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Clondalkin (//; Irish: Cluain Dolcáin, meaning "Dolcan's meadow") is a suburban town situated 10 km west of Dublin city centre, Ireland, under the administrative jurisdiction of South Dublin. It features an eighth-century round tower that acts as a focal point for the area. Clondalkin forms part of the Dublin Mid-West Dáil constituency and its postal code is Dublin 22.
The Clondalkin round tower
|• Dáil Éireann||Dublin Mid-West|
|• South Dublin County Council Local electoral area||Clondalkin|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-1 (IST (WEST))|
Neolithic tribes first settled in the area around 7,600 years ago, taking advantage of the site's favourable location on the River Camac, overlooking the River Liffey and the inland pass between the mountains and the river. Evidence of the presence of the Cualann Celtic people (an early tribe possibly noted on as the Cauci on Ptolemy's world map) can be found in various mounds and raths.
Clondalkin is believed to have been founded by Saint Cronan Mochua as a monastic settlement on the River Camac over 1,400 years ago (possibly late 6th or early 7th centuries). The round tower was built perhaps two centuries later (circa 790 AD) as part of the monastery. By the eighth century, Saint Fugillus was Bishop of Clondalkin and noted gospel manuscripts were produced – the most famous of these being the Clondalkin mass book which is on display in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Clondalkin was sacked by Vikings in 832 AD, and the monastery was burned to the ground. One of the early Norse kings of Dublin, Amlaíb Conung, built a fortress on the site in the middle of the 9th century. In 867 a force led by Cennétig mac Gaíthéne, king of Loígis, burned the fortress at Clondalkin and killed 100 of Amlaíb's followers. The monastery was later restored and, with help from other surrounding monasteries, influenced the Viking settlers in their conversion to Christianity. The district remained under Norse control until the Viking defeat by Brian Boru at the famous Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
Clondalkin is a civil parish in the ancient barony of Uppercross. An exclave of the parish, consisting of the single townland of Blundelstown, is located in the neighbouring barony of Newcastle to the west.
17th century and beyondEdit
Centuries later, Clondalkin was the scene for some of the fighting in the 1641 Rebellion, when the Gaelic Irish in Ulster, and later in the rest of the kingdom, and the Old English in the Pale of Leinster rebelled against rule from Westminster. (Ireland had its own parliament at this time, but it was severely limited in its powers, e.g. by Poynings' Law.)
Clondalkin Paper Mill was established at the start of the 19th century by Thomas Seery and Son. Having changed ownership over the years, activity peaked during the First World War as the focus moved to war production. Productivity slowed, until the mill closed its doors for the last time in 1987. The Mill Shopping Centre was later built on the same street, keeping the name alive.
A focal point for Clondalkin is the eighth-century round tower, one of the four remaining towers in the historic County Dublin. Acknowledged as one of the oldest in the country, it is 25.6 metres high and has its original conical cap. In July 2017, The Round Tower Heritage Centre opened in the village core, the result of a €3.5 investment into enhancing the historic Round Tower with an interactive interpretive centre and a monastic-style garden. The centre addresses the history of Clondalkin and the round tower. The Happy Pear also opened within the heritage centre.
Clondalkin is also home to St Brigid's Well, which is said to have been established as a well for baptising pagans by Saint Brigid in the 5th century. It was believed that the well possessed powers of healing.
North Clondalkin, within Dublin 22, is sometimes classed as a different area, comprising housing estates and apartment complexes that include Neilstown, Rowlagh, St Marks, Quarryvale (Greenfort and Shancastle), Harelawn and Ronanstown. Some of these areas have struggled with drug crime and related violent incidents.
Amenities and businessesEdit
Modern Clondalkin is a busy satellite town of Dublin, with a population of 46,813 in 2016.
Retail facilities include The Mill Shopping Centre in Clondalkin village, as well as separate branches of Tesco Ireland and Dunnes Stores. Aldi and Lidl also have stores, located on the Fonthill Road, Newlands Cross and New Nangor Road respectively. Petrol filling stations include Topaz on the Boot Road and  Esso on the Tower Road service station, Naas Road. The village centre is a base for small businesses including solicitors, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, pharmacies and more recently a tattoo and body piercing studio.
Liffey Valley Shopping Centre is a major shopping mall in the broader locality, while Tallaght's The Square, one of Dublin's three largest retail facilities, is also within reasonable driving distance.
Liffey Valley Fitness, a gym located on the Coldcut Road, closed down permanently in 2016 and is expected to re-open in 2018 as a residential development, pending an appeal with An Bord Pleanala.[needs update]
Clondalkin also plays host to a large number of online businesses.
Microsoft, Google, Arytza, Wyeth, Takeda and Pfizer all have significant data centres and development facilities in the Grange Castle Business Park in Clondalkin.
On 7 March 2014 Clondalkin became the 51st "Fairtrade town" in Ireland. Farmers from Belize and El Salvador, along with local councillors and community representatives, attended a ceremony in Clonburris National School to mark the occasion. Local newspapers covered the event, which was also shown on RTÉ 2. This honour was the result of hard work, perseverance, dedication and commitment of sixth class students in Clonburris National School and their teacher, Paula Galvin.
Clondalkin is served by public transport to Dublin city centre, to nearby suburbs, and to neighbouring settled areas such as Tallaght.
Dublin Bus provide bus routes including the 13, 68, 69, 76, 40 and 151. Many of these run from areas near Clondalkin, such as Rathcoole and Newcastle, into the city centre via Clondalkin. Some services, such as the 76, do not service the city centre.
The Luas Red Line runs from the Red Cow interchange park and ride station providing links to the town square in Tallaght and Dublin city centre. However, the Luas station is approximately fifteen to twenty minutes' walk from Clondalkin village.
Clondalkin railway station opened on 4 August 1846 and was closed for goods traffic on 9 June 1947. It was reopened during the 1990s for commuter services. Commuter trains are operated by Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) and run between Heuston station in Dublin and Kildare Town in County Kildare. A new station, to replace rather than supplement the previous station, has been built at Fonthill, north of Bawnogue. The original Clondalkin station was demolished in 2008 to facilitate a four line track, allowing express trains to pass through without affecting local services on the Kildare line.
Bus Éireann services stop to collect and set down passengers at Newlands Cross, on the N7 road near Clondalkin. These services have destinations all over the west and south of the country; services to the north do not pass Newlands Cross.
Clondalkin is on the preferred route for the proposed Dublin Metro West line, as of the announcement of the preferred route in 2007. The Metro is intended to provide a transport link from Dublin city centre to Dublin Airport which will not have to go through street traffic. It is proposed that the Metro will have stations near Luas and train stations in some cases, including at Clondalkin train station.
Two local newspapers, the Clondalkin Echo and Clondalkin Gazette, serve the area. The latter is published by Gazette Group Newspapers (part-owned by the Irish Times), and was launched in October 2005. The Clondalkin News is delivered free into households in Clondalkin.
The town's oldest sports club is the Round Towers GAA Club, which was founded in December 1884 and is located on Convent Road. Club members have represented Dublin in inter-county competition since the nineteenth century, when Tom Errity won All-Ireland Senior Football medals in 1892, 1894, 1898, 1899 and 1902. More recently, Jim Gavin won an All-Ireland senior medal with Dublin in 1995 and as a manager in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The towns main association football team is Clondalkin Celtic F.C. formed in 1969 with teams competing in the Leinster Senior League , Dublin and District Schoolboys League.
The town's two main previous association football teams were Moyle Park Past Pupils FC, and Neilstown Rangers (past winners of the FAI Junior Cup). St Francis Boys FC are one of the leading schoolboy clubs in the Republic of Ireland, and have been at home at John Hyland Park, Baldonnel, close to Clondalkin since relocating from their original home in The Liberties.
Some other local teams include Booth Road Celtic, Castle Park F.C., Moorefield United, and Knockmitten United – an up-and-coming senior and schoolboy football club who were founded in 2008 with the amalgamation of Hillview and Monksfield.
More recently, the likes of Collinstown FC, Liffey Valley Rangers and Clondalkin Celtic F.C. have emerged as strong soccer clubs in the area.
Rugby union is played at Clondalkin Rugby Club, Kingswood, who were winners of the 2006 Spencer Cup and 2006 Under-18 Premier League. The club was formed in 1973–74 and fields four senior teams and under 19s, 17s, 15s and other youth teams. The club will celebrate its 40th season 2013–2014
Dublin Lions Basketball Club has teams playing in Division 2, 3 and 4 of the Dublin Men Basketball League, Teams in Senior 2, 5 and 6 of Dublin Ladies Basketball League, there are boys and girls teams from u11 to u20s and an academy for children between ages 4 – 10. The club is based between Coláiste Bride and Moyle Park College.
Clondalkin has a number of primary and secondary schools from many different denominations.
Among its primary schools are: Sacred heart of shruleen St. Ronans, Clonburris National School, Sacred Heart National School, St. Joseph's Boys National School, Scoil Íde, Scoil Áine, St John's National School (Church of Ireland), Scoil Mhuire, Talbot S.N.S and Scoil Nano Nagle.
Then there's the secondary schools: Moyle Park College (boys only), Deansrath Community College, Coláiste Bríde (girls only), Collinstown Park Community College and St. Kevin's Community College.
Community organisations include a unit of Toastmasters International, an Order of Malta branch and several youth groups – including Clondalkin Youth Theatre (associated with the Irish National Association for Youth Drama).
The town is also home to St Joseph's Pipe band (established in 1937). The band is one Ireland's most successful having won several All-Ireland Championship Titles and rising from Grade 3 level in 1989 to Grade 1 level by 1992 winning a Grade 2 World Championship along the way in 1990. Most recently, the band celebrated its 80th Anniversary and is competing at Grade 3A level finishing 5th in the 2017 World Championships.
The Clondalkin Youth Band was founded in 1986 by Vincent Dolan, a nephew of the late, famous Joe Dolan. A marching band, CYB participates in marching, concert and field-show championships, and is consistently ranked among the top bands in Ireland. In 2009, the band won the All-Ireland concert band championships in Cork. The band has numerous European gold medals under its belt, and in 2005 they gained a World Silver Standard Award at the WMC, Kerkrade. Then, at the WMC 2009, the band picked up a gold standard award, and finished 7th out of 20 bands in their category, ranking them the highest out of the Irish bands to participate in the competition.
Scouting Ireland meet in the Scout Hall on Watery Lane most evenings. Boy's & Girl's Brigades, Guides & Brownies meet at St John's Parish Hall on Tower road.
Clondalkin Youth Theater is a theatre group for youth's in the Clondalkin area. It has two subgroups, the Junior club (10–16 yr old) and the Senior group (16–24 yr old) It is 25 years running and has had over 100 members in its time. At the moment it has around 30 members. They practice in the Áras Chroinan where they also put on various plays on its stage. Many of their members have gone on to Drama College and further. It is affiliated with NAYD.
The Clondalkin TidyTowns, group started on a campaign to rid the streets and green areas of Clondalkin Village of the ghastly site of litter in early 2012. Following a well attended Public Meeting held on 6 March in Clondalkin Civic Offices which was supported by Local Councillors and TD's, it was decided to set up a committee and put some plans in place. .
The TidyTowns group were awarded the South Dublin County Community Group of the Year 2012 at a ceremony held in the Civic Theatre in Tallaght on 4 October. The group has also been nominated for a Pride of Place award for 2012.
The Civil Defence established a unit in Deansrath during 2010. The unit specialises in auxiliary fire fighting, emergency medical services, swiftwater technical rescue. A notable task assigned to the Clondalkin unit of Dublin Civil Defence was responding to flooded homes next to the Camac River in Clondalkin Village on 24 October 2011. The unit successfully rescued families from rising flood waters.
Áras Chrónáin, which promotes Irish language and culture (e.g. music and dancing), also operates in the village. Founded in 1972 as Muintir Chrónáin, the members went on to establish a base in an old house on the Orchard Road in May 1989, close to the centre of Clondalkin village. Muintir Chrónáin have been awarded the Glór na nGael in 1978 and 1988, and hosted Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1991. National Director of Oireachtas na Gaeilge is Clondalkin's own, Liam Ó Maolaodha. Grassroots Irish language project Pop Up Gaeltacht was co-founded by Clondalkin native Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh.
The idea of designation for Clondalkin as a Gaeltacht region was raised in 2012, based on proposed amendments to the definition of "Gaeltacht" - to be "based on linguistic criteria instead of on geographic areas".
Politics and local governmentEdit
Clondalkin is included in the Dublin Mid-West Dáil Éireann constituency. Four TDs were elected to Dáil Éireann in 2016 – one from Sinn Féin, one from People Before Profit, one from Fianna Fail and one from Fine Gael.
- Karl Bermingham, Football player
- Trevor Byrne, author
- Mic Christopher, singer-songwriter
- Bernard Dunne, boxer
- Corrina Durran, member of girlband Wonderland
- Kenny Egan, boxer
- Jim Gavin, Gaelic footballer and manager
- Mary Kennedy, RTÉ television host
- Cathal Mac Coille, broadcaster and journalist
- Dudley Colley, motor racing driver in the 1950s
- Brendan Courtney, television presenter
- Eric Moore, RTÉ Radio broadcaster
- Sinéad Mulvey, singer, represented Ireland in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest
- Adrienne Murphy, model and Miss Universe Ireland 2012
- Derek Murray, Gaelic footballer
- Graham Norton, comedian and presenter
- Neil O'Donoghue, American footballer
- Peadar Ó Caomhánaigh, co-founder of Pop Up Gaeltacht
- Liam Ó Maolaodha, Stiúrthóir Oireachtas na Gaeilge
- Eoin Ó Murchú, is a writer and retired journalist. RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
- Stephen Quinn, professional footballer
- Dermot Ryan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland from 1972 until 1984
- Aidan Turner, actor
- Katharine Tynan, novelist
- Glenn Whelan footballer
- Arthur Wolfe, 1st Viscount Kilwarden
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
|Climate data for Clondalkin|
|Average high °C (°F)||8
|Average low °C (°F)||2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66
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