Blackrock railway station serves Blackrock in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland. It opened publicly on 17 December 1834 and is one of the three original stations on the Dublin and Kingstown Railway (D&KR), the oldest public passenger railway in Ireland. From the inception of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) service in 1984, all DART services stop at Blackrock.


Directly outside the station are bus stops served by several Dublin Bus routes, Go-Ahead Ireland routes and some private operators.


I was contacted by an online follower asking why I sometimes used "Train Station" as well as "Railway Station". Over the years I have seen signs in Ireland that referred to Train Station, Station or Railway Station.


According to various sources: In British English, traditional terminology favours railway station or simply station, even though train station, which is often perceived as an Americanism, is now about as common as railway station in writing; railroad station is not used, railroad being obsolete. In British usage, the word station is commonly understood to mean a railway station unless otherwise qualified.


In the United States, the most common term in contemporary usage is train station; railroad station and railway station are less common, though they were more common in the past. In the U.S., the term depot is sometimes used as an alternative name for station, along with the compound forms train depot, railway depot and railroad depot - it is used for both passenger and freight facilities. The term depot is not used in reference to vehicle maintenance facilities in American English whereas it is in the UK and Ireland, and even neighbouring Canada, for example.

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The town was officially renamed Kingstown in 1821 in honour of a visit by the British King George IV, but reverted to its ancient Irish name by resolution of the town council in 1921. This monument was erected to mark the occasion of the visit.

The inscription is as follows: 


To Commemorate the visit of the King to this part of his

dominions and to record that on the 3rd of September 1821

His Majesty in person graciously named this Asylum Harbour

the Royal of Harbour of George IV and on the same day

embarked from hence.



King George arrived in Ireland on his 59th birthday in August 1821 and it was expected that he would arrive in Dun Laoghaire. I think that it was spelled 'DunLeary' at the time. But for some reason [related to too much alcohol] he first landed in Ireland at the West pier in Howth where his footprints were recorded for posterity. 


After spending a few weeks having a great time in Ireland the king decided to exit via Dun Laoghaire which was later renamed Kingstown in his honour. The name did not change back until 1922 when Ireland was independent. 


The George IV monument was erected about 1823 to commemorate the 1821 visit. However, the monument was controversial from the start. It was lampooned by Thackeray the poet. Also,  it was a target for many protesters and attacks including a bombing in  1970, after which one of the 4 balls forming the base was badly damaged and had to be replaced [if my memory serves me well the ball was initially replaced by a block of wood which remained for an expended period].


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I have noticed that very few passers-by pay any attention to this large sculpture located beside the LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre in Dun Laoghaire.


The "Triple Cross" of Christ the King, symbolising the three distinct aspects of Christ's life – Desolation, Consolation and Triumph – has been standing 18 feet high as a major landmark for the town, since it was formally unveiled in 1978.


The sculpture is 18 feet high and weighs approximately 3.5 tons. The three scenes depicted on the tall bronze pillar symbolise three distinct aspects of Christ’s life - desolation, consolation and triumph. A shrouded weary Jesus, crucified on the cross, the heavy canopy symbolising the day of gloom and despair; the resurrected Christ with arms outstretched; and Christ pulling clear of his bondage and emerging to greet his followers. These scenes follow clockwise around the mast of the pillar, the arms of the cross dividing them as we move down the piece. The sculpture narrows to angular sheets of bronze until we reach the large bronze plaques, which form the lower section. 


The Christ the King Statue is by Andrew O’Connor, a well-known Irish American sculptor whose work is on display throughout the world. Among his best-known works are the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois; Peace by Justice in The Hague; Tristan and Iseult in the Brooklyn Museum and the Lafayette Monument in Baltimore. Based in Paris for many years, O’Connor was strongly influenced by Auguste Rodin, whom he knew. The sculpture now known as Christ the King and located in Dún Laoghaire was originally known as the Triple Cross. O’Connor entered the Triple Cross in a competition held by the French for a Monument to the Dead of the Great War. O’Connor was awarded the Legion d’Honneur for the Triple Cross. It was first exhibited, in plaster, at the Paris Salon of 1926. 


According to a 1932 booklet the original idea for the erection of a sculpture in Dún Laoghaire came from a 1925 Encyclical Letter which instituted the Feast of Christ the King – to be held on the last Sunday of October.


In 1931 a group of laymen in Dún Laoghaire got together with a view to erecting a statue to honour the new feast day. Dún Laoghaire was regarded as the gateway to Ireland and thus a fitting place to raise such a significant monument. A committee was established to select and acquire a site for the sculpture. The selection criteria for the site was that there should be an uninterrupted view of the monument for ships entering and leaving the harbour as well as those traversing the bay and that there should be easy approach to those who wished to visit the site on land. 


An appeal booklet appeared the following year announcing Andrew O’Connor as the committee’s choice of sculptor. The piece was eventually cast in bronze but World War II intervened and it was hidden in France to avoid its three tonnes being melted down. It was eventually delivered to Dún Laoghaire in 1949. However, due to local clerical opposition to the statue it was not erected and for many years was stored in a back garden on Rochestown Avenue. Eventually Christ the King was unveiled in the Haigh Terrace location on December 16, 1978 forty-seven years after the public meeting in the town hall. This location was not the originally intended location and came in for criticism at the time of the sculpture’s erection. 




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Blackrock Park is a pleasant green area overlooking Dublin Bay, in Blackrock County Dublin, and boasts a well equipped children's playground, cycle path and trees.


There is also a picturesque pond containing a small island, and swans can regularly been seen there. The Peace Fountain in the pond was constructed in 1986 to mark International Year for Peace.


Blackrock had a beach that was a popular bathing place until the construction of the railway close to the shoreline. The space between the shore and the railway created an area that flooded with sea water at high tide. This created a malodorous salty marsh similar to that at Booterstown marsh. This marsh was a cause of local discomfort for years until it was decided by the Blackrock Town Commissioners (established in 1860) to fill the area in and create a park. The park, which stretches from Blackrock to Booterstown (encompassing Williamstown), was created in the early 1870s. The granite gates at the main entrance once belonged to a house called Vauxhall. The gardens at the entrance were part of the gardens of the old house.


The Williamstown Martello Tower in Blackrock Park was built between 1804–1806. When the tower was built, it would have been surrounded by sea water at high tide as it was built in the inter-tidal beach area. The tower became isolated from the sea when the construction of the railway took place, but sea water still flowed into the area at high tide. It wasn't until the filling in of the area to form the Blackrock Park that the tower was to be on dry land. That part of the tower which is visible today is actually the first floor as the ground floor is buried underground.


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The park is located in Rathfarnham, Rathgar and Milltown. It is named after the River Dodder, which flows through it.


The Dodder Valley Linear Park is a unique and priceless asset for the people of South Dublin and beyond. In addition to its natural conservation value, the park offers a rich heritage, outstanding scenery and a sanctuary for peaceful recreation.



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01/08/2022

In the past I have referred to the location as Stillorgan Hill rather than The Hill Stillorgan and this attracted some negative comments.


I first photographed this pub back in April 2012 which is more than ten years ago and the area has seen a lot of change since then and a number of large buildings, across the road from the pub, have been demolished making the immediate area somewhat unattractive.


The Stillorgan Orchard is one of the South Dublin’s oldest established pubs and is very popular because of its excellent food and location. Although it is the largest thatched roof pub in Ireland you will be surprised on entering to experience a modern European style cafe look. Spacious seating, lots of natural light and atmosphere. They have great parking facilities, two heated patios and they can cater for private parties and functions.



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Kilmacud (Irish: Cill Mhic Oda, meaning 'The Church of the Son Of Oda') is a suburban area of Dublin in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland, at least partly contiguous with Stillorgan.


Kilmacud is north of Sandyford, east of Dundrum and south of Goatstown. The west end of the Lower Kilmacud Road starts in Goatstown, heading in a southerly direction. It then goes southeast through what appears to be a narrow shortcut and on out to the end of Drummartin Road and turns east. From there it continues eastwards through to the Stillorgan dual carriageway or N11. In total, it is about 2.6 kilometres or 1.6 miles long. The Upper Kilmacud Road starts in Dundrum and goes uphill initially it continues eastward, levels off, and continues until a sharp corner brings it northward and downhill. It joins the Lower Kilmacud Road close to St. Laurence's Boys School. It is about 2.9 kilometres or 1.8 miles long.


The areas of Kilmacud and Stillorgan are overlapping. For example, Kilmacud Crokes GAA club is located in Stillorgan and Stillorgan's Roman Catholic parish is called Kilmacud. Kilmacud can be described as the area between and immediately around the Upper and Lower Kilmacud Roads. A now-gone placename sign for Stillorgan stood up until the 1970s near Beaufield Park, which is on the section of the Lower Kilmacud Road running between the shops near St. Laurence's Church, and the Stillorgan Shopping Centre. This would have been on the western edge of Stillorgan, and many of the existing housing estates mentioned earlier would not have been in place prior to the 1950s, so it would have marked the beginnings of a built-up area. The area now referred to as Kilmacud would have been on the western side of the sign, with the Chapel of SS Laurence and Cuthbert close by. This was long before the current church was dedicated just to St. Laurence O'Toole, which opened in 1964.



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I lived in Stillorgan in 1964 when the Parish of St. Laurence O’Toole, Kilmacud, was formed. The Parish was made up of Kilmacud and Stillorgan. The first Parish Priest was Canon Harley. Until then our local church was Mount Merrion.


Kilmacud takes its name from the Irish Cill Mochuda, the church of Mochud. Mochud was from Munster, and is associated with the monastery of Lismore, Co.Waterford. He is said to have died around 703. 


St. Brigid is the saint associated with Stillorgan. She founded the monastery in Kildare in the 5th or 6th century, which became one of the “Big Three” – with Iona and Armagh. Emissaries from Kildare came to Stillorgan, and built their church on the site of the present Church of Ireland church, probably in the early 9th century.


After WWII Dublin began to expand. Kilmacud and Stillorgan mushroomed and the needs of the Parish took on new dimensions.The De La Salle Brothers started St Benildus College in 1966 to provide secondary education for boys. Five years later, 1971, the Sisters of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus opened St Raphaela’s to provide a similar education for girls. Fr Walsh C.C. saw the need to provide physical recreation for young people in the Parish and was instrumental in founding the Kilmacud GAA Club in 1959.


A few years earlier, in 1948, the chapels of ease at Kilmacud and Mount Merrion were amalgamated into a single parish. Sixteen years later, in 1964, Kilmacud then became a Parish in its own right.


The chapel in Kilmacud was now much too small for the growing population, and all recognized that a new church was needed. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity donated a site, and the Church of St Laurence O’Toole was opened on December 14, 1969 by the Archbishop of the time Most Rev John Charles McQuaid. After the death of Canon Harley on January 13, 1981 Monsignor Val Rogers was appointed Parish Priest in June of the same year, a position he held with great distinction until he retired on his 75th birthday in 1995.



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I lived beside Stillorgan Shopping for the first thirty years of its existence and as it was the first shopping centre [mall] in Ireland and many of my friends were more than envious and kept finding excuses to visit me at home. Even though the centre is old and small compared to most modern shopping centres it is very popular as it is an outdoor centre.


Stillorgan Village is now an outdoor Centre, with wide malls and covered walkways.  The Centre’s strong retail offering includes well-known brands such as Tesco, Dunnes, Kilkenny and Donnybrook Fair.  However, Stillorgan Village is also home to many boutique brands and Irish owned businesses.



In the 1930s, 60 houses were built at Beaufield Park. The Merville Estate was subsequently built in the 1950s on land belonging to the Jolly family dairy farm. St Laurence's Park was completed in October 1954.


The first bowling alley in Ireland, the Stillorgan Bowl opened in December 1963 and was demolished in May 2021.


The first shopping centre to be built in Ireland opened in Stillorgan in 1966. It was opened by Dickey Rock. It had three supermarkets, Powers, Liptons and Quinnsworth. The road in front of the shopping centre was completely lined with cottages built during the early 19th century and, to enable the construction of the centre, they were knocked down and the rubble was used to fill in and level the lands that are now Páirc De Burca, the playing field of Kilmacud Crokes. 

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As the plaque describing this sculpture has been painted over I had difficulty finding any information relating to this structure which could well have been a 5G communications mast or a bee friendly structure.


After some online searching I now know that the seven metre tall structure is a "slender aluminium sculpture" with a "simple stacked cellular grid".


I later came Dublin City Council's description:  "Corban Walker has created an elegant, large-scale work based on many configurations of a cellular grid." 


"The interplay between projecting and recessed sections of the sculpture will create a lively, joyful vision of simplicity that belies the complexity of its making. Standing at over 7 metres high, the minimalist work will enhance the reflective and meditative environment of the duck pond and assert itself as a distinctive new feature of the park."


Bushy is the fourth of six new sculptures commissioned as part of Dublin City Council’s Sculpture Dublin initiative.


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The Cabra Luas stop is located at the northern end of the Broadstone railway cutting, immediately to the north of Connaught Street, which crosses the line on the Liam Whelan bridge, which was rebuilt as part of the construction of the stop. The main entrance is a long ramp leading from the eastern side of the bridge to the middle of the southbound platform (there are also stairs which lead from the middle of the ramp to the end of the platform). A second entrance consists of a pathway leading from the northern end of the stop to the nearby Mount Bernard Park.


The cutting is somewhat wider than the stop itself, meaning that there is some leftover space behind the northbound platform. Saplings have been planted in this area in an attempt to reduce the Luas's carbon footprint. Saplings have also been planted on the southbound platform.


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25/07/2022

Shandon Crescent is a lovely tree lined street of well-maintained houses which links Shandon Park and Connaught Street. Dating from the 1930's, the houses are ideal for young families.


I have seen Connaught Parade described as being next to Dalymount Park other than this there is very little information available.


The spelling used on  street signs in the area caught my attention as I was taught in school that the spelling was Connacht so I checked Wikipedia and while they agree with me I am still a bit uncertain.


Here is an extract from an online discussion "Connaught is to Connacht what Peking is to Beijing. In phases during the twentieth century a group of clumsily anglicised Gaelic names (Leix for Laois, Dunleary for Dun Laoghaire) were phased out (in reality, binned) and replaced by their original Gaelic antecedents. Connaught is one of these. It remained in usage until the mid-20th century before being respelt in the original Gaelic, which is now the correct form in both Irish and English. Part of the change was linked to the introduction of a new latin alphabet into Irish." 


According to Wikipedia: Connacht, formerly spelled Connaught, is one of the provinces of Ireland, in the west of Ireland. Since the early 17th century, there have been four Provinces of Ireland: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; however, in the medieval period there were more. The number of provinces and their delimitation fluctuated until 1610, when they were permanently set by the English administration of James I. The provinces of Ireland no longer serve administrative or political purposes but function as historical and cultural entities.

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DIT Grangegorman campus is approximately 4 mins walk from Grangegorman stop


The Green Line is one of the two lines of Dublin's Luas light rail system. The Green Line was formerly entirely in the south side of Dublin city. It mostly follows the route of the old Harcourt Street railway line, which was reserved for possible re-use when it closed in 1958. The Green Line allows for passenger transfers at O’ Connell GPO and Marlborough to Luas Red Line services and also allows commuters to use Broombridge as an interchange station to reach outer suburbs such as Castleknock and Ongar.


The Green Line from St Stephen's Green to Sandyford launched on 30 June 2004. An extension to the Bride's Glen stop at Cherrywood was opened on 16 October 2010.


As of 2018, the Green line is operating at near maximum capacity during the morning and evening rush hours, and it experiences mass overcrowding and congestion at these times. To assist in alleviating this congestion, seven new longer trams came into service in 2018, with a further eight entering service in 2020. Platforms between St Stephen's Green and Sandyford have been lengthened to accommodate the new trams.


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25/07/2022

Dalymount Park is a football stadium in Phibsborough on the Northside of Dublin, Ireland.


It is the home of Bohemian F.C., who have played there since the early 20th century. Affectionately known as Dalyer by fans, it was also historically the "home of Irish football", holding many Irish internationals and FAI Cup finals. It has also hosted UEFA Champions League qualifiers, UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup matches. However, the ground was largely undeveloped between the 1940s and the 2000s, and has now fallen out of use as a major venue, except for the home games of Bohemians.


The ground has also been used as a home ground by other League of Ireland teams, including Shamrock Rovers, Dublin City F.C. and Sporting Fingal, and will be used by Shelbourne F.C. once it has been developed. However by February 2022, Shelbourne proposed the purchase of Tolka Park, and the cancellation of the plan to share Dalymount.


Dublin City Council announced in March 2015 that it would purchase Dalymount Park in a deal including the taking back of Tolka Park which it has been leasing to Shelbourne F.C. The council completed the purchase in June 2015 for €3.8million. It was hoped that Bohemians and Shelbourne would become joint sub-tenants to the Football Association of Ireland at Dalymount, and that the ground could be redeveloped. It is thought that Bohemians, the Council and the stadium will emerge from the deal debt-free. The Dalymount deal went ahead despite issues with the Tolka Park acquisition. In October 2016 it was announced that Shelbourne FC would be moving in, after months of speculation. However by February 2022, Shelbourne proposed the purchase of Tolka Park, and the cancellation of the plan to share Dalymount.


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24/07/2022

If my dog had found this he would be in a panic trying to return it to whoever threw it.


I often wondered why do dogs like tennis balls and do dogs provide a larger market than tennis players.


I decided to search for an answer online and found the following explanation: Dogs love tennis balls as they are the perfect size to be held comfortably in their mouth and they have a wonderful springy texture that induces them to bite down and enjoy the ball as it springs back up again.

I often wondered why do dogs like tennis balls and do dogs provide a larger market than tennis players

There were two places where one could be guaranteed to find worthwhile street art. The first place is Peter Place near the Charlemont tram stop and the second is Peters Lane in Phibsborough.


Unfortunately the artwork on Peters Lane has not been updated for a long time and it would appear that the location attracts illegal dumping.

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24/07/2022

This impressive large cross was carved with a skull and cross bones above four symbols of the weakness and guilt of humanity. These from left to right are the cock, reflecting the betrayal of Jesus Christ by St Peter, a pillar symbolising his scourging, a serpent reflecting the fall from grace of the garden of Eden and finally the crown of thorns.


The high cross also has a carving of a whip on each corner.


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Unfortunately I have never mastered the art of photographing within buildings, especially churches but it is possible that I am constrained by the fact that I do not employ flash.


St. Peter's is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows, particularly the west window and Harry Clarke's early masterpiece entitled The Adoration of the Sacred Heart. The window depicts, among scenes of the life of Jesus Christ, the adoration of the Sacred Heart with Ss. Mary Magdalene and John the Evangelist.


St. Peters is richly decorated with Gothic embellishments, such as gargoyles, pinnacles, bosses and columns made from Newry granite.


In the early 19th century, Phibsborough was a crime-ridden suburb home to many families living in poverty. Ultimately, the concern for the children of Phibsborough resulted in the founding of a Catholic school in 1826. Two of the priests running this school, Rev. W. Young and Rev. W. Carroll, converted the top floor of the school into a chapel.


In 1838 the Vincentian order, under Dean Philip Dowley, took over the running of the church.


In 1843, new school buildings were built to house the growing number of students. The second floor of the old structure was removed and the chapels length was augmented, leaving it 123 feet (37 m) long and 35 feet (11 m) high. In 1907, work on the spire apparently commenced after Cardinal Moran of Australia commented on the lack of Catholic church spires in the Dublin skyline.


St Peter's Church is recognised as an important landmark in North Dublin. In 1984 Bernard Neary wrote:


You could hardly be called a Dubliner if you hadn't heard of St. Peter's Church, Phibsborough. Standing proudly on Dublin's Northside, each stone of this noble landmark bears the story of hundreds of Irish people of many generations who dared to dream a dream.


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