historical barony of Castleknock, the Dublin 15 postal area and the Dublin West electoral constituency, and the largest urban area in the county. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 68,156 in Blanchardstown and its immediate environs. In 2016, the population increased to 120,000, It is within Ireland's fastest growing local authority area of Fingal and is larger than Galway and Limerick Cities. Blanchardstown is also a parish in the Blanchardstown deanery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. One of Ireland's largest shopping and leisure centres, the Blanchardstown Centre, is located in the parish.
|Suburb of Dublin|
|• Local Authority||Fingal County Council|
|• Dáil Éireann||Dublin West|
|Elevation||56 m (184 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Blanchardstown has grown up alongside its smaller, neighbouring town, Castleknock. Both towns shared a common history until well into the 19th century, when their development diverged. The name Blanchardstown comes from the Blanchard family, who were granted their estate some time between 1250 and 1260. The name 'Blanchard' is thought to come from the old French word blanch, meaning white, and could refer to white or fair hair. The townland has an area of over 454 acres.
Blanchardstown was a rural village in western County Dublin until the late 1960s, when the first housing estates began to be developed. It developed in tandem with neighbouring settlement Castleknock, both of which grew rapidly from the early 1970s to the present. During the 1970s/80s, the village became subsumed into the suburban fabric of Dublin. The Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB) was established in 1999.
A criminal gang from Blanchardstown became notorious as "The Westies". They controlled the heroin trade in west Dublin. One of its leaders, Bernard Sugg, was shot in a pub in Blanchardstown in 2003, while the others were killed in Spain in 2004.
In the 19th century, the Roman Catholic parish of Blanchardstown encompassed much of the area now within the Dublin 15 postal district. 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 are today independent parishes in their own right, 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. They are:
- Chapelizod - "Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (separated from Blanchardstown 1883)
- Navan Road - "Our Lady Help of Christians" (separated from Chapelizod 1953)
- Castleknock - "Our Lady Mother of the Church" (separated from Blanchardstown 1976)
- 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)
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. It is bordered to the east by the suburb of Castleknock, to the west by Clonsilla/Ongar, to the north by Tyrellstown/Hollystown and to the south and south east by Porterstown/Diswellstown. The Royal Canal and the Dublin-Sligo railway line pass along the southern edge of Blanchardstown proper from east to west.
For the purposes of elections to Fingal County Council, the village is split between the two local electoral areas (LEAs) of Castleknock (which returns 4 councillors), and Mulhuddart (which returns 5 councillors).
- Scoil Bhríde (Cailiní), Church Avenue Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- Scoil Bhríde (Buacaillí), Church Avenue Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- Sacred Heart of Jesus Primary School, Huntstown, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- Scoile Olilibheir, Coolmine, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- St Ciaran's Primary School, Hartstown, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- Blakestown Community School, Sheepmoor Avenue, Dublin 15.
- Riversdale Community College, Blanchardstown Rd N, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
- Hartstown Community School, Hartstown, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- Coolmine Community School, Coolmine, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
- Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB), Blanchardstown Rd N, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
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.
Dublin Bus 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.
Features and facilitiesEdit
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.
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 SuperValue outlet on Main Street, Blanchardstown.
The National Aquatic Centre (NAC) is a national indoor aquatics facility with a 50m swimming pool, diving pool, leisure pool and fitness centre. The centre hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2003, and a number of international swimming events since then.
- "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "Blanchardstown Centre - Background". www.blanchardstowncentre.ie. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- "Early History". Ask About Ireland. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/murder-hunt-as-man-gunned-down-in-new-gangland-killing-25921912.html |publisher=Irish Independent |date=12 November 2003 |last=Khan |first=Frank |title=Murder hunt as man gunned down in new gangland killing
- Ken Foy (13 June 2011). "Garda swoop foils the revival of feared Westies crime gang". The Herald. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Cronin, Elizabeth, Fr Michael Dungan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968, Four Courts Press (2002), p. 10.
- Cronin, Elizabeth, Fr Michael Dungan's Blanchardstown, 1836-1968, Four Courts Press (2002), p 56.
- Official website Archived 2013-01-30 at the Wayback Machine. of the Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians.
- Official website of the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock.
- Official website of the Parish of St Thomas, the Apostle, Castleknock.
- Official website of the Parish of St Mochta, Porterstown.
- Official website of the Parish of St Philip.
- Official website of the Parish of Mary of the Servants.
- Official website of the Parish of Huntstown-Littlepace.
- Official website of the Parish of St Ciarán, Hartstown.
- Placenames Database of Ireland - Blanchardstown townland
- "Councillors – Castleknock". Fingal County Council. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Councillors – Mulhuddart". Fingal County Council. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
- "Sacred Heart of Jesus".
-  M3 Parkway
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Bus Éireann route 105
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-06-12. - Bus Éireann route 109
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Bus Éireann route 105
-  - Dublin Bus route 17A
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 37
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 38
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 38A,
-  - Dublin Bus route 38B
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 39
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 39A
-  - Dublin Bus route 40D
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 70
-  - Dublin Bus route 76A
-  - Dublin Bus route 220
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 236
-  - Dublin Bus route 238
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-22. - Dublin Bus route 239
-  - Dublin Bus route 270
-  70N
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
- St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church http://www.askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/primary-students/looking-at-places/fingal/blanchardstown-through-ti/blanchardstown-village/
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