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Lucan (//; (Irish: Leamhcán, meaning "place of elms") is a large village and suburb located roughly 12km west of Dublin city centre, on the River Liffey near the Strawberry Beds and Lucan Weir, and at the confluence of the River Griffeen. The majority of the area lies under the jurisdiction of South Dublin county council while a small portion north of the Liffey, including Laraghcon, Westmanstown, St Catherine's Park and Lucan Demesne, lies under Fingal council control. Main road access is from the N4 bypass, and the M50 orbital motorway at junction 7.
Suburb (village core)
|Council||South Dublin, Fingal|
|Dáil Éireann||Dublin Mid-West|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST (WEST))|
|Irish Grid Reference||O029352|
In the Irish language, 'leamhachán' refers to the marsh-mallow plant, used up to modern times in folk medicine (for sprains and chest infections) and sweet manufacture, and so the name could be rendered as "place of marsh-mallow plants" or "land abounding in marsh-mallows." The plant grows in the Liffey Valley and surrounds, as recorded in the 1837 Ainmleabhar Paróiste, reported by Jackson (1914). In 1615 the placename was described as meaning 'a marshy place'. Lucan predates this notion and the name in Celtic era means 'place of the elms' the elm tree, 'leamhán'.
There is evidence of prehistoric settlement around Vesey Park, archaeological investigation has been carried out in the area. There is a suggestion that an ancient road that linked into the Tara network ran through what is now modern Lucan village, continuing up the hill towards Esker Cemetery.
Sarsfields and VeseysEdit
In 1566, Sir William Sarsfield acquired Lucan Manor, and the property became closely associated with the Sarsfield family. Patrick Sarsfield, the Irish Jacobite leader, was born in the castle that had occupied the manor grounds and was granted the title Earl of Lucan by King James II.
Lucan House was built on the site of Sarsfield's castle in 1772, by Rt. Hon. Agmondisham Vesey, who had married into the Sarsfield family. The circular ground floor dining room is said to have been an inspiration for the Oval Office of the White House. The decorative plasterwork was carried out by Michael Stapleton. Over the years, the house passed out of the Vesey family and, since 1942, has been the residence of the Italian ambassador to Ireland. In the grounds of the house is the spa, the waters of which attracted people to the town in previous times.
The influence of the Sarsfield and Vesey families on Lucan is still apparent in the area. For example, the local Gaelic Athletic Association club is Lucan Sarsfields and a pub in the village bears the name 'The Vesey Arms'.
The discovery of a sulphurous spa in Lucan in 1758 brought the district into prominence, and it became a mecca for weekend parties from Dublin and the surrounding countryside. A ballroom was erected and subsequently a hotel.
19th century onwardsEdit
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Most of the structures in Lucan village were constructed as part of a large redevelopment around 1815. Later, Lucan was a terminus on the combination of tram lines serving Lucan and Leixlip from Dublin city centre.
Transport and accessEdit
Lucan village is located north of the N4/M4 national primary route to the west and northwest of Ireland. The village is approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) west of the M50 Dublin ring road. An outer-orbital distributor called the Outer Ring Road, designated as R136, from the N4 (Woodies) interchange to the N81 Tallaght Bypass, was completed in 2008.
Lucan is located between two major national/commuter railway lines. The original Lucan North (Leixlip) Station on the north/northwest line, and Lucan South station on the south/southwest line, were closed in 1941 and 1947, respectively. The greenfield development of the Lucan townlands as a major residential area was predicated on the prime location between the motorways and railways. Adamstown railway station re-opened in 2007 to serve the area; it is located south of Finnstown, Lucan. This station will also service significant further developments planned to the south of Adamstown townlands and the south/southwest commuter line.
In 2018 it was announced that the Luas is planned to be extended to Lucan under the governments 'Project Ireland 2040' transport plan.
Dublin Bus provides several bus services to the area, including:
- 25 Merrion Square-Dodsboro via Lucan village
- 25A Merrion Square-Esker Church via Foxborough, Finnstown Abbey
- 25B Merrion Square-Adamstown Railway Station via Foxborough, Finnstown Abbey
- 25D Merrion Square-Adamstown Railway Station via Newcastle Road
- 25N Westmoreland Street-Adamstown
- 25X UCD Belfield-Dodsboro via city centre, Lucan village
- 66 Merrion Square-Maynooth (Straffan Road) via Lucan village, Leixlip
- 66A Merrion Square-Leixlip (Captains Hill) via Lucan village, Leixlip
- 66B Merrion Square-Leixlip (Castletown HP factory) via Lucan village, Leixlip
- 66N Westmoreland Street-Leixlip (Louisa bridge) via Glen Easton
- 66X UCD Belfield-Maynooth/Captains Hill/Castletown via Lucan By-pass
- 67 Merrion Square-Maynooth Railway Station via Lucan village, Celbridge
- 67N Westmoreland Street-Maynooth via Celbridge
- 67X UCD Belfield-Celbridge (Salesian College) via Lucan By-pass
Feeder routes, such as the 239, run through Lucan from Liffey Valley shopping centre to Blanchardstown. Dublin Bus provides Nitelink services with the 25N serving south Lucan and the 66N serving Lucan village. Some independent bus operators also serve Lucan.
Weston Airport is located to the west of Lucan near the Dublin/Kildare border. This facility conducts pilot training and serves privately owned light aircraft and helicopters. Its new terminal is located south of the M4 to the east of the Dublin Celbridge Road and Kildare border.
King John's BridgeEdit
It is said that King John's bridge, in Griffeen Park in Lucan, is the oldest surviving bridge in Ireland.
Lucan House is a seven-bay two-storey over basement Palladian country villa. Agmonisham Vesey cleared the previous residence and began construction in 1772. The architecture is the work of Vesey and William Chambers, with Michael Stapleton responsible for the plasterwork. The estate passed through the Sarsfield, Vesey and Colthurst families through marriage and also was once the resident of Charles Hugh O'Conor, the third son of Charles Owen O'Conor and then, in 1954, it was purchased by the Italian Government for use as the residence of the Italian Ambassador to Ireland. The remainder of the estate land is now Liffey Valley Park.
Griffeen Valley ParkEdit
The Griffeen Valley Park runs along the Griffeen River, with some smaller outlying park areas among housing developments to the west. The main area of the park is split by the Lucan Bypass, with Vesey Park on one side and Griffeen Park on the other. The most important feature of the Griffeen Valley Park is the old woodland in Vesey Park that was retained when the park was formed. This woodland is most extensive along the Griffeen River and contains mature deciduous and coniferous trees. The most important area on the river is the wet woodland containing the most extensive fern and bryophyte growth recorded in the five parks surveyed. The woodland also provides the habitat for the protected species Hypericum hirsutum.
Education and libraryEdit
Lucan has a number of schools. St. Mary's Boys National School (BNS) is the oldest school which dates back to 1833. Other schools include St. Mary's Girls Primary School, St. Joseph's Girls Secondary School, Coláiste Phádraig (a Christian Brothers secondary school), St. Andrew's (mixed) National School, Lucan Community College Esker Educate Together primary school, Scoil Áine and St. Thomas's primary schools (Esker, mixed VEC school), Divine Mercy National School (mixed primary), Schoil Mhuire (mixed primary) Adamstown Castle Educate Together, St John The Evangelist primary schools and Adamstown Community College There are two Irish-speaking primary schools, Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada and Gaelscoil Naomh Pádraig (mixed), and an Irish-speaking secondary school, Coláiste Cois Life.
Lucan Library is a part of a network of libraries in South Dublin.
Lucan has a free magazine, The Link, that contains items of local interest. It is distributed to 15,000 homes and 1,000 copies are distributed to local businesses. The Lucan Newsletter, a venue for local organizations to report on activities and meetings, was first published in 1967, and is produced and published weekly by volunteers. Local newspapers include the Liffey Champion which is a weekly newspaper for the Lucan area of South Dublin and North Kildare, The Echo which is published in Lucan as the Lucan Echo, and the Lucan Gazette. Lucan Life started in March 2014, and is the main Lucan Facebook page with followers sharing photos, news and events in Lucan.
Liffey Sound Communications Co-operative Society Limited, a not-for-profit organisation, runs Liffey Sound FM, the local community radio station. Liffey Sound FM is another local media source run entirely by volunteers. The station has been broadcasting since July 2006.
In terms of retail, the main street contains the newsagent Centra, bookmakers, boutiques, banks, charity shops, IT shops and cafés. The Lucan Shopping Centre includes SuperValu, Dunnes Store, Peter Mark, and McDonald's, along with a Community Library.
The area is primarily a residential one, but employers in the area include the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Citywest and Tallaght in southwest Dublin, Intel in Leixlip, Co. Kildare, and eBay's European operation in Blanchardstown.
Local organisations and charitiesEdit
Pieta House is a charity, set up by psychologist Joan Freeman, to provide assistance to people experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts. Its main location is in Lucan centre. As of 2015, the combined Pieta House locations were working with more than 5000 people per year.
Lucan Disability Action Group (LDAG)Edit
Lucan Disability Action Group was established in October 2000, to address the needs of people with disabilities in the Lucan area.
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Lucan has three GAA teams. Lucan Sarsfields, the largest sports organisation in the town, was founded in 1886 and is located on the 12th Lock on the Grand Canal. Lucan Sarsfields won the u/21 Dublin Football Championship and a Minor double of Football and Hurling in 2005. Lucan Sarsfields U21 B team won the Callum Sally Cup in 2005 and again in 2009. The Dublin Hurling captain, Johnny McCaffrey, plays for Sarsfields. Westmanstown Gaels are also located in north Lucan at the Westmanstown Sports Centre, which has diversified from its roots as a leisure centre for the Garda Siochana.
An Irish-language GAA club, Na Gaeil Óga CLG, started a juvenile structure in the area in September 2014, and are currently based in a Gaelscoil and a Gaelcholáiste in the area, Gaelscoil Naomh Pádraig and Coláiste Cois Life.
The Esker Amateur Boxing Club hosted the first ever All-Female Amateur Boxing tournament in Ireland during November and December 2013. It has grown to become Europe's largest female-only boxing tournament.
In January 2008, Lucan Boxing Club reformed after a few years hiatus. In its first season back, the club won the Dublin Junior Club of the Year (2008/2009 season).
Liffey Valley Par 3 is a par 3 golf course that is situated between Leixlip and Lucan.
Liffey Celtics Basketball Club is a basketball club for girls aged from 7 up to senior, and boys aged 7 to senior. There are 13 (9 girls & 10 boys) underage basketball teams competing in the Dublin Area Board League and Cup competitions. Training and home matches take place at the Colaiste Cois Life (Lucan), Leixlip Amenities Centre, and Confey GAA (Leixlip). The club has a senior women's team competing in the Basketball Ireland Super League.
Lucan Tae Kwon-Do school has been in the area since 1992, and is run out of the Adamstown Educate Together National School.
A skatepark was opened in 2007 in Griffeen Valley Park, after a lengthy campaign begun in the late 1980s by local skaters.
The Dublin Dragons American Football Team are also based in Lucan.
- Aaron Callaghan – Football Manager
- Tommy Carr – Former Dublin GAA inter-county Footballer and Manager
- Jake Carroll – Professional Footballer
- Paul Casey – Former Dublin GAA inter-county Footballer and All Ireland Winner
- Joanne Doyle – Irish dancer with Riverdance
- Joan Freeman -– Founder of Pieta House
- James Gandon – Architect
- Paul Gogarty – Politician
- John and Edward Grimes, known professionally as Jedward – singing duo
- Derek Keating - Politician
- Liam Lawlor – Politician
- John McCaffrey – Current Dublin GAA inter-county Hurling Captain
- Derek McGrath – Professional Footballer
- Patrick Sarsfield – Lucan born Jacobite and Leader in the Irish Army. Earl of Lucan 
- Jack Sheedy – Former Dublin GAA inter-county Footballer and All Ireland Winner
- Joanna Tuffy - Politician
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