Places to visit: Other

Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium

Aviva Stadium is the home of Irish Rugby.

Did you know that Aviva Stadium is built on one of the oldest sports grounds in the world; or that the first ever international athletic meeting took place here in 1876? To learn more about 150 years of Irish sporting history, take a tour of the stadium and visit the press conference room, the home team dressing rooms, the players’ tunnel, the dugouts and more. Tours run 7 days a week but not when the stadium is in use for sporting fixtures.

Open 7 days Feb-Oct 10.00 am–4.00 pm; Nov-Jan 10.00 am-3.00 pm

There are tours on the hour every hour (go to the stadium tour office on Lansdowne Road). The stadium is closed on match days (check the website for details).

Closed  25-26 Dec.

www.avivastadium.ie/tours

Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4

Tel: 01-232 0878 or 01 238 2300

Adults €10; Concessions.

Blessington Street Basin

Blessington Street Basin ***

A picturesque walled park with a landscaped walk around a large lake and plenty of places to sit. Built in the early 19th century to provide a clean water supply to the north of the city. From the 1860’s on, the Basin’s water was used to supply distilleries in Bow Street (Jamesons) and John’s Lane (Powers) until 1976. Completely refurbished in 1993/94 and now a quiet city haven, providing a “secret garden” for local residents and visitors alike. Bird sanctuary on the central island.

Open every day 10.00 am; closing time varies in line with nightfall.

www.dublincity.ie

Blessington Street Basin, Dublin 7.

Tel: 01-2225278

Free admission.

Bull Island and Dollymount Strand

Bull Island, or more properly North Bull Island, is an island located in Dublin Bay, about 5 km long and 800 m wide, lying roughly parallel to the shore off Clontarf, Raheny, Kilbarrack, and facing Sutton. The island, with a sandy beach known as Dollymount Strand running its entire length, is a relatively recent result of human intervention in the bay.

In times past, Dublin Bay had a long-running problem with silting, notably at the mouth of the River Liffey. After years of primitive dredging, an attempt to maintain a clear channel more effectively got under way when in 1715 construction of the Great South Wall began. In 1761, work on a stone pier commenced, working from the Poolbeg Lighthouse back to shore.

It was during this period that the building of a North Bull Wall was also proposed. When it was seen that the South Wall did not solve the silting problem, the authorities responsible for Dublin Port commissioned studies on the matter. Captain William Bligh, of “Bounty” fame, surveyed Dublin Bay for the Ballast Board in 1801, highlighting the potential of the North Bull sandbank.

A wooden bridge, the first Bull Bridge, was erected in 1819 to facilitate the construction of a stone wall. Started in 1820, the Bull Wall was completed in 1825.

Over the succeeding 48 years, the natural tidal effects created by the walls deepened the entry to the Liffey from 1.8 m to 4.8 m. Much of the silt now scoured from the river course was deposited on the North Bull, and a true island began to emerge, with people venturing out to the growing beach. The volume of visitors was increased when horse tram services to Clontarf began in 1873, and when a full tram line to Howth opened 1900, with stops in the Clontarf / Dollymount area.

In 1889, the Royal Dublin Golf Club, then located at Sutton, received permission to lay out a golf course at the city end of the island, and construct a clubhouse.

The island is connected to the mainland by the Bull Bridge, today a one-lane wooden road bridge (with weight and height restrictions) at the southern (Clontarf/ Dollymount) end, and by a broad causeway at Raheny.

Most of North Bull Island is the property of Dublin City Council, the exception being North Bull Wall, the breakwater beyond it, and the wooden bridge to it, which are owned by the Dublin Port Company (and closed for a day each year to ensure that no right of way is created), and the Royal Dublin Golf Club links. The bulk of the island makes up the largest park owned by the city.

North Bull Island has the most designations of any site in the Republic of Ireland and its importance for nature conservation has been recognised since 1914. It was the first National Bird Sanctuary (1931). Since 1981 it has been designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the only biosphere reserve in the world located entirely in a capital city.

In 1988, it became a National Nature Reserve. It is of European Union importance, being a Special Protection Area under the EU Birds Directive and a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive. It is also a National Special Amenity Area since 1995, one of 3 in the Republic of Ireland. This recognises both its outstanding beauty and nature conservation values.

Bird species on the island include pale-bellied brent geese, Eurasian curlews, Eurasian oystercatchers, grey plovers, northern shovellers, little egrets, reed buntings and little terns. There are six terrestrial mammal species on the island: brown rats, red foxes, field mice, Irish hares, hedgehogs and European rabbits. Common seals and grey seals are also found in the surrounding waters and can regularly be seen on the sand at low tide at the tip of the island near Howth.

The Island is a breeding site. It is also home to many species of plants including the bee orchid, pyramidal orchid, Marsh Helleborine, Bee orchid and common spotted orchids. There is an Interpretative Centre at the end of the causeway on the right hand side which has displays and information on the flora and fauna of the island.

Dollymount Strand, the 5 km beach on the island, is a popular walking and recreational area. Many people learned to drive on the firm flat sandy foreshore at low tide. Parking areas allow access for those who wish to sit in their cars and look out to sea watching the ships and ferries. The island has two golf courses, the more famous belonging to the Royal Dublin Golf Club, and the newer to St. Anne’s Golf Club.

This information has been adapted from the excellent Wikipedia article cited below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Island

The Church

The Church **

The former St. Mary’s Church of Ireland is one of the earliest examples of a galleried church in Dublin. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, it boasts many outstanding features, such as the Renatus Harris built organ and a spectacular stained glass window. Important historical figures associated with St. Mary’s include Arthur Guinness, Sean O’Casey, Wolfe Tone, John Wesley, Jonathan Swift and George Frederic Handel.

St. Mary’s closed in 1964 and lay derelict for a number of years. Beautifully restored, it is now a café, bar and restaurant.

A self-guided tour is available in The Church everyday between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.

www.thechurch.ie

The Church Café, Bar and Restaurant, Junction of Mary St & Jervis St, Dublin 1.

Tel: 01 828 0102.

Croke Park

Croke Park Stadium Tour and GAA Museum ****

Croke Park is an iconic stadium, steeped in history, and has been at the heart of Irish sporting and cultural life for over 100 years. Enjoy an unrivalled state-of-the-art interactive visitor experience and find out more about Ireland’s unique national games – hurling and Gaelic football.

The Croke Park Stadium Tour offers an access-all-areas trip through the home of Irish sport. Walk in the footsteps of legends as you visit the team dressing rooms before going pitchside and taking a seat in the VIP area. Enjoy panoramic views from the top tier of the stand – 30 metres above the famous pitch.

Explore the museum with its new exhibition galleries that vividly illustrate the story of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day. Test your own hurling and football skills in the interactive games zone.

Opening Times

January – May and September – December
Monday-Friday: 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm
Sunday & Bank Holiday: 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm

June
Monday – Friday: 11.00 am, 1.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm
Saturday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm
Sunday & Bank Holiday: 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm

July and August
Monday – Saturday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm
Sunday & Bank Holiday: 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 pm, 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm

Check website for match day information (when restrictions apply).

www.crokepark.ie

Croke Park, St Joseph’s Avenue (off Clonliffe Road), Dublin 3

Tel: 01 819 2300

Adults €14; concessions

Dublin Zoo

Dublin Zoo *****

Ireland’s most popular family attraction (over one million visitors a year). Opened in 1831, Dublin Zoo is one of the world’s oldest and most popular zoos. It has been transformed in recent decades into a 28 hectare park of gardens, lakes and natural habitats for over 400 animals. Many are rare species and their survival in the wild is under threat; many of the zoo’s animals are part of international breeding programmes for endangered species. The African Plains area is spectacular, a facsimile of the grassy savanna and open plains of the natural wild. See giraffe and zebras wander while the hunting dogs prowl. Look out too for the rhino, the ostrich and the chimpanzees.

Kids rate this venue a 5-star experience.

Open Mon–Sun. Jan: 9.30 am–4.30 pm; Feb: 9.30 am–5.00 pm; Mar – Sept: 9.30 am–6.00 pm; Oct: 9.30 pm–5.30 pm; Nov & Dec: 9.30 am–4.00 pm. Closed December 25 and 26. [The African Plains close thirty minutes before the listed closing times]. 

www.dublinzoo.ie

Phoenix Park, Dublin 8.

Tel: 01 474 8900.

Adults €17.50; concessions.

Dunsink Observatory

Dunsink Observatory

Dunsink Observatory, opened in 1785, was the first building in Ireland specifically constructed for scientific research. Ireland’s greatest mathematician/scientist, William Rowan Hamilton, lived and worked here.

Originally part of Trinity College Dublin, it was purchased by the state in 1947 when the School of Cosmic Physics was established (as part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies).

The Observatory is used nowadays mainly for public outreach,  workshops/conferences, and as visitor accommodation. Rooms can also be hired by external parties.

Open Nights are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month during the winter months (October-March). Weather permitting, visitors can view celestial objects through the historic Grubb Telescope. There are also audio-visual presentations, lectures on a wide variety of topics in astronomy, and question and answer sessions. Open nights are free of charge.

From time to time Dunsink Observatory holds a special evening for parents and children who would like to meet a real astronomer and explore the night sky together. This family event begins at 7.30 pm with a short presentation, followed by live stargazing (weather permitting) and a question and answer session.

School/College trips to Dunsink Observatory can be arranged if booked beforehand. These trips can be organised for day or evening time.

www.dunsink.dias.ie

Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

Re Open Nights, phone Hilary O’Donnell at 087-6294966 or email hod@cp.dias.ie

For general queries, phone 01 4406656.

Freemasons Hall

Freemasons’ Hall ***

The home of the Grand Lodge of Ireland since 1866. The building houses many meeting rooms in different architectural styles, including an Egyptian room and a mock Gothic Room. There is an exhibition on Freemasonry in Ireland from the early 18th Century.  A fascinating curiosity.

Museum open Mon-Fri from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (admission free).

In June, July, and August there is a daily conducted tour at 2.30 pm (Mon-Fri). The tour costs €2.

www.discoverireland.ie

www.freemason.ie

17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: 01 6761337

Genealogical Resources

Genealogical Resources in Dublin

There is a wide range of resources available in Dublin for people who wish to trace their ancestry. From census records and marriage certificates to land deeds and church records, not to mention many helpful genealogy specialists, Dublin is a key place to begin your family research for anywhere in the country.

Here is a brief overview of Irish genealogical resources (information largely taken from the Fáilte Ireland “Dublin Pocket Guide”):

National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.
Phone 01-4072300
www.nationalarchives.ie

The National Archives hold many records that are relevant to Irish genealogy and local history, including the surviving census records. Members of the public are welcome to visit and explore the sources available, and can avail of an in-house Genealogy Service, which offers a free, short personal consultation with a professional genealogist. The complete 1901 and 1911 census records are also available online on the National Archives website.

National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 01-6030200
www.nli.ie

The National Library offers a free Genealogical Advisory Service, making it the perfect place to start your research. The Genealogist on duty will provide you with an overview of Irish genealogical records and explain how to locate search tools and how to access the records. Resources available include civil records, microfilm of Catholic Church records, and land and property records.

A new online resource for researching family history from the 18th and 19th centuries was launched in July 2015 – the National Library’s parish records website. This site contains digitised details of births, deaths and marriages in most Catholic parishes during the 1700s and 1800s. The details available on the website provide an invaluable stepping stone for anyone trying to complete a family tree, given that all pre-1901 census records were destroyed during the Four Courts fire of 1922. To get the most from searching the site, please find out (if you can) the exact parish where your family member was born, as well as the year of birth. See http://registers.nli.ie/

General Register Office, Werburgh Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 090 6632900
http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/GRO_Research.aspx

The General Register Office holds all civil birth, marriage and death records from 1864 onwards (records for the six counties of Northern Ireland are only held as far as 1921). All of the Office’s records are now searchable online – see the entry below for www.irishgenealogy.ie for more details.

Glasnevin Trust, Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Road, Dublin 11.
Phone 01-8826550.
www.glasnevintrust.ie/genealogy

The Glasnevin Trust has about 1.5 million records available for Glasnevin, Dardistown, Newlands Cross, Palmerstown and Goldenbridge cemeteries, as well as Glasnevin and Newlands Cross crematoria.

Registry of Deeds, Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.
Phone 0761 001610  or 051 303000
http://www.prai.ie/

The Registry of Deeds was established in 1708 to regulate land and proprty transactions. Registration of deeds was not obligatory and was mainly carried out by property-owning classes such as landowners, merchants and traders. Please consult this link for more precise information about requesting searches –
http://www.prai.ie/registry-of-deeds-services/#records

Dublin City Library & Archives, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 01 6744999
http://databases.dublincity.ie/

The Dublin City Library provides several archive collections, including historical maps of Dublin, Dublin City Council records, local parish records and online access to historic electoral rolls and electoral lists, and a directory of Dublin graveyards.

Valuation Office, Block 2, Irish Life Centre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Phone 01 8171000
http://www.valoff.ie/en/Archives_Genealogy_Public_Office/

The Valuation Office houses maps and cancelled and current land books which are based on Griffith’s Primary Valuation. The cancelled and current land books document all changes of occupancy of land and property from the time of the original survey (1848-1864) to the late 20th century.

Representative Church Body Library, Braemor Park, Dublin 14.
Phone 01-4923979
www.ireland.anglican.org

The Representative Church Body Library is the principal repository of archives and manuscripts of the Church of Ireland (Anglican Church). It holds the registers of over 600 parishes from counties now in the Republic of Ireland, as well as microfilm copies of many others.

Religious Society of Friends Library, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.
Phone01 4998003
www.quakers-in-ireland.ie

The Society of Friends (Quakers) has been keeping records since the 17th century. Of particular interest are the transcribed registers of births, marriages and deaths held at this library.

The Irish Jewish Genealogical Society, Jasonia Centre, 76 Dame Street, Dublin 2.
Phone 01-6773808
www.irishjewishroots.com

Individual entries cover over 105 fields of information such as date and place of birth, school, marriage and occupation details where available, as well as links to parents, children and siblings.

http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/

This website is operated by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and allows users to search a wide range of record sources. The website is home to the on-line Indexes of the Civil Registers (GRO) of Births, Marriages, Civil Partnerships and Deaths; and to Church Records of Baptism, Marriage and Burial from a number of counties.

On the church records front, you can search all pre-20th century Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City; and you can do similar searches for a small number of additional counties.

The site also operates as a search portal that allows users to search the following record sources:

  • 1901/1911 Census records and pre-1901 survivals
  • Census Search Forms from 1841/1851
  • Tithe Applotments
  • Soldier’s Wills
  • Griffith’s Valuations
  • Ireland – Australia Transportation database
  • Military Archives
  • Ellis Island
  • National Photographic Archive from the National Library of Ireland

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (formerly Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland)
www.accreditedgenealogists.ie 

You can find additional helpful information in the Discover Ireland guide, “Tracing your Ancestors in Ireland”, which you can download from http://www.discoverireland.ie