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This article is about the city in Ireland. For other uses of the name, see Dublin (disambiguation).

City of Dublin
Ha'penny bridge
Dublin's ha'Liberty_Hall" title ="Liberty Hall">Liberty Hall, the city's tallest building.
County Dublin with location in Ireland. Dublin City highlighted.
city within county
Area: 114.99 km²
County: County Dublin
Population: 495,781 (2002)
Province: Leinster

Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland, located near the midpoint of Ireland'River_Liffey" title ="River Liffey">River Liffey in the County Dublin. The name Dublin derives from the Irish Dubh Linn ("the Black Pool"); the modern Irish-language name Baile Átha Cliath ("The City of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles") refers to the settlement which adjoined the Black Pool.

The earliest reference to Dublin is in the writings of Ptolemy around the year A.D. 140, who calls it Eblana.

Dublin has a population of some 495,000 (CSO Census 2002) within the official city boundary, though such a definition has become largely meaningless with the development and spread of suburbs and satellite towns over a wide surrounding area. The population of the city and county is in excess of 1,100,000 (CSO Census 2002). Though there is no exact agreed definition of the "Greater Dublin" area it would be generally accepted as including all of the city and county and parts of counties Wicklow, Kildare and Meath with the limits of the commuter belt stretching to a much greater distance.



Main article: History of Dublin


Dublin has its origins back in the 10th century in the Viking settlement of An Dubh Linn (Black Pool) and the Celtic settlement Áth Cliath ("hurdle ford"). The modern city retains the anglicised Irish name of the former and the Irish of the latter. After the Norman invasion of Ireland Dublin displaced the Hill of Tara as Irelands capital, much of the power centring on Dublin Castle until independence. From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly helped by the Wide Streets Commission. The Easter Rising of 1916 left the capital in an unstable situation and the Anglo-Irish War and Irish Civil War left the capital in ruins, with many of its finest buildings destroyed. The Irish Free State rebuilt much of the cities buildings but took no bold tasks such as remodelling, it moved parliament into Leinster House. After The Emergency Dublin remained a capital out of time, modernisation was slow, the 1960s saw change start. In recent years the infrastructure has been changed immensely. The Dublin Area Rapid Transit allowed the city to have a transport system suited for any modern European city.

Since the beginning of English rule in the twelfth century the city has served as the capital of the island of Ireland in the varying geopolitical entities that existed; the Lordship of Ireland (1171-1541) and the Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1800), the island within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801-1922) and the Irish Republic (1919-1922). From 1921, following the partition of Ireland, it served as the capital of Southern Ireland (1921-1922) and the Irish Free State (1922-1937). (Many of these states co-existed or competed within the same timeframe as rivals within either British or Irish constitutional theory.)


Dublin is a major cultural centre in Ireland. Temple Bar is an important place for night life and often people from the UK and beyond visit for the weekend. Dublin is the origin of some prominent artists, the Dubliners is an anthology of short stories by James Joyce about Dubliners. Ulysses also by James Joyce, a novel set in Dublin, and it is full of topographical detail and is both aclaimed and controversial. The National Print Museum of Ireland and three centers of the National Museum of Ireland are located in Dublin.


  • 1853 - Great Industrial Exhibition (1853)
  • 1865 - International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures (1865)
  • 1874 - International Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures (1874)

Northside vs Southside

The River Liffey, seen here in the evening, divides the city.
The River Liffey, seen here in the evening, divides the city.

Traditionally a north versus south division has existed in Dublin, with the dividing line provided by the River Liffey. The Northside (written as one word) is generally poorer and more working class, while the Southside is seen as middle and upper class and wealthier. This is also reflected by Dublin postal districts, with odd numbers being used for districts on the Northside, e.g: Raheny is in Dublin 5, and even numbers for ones on the Southside, e.g: Sandymount is in Dublin 4.

This division dates back centuries, certainly to the point when the Earl of Kildare built his residence on the then less regarded Southside and was promptly followed by most other Irish peers, who when asked why he was building on the South Side, said "Where I go, fashion follows me". Paradoxically, while the Southside is wealthier, the President of Ireland'%C1ras_an_Uachtar%E1in" title ="Áras an Uachtaráin">Áras an Uachtaráin, is on the Northside, however its postal district is Dublin 8 which is a Southside number. The residence of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, and his Church of Ireland counterparts until the 1920s, are also on the Northside, whilst one of Dublin's wealthiest suburbs, the Hill of Howth is also on the Northside. The Southside also has many working-class suburbs, like Palmerstown, Crumlin, and Ballyfermot.

Dublin 4

Dublin'Dublin_4" title ="Dublin 4">Dublin 4, referring to one of the city'Dublin_postal_districts" title ="Dublin postal districts">postal districts, in which the studios of Radio Telifís Éireann, the national broadcaster are located, as are a number of respected schools, colleges and a university. The modern campus of University College Dublin is located on the boundary of Dublin 4 and Dublin 14. In actuality, the term Dublin 4 or the abbreviated D4 can refer to any middle class Dubliner from the Northside or the Southside or in many cases to simply an attitude that can be found anywhere in Ireland. Many politicians and political commentators live in Dublin 4, while Dublin 4 traditionally takes a strongly liberal stance in referenda on issues like abortion and divorce. The area is also associated with a distinctive accent which can be pleasing to some and painful to others.



Radio Telifís Éireann is Ireland'Fair_City" title ="Fair City">Fair City is the broadcasters' capital based soap, located in the fictional suburb of Carraigstown. TV3 the state'Television" title ="Television">television broadcaster is also located in the capital, much of its programming is imported. It aims to attract a young audience. The main infrastructure and offices of An Post and Eircom as well as Vodafone and mmO2 are located in the capital. The capital is also the location of important national newspapers and radio stations.


Dublin is the center of education in Ireland, having three universities. The University of Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland dating from the Trinity College, Dublin established by Royal Charter under Elizabeth I. The National University of Ireland has its seat in Dublin as well as the location of the associated constitutent university of University College Dublin. Dublin City University is the most recent university created in Ireland and specialises in business, engineering and science courses which are relevant to industry and prides itself on its research record. Dublin Institute of Technology is a modern technical college and is the countries largest non-university third level institution, it specialises in a wide technical but also has unique arts courses it is soon to move to the Grangegorman Campus. There are also various other smaller specialised colleges, including private, in the city.


Dublin is the center of the transport system in Ireland, see Transportation in Ireland. Dublin Port is the country'Sea_port" title ="Sea port">sea port. Dublin Airport is the most important airport in the republic and the bulk of passenger traffic travels through the airport. Heuston Station and Connolly Station are the city'Railway_station" title ="Railway station">railway stations, Heuston connects with the towns and cities in the south and west of the Republic while Connolly serves the Sligo and Dublin-Belfast routes. Dublin is also a major hub to the country'Dublin_Area_Rapid_Transit" title ="Dublin Area Rapid Transit">Dublin Area Rapid Transit system is the state'Luas" title ="Luas">Luas light rail opened in June 2004 and it is hoped that it will usher a new era for south city and county Dublin; if it is successful a metro system might follow.


City Government

The 18th century Four Courts The headquarters of Ireland's High and Supreme Courts. larger image from a different angle
The 18th century Four Courts The headquarters of Ireland'images/6/63/Fourcourtsquays.JPG" class='internal' title="larger image from a different angle">larger image from a different angle
Three castles, often on a blue background, is a traditional symbol of the city
Three castles, often on a blue background, is a traditional symbol of the city

Dublin City is governed by Dublin City Council (formerly called Dublin Corporation) which is presided over by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who is elected for a yearly term and resides in the Mansion House, which first became the residence of the Lord Mayor in 1715. Dublin City Council is based in two major buildings. Its headquarters is in Dublin City Hall, the former Royal Exchange taken over for city government use in the 1850s. Many of its administrative staff are based in the controversial Civic Offices, built on top of what had been one of the best preserved Viking sites in the world. The Corporation'Mary_Robinson" title ="Mary Robinson">Mary Robinson (later President of Ireland) marching to try to stop the destruction. The destruction of the site on Wood Quay and the building of a set of offices known as The Bunkers (because of their ugly appearance) is generally seen as one of the most disastrous acts against Ireland's heritage since independence, with even Dublin Corporation admitting subsequently that it was ashamed of its action.

County Dublin

For centuries the city was administered by Dublin Corporation. The county containing Dublin, known as County Dublin, covers an area of 922 km² and contains over a million inhabitants. In 1994 the Dublin County Council (the area excluding the city) was divided into three districts, each with county-level status and its own administration, namely:

National Government

Leinster House18th century ducal palace now the seat of parliament.Dublin City Hall formerly the Royal Exchange
Leinster House
18th century ducal palace now the seat of parliament.Image:Dublincityhall.jpg
Dublin City Hall
formerly the Royal Exchange

The Republic of Ireland's National Parliament (called Oireachtas Éireann) consists of the President of Ireland and two houses, Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (Senate). All three are based in Dublin. The President of Ireland lives in Áras an Uachtaráin, the former residence of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State in the city'Phoenix_Park" title ="Phoenix Park">Phoenix Park. Both houses of the Oireachtas Éireann meet in Leinster House, a former ducal palace on the south side of the city. The building has been the home of Irish parliaments since the creation of the Irish Free State on December 6, 1922.

The Irish Government is based in the Irish Government Buildings, a large building designed by Aston Webb, the architect who created the Edwardian facade to Buckingham Palace. Initially what is now Government Buildings was designed for use as the Royal College of Science, the last major building built by the British administration in Ireland. In 1921 the House of Commons of Southern Ireland met there. Given its location next to Leinster House, the Irish Free State government took over part of the building to serve as a temporary home for some ministries. However both it and Leinster House (originally meant to be a temporary home of parliament) became the permanent homes of the government and parliament respectively. Until 1990, the Irish government shared the building with the Engineering Faculty of University College Dublin, which retained use of the central block of the building, However following the building of a new Engineering Faculty at the UCD campus in Belfield, the Government took entire control, and remodelled the entire building for governmental use.

The previous old Irish Houses of Parliament of the Kingdom of Ireland is located in College Green.

Famous Dubliners

Writers, composers and philosophers


Politicians and Leaders

More images

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral

'Christ Church Cathedral, founded c.1030.' Seat since the 16th century of the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin.

Áras an Uachtaráin
Áras an Uachtaráin

Áras an Uachtaráin (sometimes spelt Árus an Uachtaráin, and translated as the President's house) has been the state residence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland until 1922, two of the three Irish Governors-General, and since June 1938 all eight Presidents of Ireland. (See Áras an Uachtaráin for the full history.)

Government Buildings
Government Buildings

Government Buildings, formerly the Royal College of Science, was built in the first decade of the twentieth century. Its foundation stone was laid by King Edward VII in 1904 and was officially opened by King George V in 1911. (ER and GR meaning Edward Rex - King Edward - and George Rex - King George - are carved on the exteriors of different wings of the building.) In June 1921 it was the venue for the abortive meeting of the Senate and House of Commons of Southern Ireland. In 1922 the new Irish Free State took over two wings for government offices, with the centre block remaining the home of the Royal College of Science (which merged later with University College Dublin). In 1989, UCD finally moved out of the building and the entire building was renovated and turned into a state of the art Government Buildings. Aston Webb, who designed the edwardian facade to Buckingham Palace, was the main architect for this building.

Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin, the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin. is the oldest of Dublin'University_College_Dublin" title ="University College Dublin">University College Dublin and Dublin City University). It was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in the sixteenth century. (See Trinity College Dublin)

Further images

See also

Additional reading

  • Maurice Craig, The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880 (Batsford, Paperback edition 1989) (ISBN 0713425873)
  • Frank McDonald, Saving the City: How to Halt the Destruction of Dublin (Tomar Publishing, 1989) (ISBN 1871793033) foreword by Bob Geldof
  • Edward McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland 1680-1760 (Yale University Press, 2001) (ISBN 0300030641)
  • Hanne Hem, Dubliners, An Anthropologist's Account, Oslo, 1994

External links

County Dublin

Dublin City ( Northside, Southside) | Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown | Fingal | South Dublin

Cities in Ireland
Republic of Ireland: Dublin | Cork | Limerick | Galway | Waterford | Kilkenny
Northern Ireland: Belfast | Derry | Armagh | Newry | Lisburn

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