Cluain Dolcáin


Location in Ireland

Coordinates: 53°19′13″N 6°23′41″W / 53.320278°N 6.394722°W / 53.320278; -6.394722Coordinates: 53°19′13″N 6°23′41″W / 53.320278°N 6.394722°W / 53.320278; -6.394722
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County South Dublin
  Dáil Éireann Dublin Mid-West
  South Dublin County Council Local electoral area Clondalkin
Population (2011)
  Urban 45,165
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
  Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
This provides us with another view of the Round Tower.
Another view of the round tower in Clondalkin.

Clondalkin (/klʊnˈdɒːkɪn/; Irish: Cluain Dolcáin, meaning "Dolcan's meadow") is a suburban town situated 10 km west of Dublin city centre, Ireland, in the county of South Dublin. The name is also used in relation to the area's religious parishes.

Clondalkin is home to an eighth-century round tower that acts as a focal point for the area. The Clondalkin round tower is one of the four remaining towers in County Dublin.[1] Acknowledged as one of the oldest and best preserved in the country, it is 25.6 metres high and has its original conical cap.[2] Clondalkin forms part of the Dublin South-Central Dáil constituency and its Clondalkin's postal code is 22.



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.[3]

Christian era

View from 1820
Clondalkin Castle - view from 1830

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[4]) 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.[5]

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.[6]

Viking arrival

Clondalkin was sacked by Vikings from Denmark 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.[7] The district remained under Danish control until the Viking defeat by Brian Boru at the famous Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Norman era

Clondalkin witnessed another historic event during the Norman invasion in 1171 when there was a battle there between Richard de Clare (Strongbow) and the last High King of Ireland Ruairi O Conchúir.

17th century and beyond

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.[8][9] (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.

Amenities and businesses

Modern Clondalkin is a busy satellite town of Dublin, with a population of 45,165 in 2011. Retail facilities include The Mill Shopping Centre in Clondalkin village, as well as other branches of Tesco Ireland and Dunnes Stores. Aldi and Lidl also have stores, located on the Fonthill Road and New Nangor Road respectively.

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 Fitness, a gym located on the Coldcut Rd, closed down permanently mid-2016. It is believed that there are plans to convert the complex into a residential development consisting of 27 apartments.

Liffey Valley Shopping Centre is a major shopping mall that is also in the area. Tallaght and its shopping centre, The Square, is also within driving distance.

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 has a branch of South Dublin Libraries in a building which used to house a Carnegie library.[11] It also has a post office.

Clondalkin also plays host to a large number of online businesses. The attraction for online businesses is its location, great Internet facilities and communications infrastructure, an accessible location and modern office space in the Park West and Nangor road area.

The Clondalkin area is also home to two prisons – Wheatfield Prison and Cloverhill Prison.


Clondalkin is served by public transport to Dublin city centre, to nearby suburbs, and to neighbouring towns 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.[12] 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.[13] A new station, to replace rather than supplement the previous station, has been built at Fonthill, north of Bawnogue.[14] 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.[15] 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.

Politics and local government

Clondalkin is included in the Dublin Mid-West Dáil Éireann constituency. Four TDs were elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011 – two from Fine Gael and two from Labour.

Clondalkin is mostly in the Clondalkin Local electoral area for county council elections (along with Rathcoole, Newcastle and Saggart), with parts in the Tallaght Central local electoral area.


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.[16] 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 and 2015.


The town's two main association football teams were Moyle Park Past Pupils FC,[17] 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 Ashwood F.C., 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 have emerged as strong soccer clubs in the area.


Rugby union is played at Clondalkin Rugby Club, Kingswood,[18] 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


Bernard Dunne the former WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion is from Neilstown in Clondalkin.

Kenny Egan, winner of a silver medal for boxing in the 2008 Olympics, comes from Clondalkin, originally Woodford estate.[19]


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.

The National Baseball Facility in Ireland, O'Malley Field, is located in Corkagh Demesne Park, in southwest Clondalkin. This is the home of the Irish national baseball team.[20]


Clondalkin has a number of primary and secondary schools from many different denominations.

Among its primary schools are: 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.

Clondalkin also contains three Gaelscoileanna (Irish-language schools) – Coláiste Chilliain, Gaelscoil Chluain Dolcáin, and Gaelscoil na Camóige.

Irish language

Clondalkin may be set to become one of Ireland's newest Gaeltacht regions thanks to a Government proposal to redefine what constitutes a Gaeltacht, "based on linguistic criteria instead of on geographic areas".[21]

There are an estimated 1,300 Irish speakers in Clondalkin attending the two Gaelscoileanna (Irish language primary schools) and Gaelcholáiste (Irish language secondary school).

Áras Chrónáin,[22] 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 the prestigious Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 1991.

Local organisations

Community organisations include a unit of Toastmasters International,[23] 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 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,[24] 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.



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).[25]

Climate data for Clondalkin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
Average low °C (°F) 2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66
Source: Weatherbase[26]


  1. "Clondalkin Round Tower". Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  2. – Round Tower, Clondalkin, Dublin. (15 September 2013). Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  3. Clondalkin – History. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  4. South Dublin Libraries
  5. History. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  6. St Brigid's Holy Well, Clondalkin. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  7. O Corrain, Donnchadh (1997). The oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings. New york: Oxford. p. 107.
  8. Beckett, James Camlin (1981). The making of modern Ireland: 1603–1923. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-18036-1.
  9. Davies, Norman (1999). The Isles: a history. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-76370-4.
  10. and Post 1991 populations include the total for the Greater Dublin suburbs of Clondalkin village, Clondalkin -Ballymount, Clondalkin -Cappaghmore, Clondalkin-Dunawley, Clondalkin-Monastery, Clondalkin-Moorfield, and Clondalkin-Rowlagh. For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses" in Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, and also "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850" by Joel Mokyr and Cormac Ó Gráda in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov. 1984), pp. 473–488.
  11. "Clondalkin". South Dublin Libraries. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  12. "Clondalkin station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  13. "Your journey, your station". Irish Rail. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  14. "New train station at Fonthill Clondalkin opened". National Development Plan. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  15. "Metro Orbital (Metro West)". Railway Procurement Agency. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  16. See Gazette Group
  17. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
  18. Clondalkin Rugby Club | Gordon Park, Kingswood, Dublin. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  19. Newenham, Pamela (27 August 2008). "Over 1,000 welcome Egan home". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  20. "Baseball Ireland home page". Baseball Ireland. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
  22. Fáilte – Arashronain Archived 24 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  23. Clondalkin Toastmasters club. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  24. Clondalkin TidyTowns Archived 7 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Clondalkin TidyTowns (30 April 2013). Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  25. Climate Summary for Clondalkin. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  26. "". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on 11 July 2013.
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