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Dublin ( , or ) is the largest city (being a primate city ) and capital of Irelandmarker. It is officially known in Irish as Baile Átha Cliath or Áth Cliath ; the English name comes from the Irish Dubh Linn meaning "black pool". It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffeymarker and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's primary city following the Norman invasion. Today, it is ranked 23rd (down from 10th in 2008) in the Global Financial Centres Index, has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city, and is listed by the GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha - which places Dublin amongst the top 25 cities in the world. Dublin is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the island of Irelandmarker as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administrative function, economy and industry.


The name Dublin is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn (meaning "black pool"). In Irish, Dubh is correctly pronounced as Du'v or Du'f. The city's original pronunciation is preserved in Old Norse as Dy'flin, Old English as Difelin, and modern Manx as Divlyn. Historically, in the traditional Gaelic script used for the Irish language, bh was written with a dot over the b, rendering 'Du Linn' or 'Du linn'. Those without a knowledge of Irish omitted the dot and spelled the name as Dublin.

The common name for the city in Modern Irish is (meaning "town of the hurdled ford"). An early mention is the Táin Bó Cuailgne also known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley (with an incorrect etymology) Go Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, or to Dublin, which is called Ath Cliath. is a place-name referring to a fording point of the Liffey in the vicinity of Heuston Stationmarker. was an early Christian monastery which is believed to have been situated in the area of Aungier Street currently occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Churchmarker.

The subsequent Viking settlement was on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey, to the East of Christchurchmarker, in the area known as Wood Quay. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their ships and was connected to the Liffey by the Poddle. The Dubh Linn and Poddle were covered during the early 1700s, and as the city expanded they were largely forgotten about. The Dubh Linn was situated where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Librarymarker in Dublin Castlemarker.


Dublin by night

The writings of the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy provide perhaps the earliest reference to human habitation in the area now known as Dublin. In around A.D. 140 he referred to a settlement he called . The settlement 'Dubh Linn' dates perhaps as far back as the first century BC and later a monastery was built there, though the town was established in about 841 by the Norse. The modern city retains the Anglicised Irish name of the former and the original Irish name of the latter.

Dublin was ruled by the Norse for most of the time between 841 and 999, when it was sacked by Brian Boru, the King of Cashelmarker. Although Dublin still had a Norse king after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, Norse influence waned under a growing Celtic supremacy until the conquest of Ireland which was launched from Britain in 1169-1172. The last high king (Ard Rí) of Ireland was crowned in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedralmarker in 1166.

In Ireland under Anglo-Norman rule, Dublin became the key centre of military and judicial power, with much of the power centering on Dublin Castlemarker until independence. From the 14th to late 16th centuries, English crown control over Ireland was limited to a section of territory, known as the Pale, which included Dublin at its southern end, and Dundalkmarker at its northern extremity. The Parliament was located in Droghedamarker for several centuries, but was switched permanently to Dublin after Henry VII conquered the County Kildare in 1504. The sacking of Drogheda, and massacre of her citizens, by Oliver Cromwell in 1649, resulted in Dublin becoming the dominant port city in Ireland.

Dublin also had local city administration via its Corporation from the Middle Ages. This represented the city's guild-based oligarchy until it was reformed in the 1840s on increasingly democratic lines.

From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly, helped by the Wide Streets Commission. Georgian Dublin was, for a short time, the second city of the British Empire after London and the fifth largest European city. Much of Dublin's most notable architecture dates from this time and is considered a golden era for the city. In 1759, the founding of the Guinness brewery at St. James's Gate resulted in a considerable economic impact for the city. For much of the time since its foundation, the Guinness brewery was the largest employer in the city but Catholics were confined to the lower echelons of employment at Guinness and only entered management level in the 1960s. After Irish independence the Guinness Corporate headquarters were moved to London in the 1930s to avoid Irish taxation and a rival brewery to Dublin was opened in London at Park Royal to supply the UK. In 1742 Handel's "Messiah" was performed for the first time in New Musick Hall in Fishamble Street with 26 boys and five men from the combined choirs of St.Patrick'smarker and Christ Church cathedrals participating.

After 1800, with the seat of government moving to Westminstermarker, Dublin entered a period of decline. Dublin was still the centre of administration and a transport hub for much of Ireland. Dublin played no major role in the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Ireland had no native source of coal, the fuel of the time, and Dublin was not a centre of ship manufacture, the other main driver of industrial development in Britain and Ireland. Belfastmarker developed much faster than Dublin during this period on a mixture of international trade, factory-based linen cloth production and shipbuilding.

The Easter Rising of 1916 took place in several parts of the city, bringing much physical destruction to the city centre. The Anglo-Irish War and Irish Civil War contributed even more destruction, leaving some of its finest buildings in ruins. The Irish Free State government rebuilt the city centre and located the Dáil (parliament) in Leinster Housemarker.
The formation of the new state resulted in changed fortunes for Dublin. It benefitted more from independence than any Irish city, though it took a long time to become obvious. Through The Emergency (World War II), until the 1960s, Dublin remained a capital out of time: the city centre in particular remained at an architectural standstill, even nicknamed the last 19th Century City of Europe. This made the city ideal for historical film production, with many productions including The Blue Max and My Left Foot capturing the cityscape in this period. This became the foundation of later successes in cinematography and film-making. With increasing prosperity, modern architecture was introduced to the city, though a vigorous campaign started in parallel to restore the Georgian greatness of Dublin's streets, rather than lose the grandeur forever. Since 1997, the landscape of Dublin has changed immensely, with enormous private sector and state development of housing, transport, and business. (See also Development and Preservation in Dublin). Some well-known Dublin street corners are still named for the pub or business which used to occupy the site before closure or redevelopment.

Since the beginning of Anglo-Norman rule in the 12th century, the city has functioned as the capital of the island of Ireland in the varying geopolitical entities:

From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, it became the capital of the Irish Free State (1922–1949) and now is the capital of the Republic of Irelandmarker. One of the memorials to commemorate that time is the Garden of Remembrancemarker.

In a 2003 European-wide survey by the BBC, questioning 11,200 residents of 112 urban and rural areas, Dublin was the best capital city in Europe to live in.

A person from either the city or county of Dublin is often referred to as a "Dub".


Literature, theatre and the arts

The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is arguably most famous, however, as the location of the greatest works of James Joyce. His most celebrated work, Ulysses, is set in Dublin and full of topical detail. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. Additional widely celebrated writers from the city include J.M. Synge, Seán O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Maeve Binchy, and Roddy Doyle. Ireland's biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, including the National Print Museum of Ireland and National Library of Irelandmarker.

There are several theatres within the city centre, and various world famous actors have emerged from the Dublin theatrical scene, including Noel Purcell, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney and Gabriel Byrne. The best known theatres include the Gaietymarker, the Abbeymarker, the Olympiamarker and the Gatemarker. The Gaietymarker specialises in musical and operatic productions, and is popular for opening its doors after the evening theatre production to host a variety of live music, dancing, and films. The Abbeymarker was founded in 1904 by a group that included Yeats with the aim of promoting indigenous literary talent. It went on to provide a breakthrough for some of the city's most famous writers, such as Synge, Yeats himself and George Bernard Shaw. The Gatemarker was founded in 1928 to promote European and American Avant Garde works. The largest theatre is the Mahony Hall in The Helixmarker at Dublin City Universitymarker in Glasnevinmarker.

Dublin is also the focal point for much of Irish Art and the Irish artistic scene. The Book of Kells, a world-famous manuscript produced by Celtic Monks in A.D. 800 and an example of Insular art, is on display in Trinity Collegemarker. The Chester Beatty Librarymarker houses the famous collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts assembled by American mining millionaire (and honorary Irish citizen) Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). The collections date from 2700 B.C. onwards and are drawn from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Work by local artists is often put on public display around St. Stephen's Greenmarker, the main public park in the city centre. In addition large art galleries are found across the city, including the Irish Museum of Modern Artmarker, the National Gallery, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallerymarker, The City Arts Centre, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy.

Three branches of the National Museum of Irelandmarker are located in Dublin: Archaeology in Kildare Streetmarker, Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks and Natural History in Merrion Streetmarker.

Musical societies

The acclaimed Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society has been in existence since 1913, in Dublin. Its productions spawn the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Lerner & Loewe, Irving Berlin and Mel Brooks amongst others. Recent hits for the company include The Gondoliers, Anything Goes, The Merry Widow, The Producers and HMS Pinafore.

Other musical societies include Glasnevin Musical Society, Lyric Opera Productions, Festival Productions (whose home is the National Concert Hallmarker) and The Pioneers Musical & Dramatic Society.

Nightlife and entertainment

There is a vibrant nightlife in Dublin and it is reputedly one of the most youthful cities in Europe - with estimates of 50% of inhabitants being younger than 25. Furthermore in 2007, and again in 2009, Dublin was voted the friendliest city in Europe. Like the rest of Ireland, there are pubs right across the city centre. The area around St. Stephen's Greenmarker - especially Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street - is a centre for some of the most popular nightclubs and pubs in Dublin.

The internationally best-known area for nightlife is the Temple Barmarker area just south of the River Liffeymarker. To some extent, the area has become a hot spot for tourists, including stag and hen parties from Britainmarker. It was developed as Dublin's cultural quarter (an idea proposed by local politician Charlie Haughey), and does retain this spirit as a centre for small arts productions, photographic and artists' studios, and in the form of street performers and intimate small music venues.

Live music is popularly played on streets and at venues throughout Dublin in general and the city has produced several musicians and groups of international success, including U2, The Dubliners, Horslips, The Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzy, Paddy Casey, Sinéad O'Connor, The Script and My Bloody Valentine. The two best known cinemas in the city centre are the Savoy Cinemamarker and the Cineworld Cinema, both north of the Liffey. Alternative and special-interest cinema can be found in the Irish Film Institutemarker in Temple Bar, in the Screen Cinema on d'Olier Street and in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. Across suburban Dublin are located large modern multiscreen cinemas. Situated on the Liffey at the Eastlink tollbridge, The O2, Dublinmarker (originally called, and still often known as, the Point Theatremarker) has housed world renowned performers in all fields of music.


The headquarters of almost all of Ireland's sporting organisations are in Dublin, and the most popular sports in Dublin are those that are most popular throughout Ireland: Gaelic football, soccer, rugby union and hurling. It is also the headquarters of the world governing body for Rugby Union the International Rugby Board (IRB). Dublin has been selected as the European Capital of Sport in 2010.

The city is host to the 4th largest stadium in Europe, Croke Parkmarker, the 82,500 capacity headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. It traditionally hosts Gaelic football and hurling games during the summer months, as well as international rules football in alternating years. It also hosts concerts, with acts such as U2 and Robbie Williams having played there in recent years. The Dublin board of the Gaelic Athletic Association play their league games at Parnell Parkmarker. The nickname for the Dublin Gaelic football team is "The Dubs". Lansdowne Roadmarker stadium (owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union) was the venue for home games of both the Irish Rugby Union Team and the Republic's national soccer team. Until recently, it had a mixed standing and seating capacity of 49,000. As part of a joint venture between the IRFU, the FAI and the Government, it is being redeveloped and is expected to be replaced with a 50,000 all-seater stadium by 2009. On 29 January 2009, Uefa confirmed Lansdowne Roadmarker will host the 2011 Europa League Final (UEFA Cup). During the redevelopment, rugby union and soccer home internationals are played at Croke Parkmarker.

Donnybrook Rugby Groundmarker is the traditional home of the Leinster Rugby team though due to its inferior capacity they now play all Magners League and Heineken Cup games across Dublin 4 in the R.D.S.marker

Dublin is home to six FAI League of Ireland clubs, Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, St Patrick's Athletic, and Sporting Fingal. Dalymount Parkmarker in Phibsboromarker, the traditional Home of Irish Soccer, is now used only for home games of local club Bohemians. Shamrock Rovers play in the Tallaght Stadiummarker, while play at Richmond Parkmarker in Inchicoremarker on the south west edge of the city. The other senior clubs, who play in the First Division, are who play at Tolka Parkmarker in Drumcondramarker, , based at the UCD Bowlmarker, Belfieldmarker, and newly-formed , who play at Morton Stadiummarker, Santrymarker.

The National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown is the first building to open in the Sports Campus Ireland. There are several race courses in the Dublin area including Shelbourne Park (Greyhound racing) and Leopardstown (Horse racing). The world famous Dublin Horse Show takes place at the RDSmarker, Ballsbridgemarker, which hosted the Show Jumping World Championships in 1982. The national boxing arena is located in The National Stadiummarker on the South Circular Roadmarker, though larger fights take place in the Point Depotmarker in the docklands area. There are also Basketball, Handball, Hockey and Athletics stadia — most notably Morton Stadiummarker in Santrymarker, which held the athletics events of the 2003 Special Olympics.

Rugby League as a sport in Dublin has attained popularity in recent years. The North Dublin Eagles play in Ireland's Carnegie League. Recent popularity has been increased with the Irish Wolfhound's success in the Rugby League World Cup which was held in Australia in 2008.

The Dublin Marathon has been run since 1980, and the Women's Mini Marathon has been run since 1983 and is said to be the largest all female event of its kind in the world.


Dublin is a popular shopping spot for both Irish people and tourists.Dublin city centre has several shopping districts, including Grafton Streetmarker, Henry Street, Stephen's Green Shopping Centremarker, Jervis Shopping Centremarker, and the newly refurbished Ilac Shopping Centremarker. On Grafton Street, the most famous shops include Brown Thomas and its sister shop BT2. Brown Thomas also contains "mini-stores" such as Hermèsmarker, Chanel and Louis Vuitton on its Wicklow Street frontage.

Dublin city is the location of large department stores, such as Clerys on O'Connell Street, Arnotts on Henry Street, Brown Thomas on Grafton Street and Debenhams (formerly Roches Stores) on Henry Street. Grafton Street is nearly as renowned for its buskers and street-performers as for its fine shopping.

A major €750m development for Dublin city centre has been given the green light. The development of the so-called Northern Quarter will see the construction of 47 new shops, 175 apartments and a four-star hotel. Dublin City Council gave Arnotts planning permission for the plans to change the area bounded by Henry Street, O'Connell Streetmarker, Abbey Streetmarker and Liffey Street. Following appeals to An Bord Pleanála, the scale of the development, which was to have included a sixteen-storey tower, was reduced. The redevelopment will also include 14 new cafes along with a 149-bed hotel. Prince's Street, which runs off O'Connell Streetmarker, will become a full urban street and pedestrian thoroughfare. Construction, which began in November 2008, led to the loss of 580 retail jobs. It is hoped that the Northern Quarter will open for business in 2013.

Since the mid 1990s, suburban Dublin has seen the completion of several modern retail centres. These include Dundrum Town Centremarker, the largest commercial centre in Europe (on the Luas Green Line), Blanchardstown Centremarker, The Squaremarker, which has recently undergone a major refurbishment, in Tallaghtmarker (on the Luas Red Line), Liffey Valley Shopping Centremarker in Clondalkinmarker, Northside Shopping Centre in Coolockmarker, and Pavilions Shopping Centre in Swordsmarker.

Northside and Southside

A north-south division has traditionally existed in Dublin for some time, with the dividing line being the River Liffeymarker. The Northside is traditionally seen by some as working-class (with the exception of a few suburbs) while the Southside is seen as middle and upper middle class (again, with the exception of a few suburbs). One theory explaining this is that since much trade came in by ship on the river Liffey and docked on the North bank, this resulted in dockers and associated labourers making their homes on the Northside while the wealthier merchants and other professionals tended to make their offices and homes on the Southside.

A noted theory on the division dates back some centuries, certainly to the point when the Earl of Kildare built his residence on the then less-regarded Southside. When asked why he was building on the Southside, he replied "Where I go, fashion follows me, and he was promptly followed by most other Irish peers.

Dublin postal districts have odd numbers for districts on the Northside - for example, Phibsboromarker is in Dublin 7 - and even numbers for the Southside - for example, Sandymountmarker and Ringsend both have postal code D4 (Dublin 4). An exception to the rule is Dublin 8, which straddles the river.

Education and research

Dublin is the primary centre of education in Ireland, with three universities and many other higher education institutions. There are 20 third-level institutes in the city. Dublin will be European Capital of Science in 2012.

The University of Dublinmarker is the oldest university in Ireland dating from the 16th century. Its sole constituent college, Trinity Collegemarker, was established by Royal Charter in 1592 under Elizabeth I and was closed to Roman Catholics until Catholic Emancipation; the Catholic hierarchy then banned Roman Catholics from attending it until 1970. It is situated in the city centre, on College Greenmarker, and has 15,000 students.

The National University of Ireland (NUI) has its seat in Dublin, which is also the location of the associated constituent university of University College Dublinmarker (UCD), the largest university in Ireland with over 22,000 students.

Dublin City Universitymarker (DCU) is the most recent university and specialises in business, engineering, and science courses, particularly with relevance to industry. It has around 10,000 students.

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is a medical school which is a recognised college of the NUI, it is situated at St. Stephen's Greenmarker in the city centre.

The National University of Ireland, Maynoothmarker, another constituent university of the NUI, is in neighbouring Co.marker Kildaremarker, about from the city centre.

The Irish public administration and management training centre has its base in Dublin, the Institute of Public Administration provides a range of undergraduate and post graduate awards via the National University of Ireland and in some instances, Queen's University Belfast.

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is a modern technical college and is the country's largest non-university third-level institution; it specialises in technical subjects but also offers many arts and humanities courses. It is soon to be relocated to a new campus at Grangegormanmarker. Two suburbs of Dublin, Tallaghtmarker and Blanchardstownmarker have Institutes of Technology: Institute of Technology, Tallaght, and Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown. Portobello College has its degrees conferred through the University of Wales.

The National College of Art and Designmarker (NCAD) and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (DLIADT) support training and research in art, design and media technology.

Dublin Business School (DBS) is Ireland's largest private third level institution with over 9,000 students. The college is located on Aungier Street.

The National College of Ireland (NCI) is also based in Dublin.

There are also various other smaller specialised colleges, including private ones, such as Griffith College Dublinmarker, The Gaiety School of Acting and the New Media Technology College

The Economic and Social Research Institute, a social science research institute, is based on Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2. The Institute of European Affairs is also in Dublin.


The City of Dublin is the area administered by Dublin City Council, but the term normally refers to the contiguous urban area which includes the adjacent local authority areas of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Together the four areas form the traditional County Dublinmarker. This area is sometimes known as 'Urban Dublin' or the 'Dublin Metropolitan Area'.

The population of the administrative area controlled by the City Council was 505,739 at the census of 2006. At the same census, the County Dublinmarker population was 1,186,159, and that of the Greater Dublin Area 1,661,185. The city's population is expanding rapidly, and it is estimated by the CSO that it will reach 2.1 million by 2021. Today, approximately 40% of the population of the Republic of Ireland live within a radius of the city centre.


Dublin has a long history of emigration that continued into the early 1990s. Since then there has been net immigration and Dublin now has a significant population of immigrants. Foreign nationals in the city are primarily young and single and the greatest numbers come from the European Union, especially the United Kingdommarker, Polandmarker and Lithuaniamarker. There is also a considerable number from outside Europe, particularly Chinamarker, Nigeriamarker, Brazilmarker, Australia, and New Zealandmarker. 10% of the Republic of Irelandmarker's population is now made up of foreign nationals, and Dublin is home to a greater proportion of new arrivals than other parts of the country - for example, 60% of Ireland's Asian population lives in Dublin even though less than 40% of the overall population live in the Greater Dublin Area.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the ethnic breakdown of Dublin City and County at the 2006 census was:

Ethnic group Percent
White (Irish) 83.1%
White (Other) 8.06%
Asian 2.63% (0.9% Chinese)
Black 1.81%
Mixed Race and Other 1.46%
Irish Traveller 0.4%

Economy and infrastructure

Industry, employment and standard of living

Dublin has been at the centre of Ireland's phenomenal economic growth and subsequent current economic contraction over the last 10–15 years, a period (often of double-digit growth) referred to as the Celtic Tiger years. Living standards in the city have risen dramatically, although the cost of living has also soared. In 2009, Dublin was listed as the fourth-richest city in the world. According to one source, Dublin is now the world's 25th most expensive city. It is also listed as the tenth most expensive city in the world in which to live. However, it had the second highest wages for a city in the world, ahead of both New York Citymarker and Londonmarker, though behind Zürichmarker but as of 2009 has dropped to tenth highest.

Historically, brewing has probably been the industry most often associated with the city : Guinness has been brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewerymarker since 1759. Since the advent of the Celtic Tiger years, however, a large number of global pharmaceutical, information and communications technology companies have located in Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. For example, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo!, Facebook and Pfizer (among others) now have European headquarters and/or operational bases in the city and its suburbs . Intelmarker and Hewlett-Packard have large manufacturing plants in Leixlipmarker, County Kildaremarker, to the west.

Banking, finance and commerce are also important in the city - the IFSC alone handles over €1 trillion a year . Many international firms have established major headquarters in the city (eg. Citibank, Commerzbank). Also located in Dublin is the Irish Stock Exchange (ISEQ), Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX) and Irish Enterprise Exchange (IEX).

The economic boom years have led to a sharp increase in construction, which is now also a major employer, though, as of 2007, unemployment is on the rise as the housing market has begun to see supply outstrip demand. Redevelopment is taking place in large projects such as Dublin Docklands, Spencer Dock and others, transforming once run-down industrial areas in the city centre. Dublin City Council seems to now have loosened the former restrictions on "high-rise" structures. The tallest building, Liberty Hallmarker, is only tall; already under construction in the city is Heuston Gate, a building (134 m including spire). The Britain Quay Tower and the Point Village Watchtower have been approved. Construction has started on the latter. Also the U2 Towermarker will be the tallest building on the Island of Irelandmarker when it is finished.

In 2005, around 800,000 people were employed in the Greater Dublin Area, of whom around 600,000 were employed in the services sector and 200,000 in the industrial sector. Dublin is one of the constituent cities in the Dublin-Belfast corridor region which has a population of just under 3 million.

Economic growth is expected to slow in the coming years, while the Irish central bankmarker predicted medium-term growth rates of around 3–5% last year.


Dublin is also the main hub of the country's road network. The M50 motorway (the busiest road in Ireland), a semi-ring road runs around the south, west and north of the city, connecting the most important national primary routes in the state that fan out from the capital to the regions. As of 2008, a toll of €2 applies on what is called the West-Linkmarker, two adjacent concrete bridges that tower high above the River Liffey near the village of Lucanmarker. The West-Linkmarker Toll Bridge was replaced by the eFlow barrier-free tolling system in August 2008, with a three-tiered charge system based on electronic tags and car pre-registration.

To complete the ring road, an eastern bypass is also proposed for the city of Dublin. The first half of this project is the Dublin Port Tunnelmarker which opened in late 2006 and mainly caters to heavy vehicles. The plan to build the eastern bypass around Dublin has been effectively shelved by the Department of Transport as there are no funds available for the expected €1 billion project.The capital is also surrounded by an inner and outer orbital route. The inner orbital route runs roughly around the heart of the Georgian city and the outer orbital route runs largely along the natural circle formed by Dublin's two canals, the Grand Canal and the Royal Canalmarker, as well as the North and South Circular Roads.

Dublin is served by an extensive network of nearly 200 bus routes which serve all areas of the city and suburbs. The majority of these are controlled by Dublin Bus (Bus Átha Cliath) which was established in 1987, but a number of smaller companies have begun operating in recent years. Dublin Bus had 3408 staff and 1067 buses providing over half a million journeys per weekday in 2004. Fares are generally calculated on a stage system based on distance travelled. There are several different levels of fares, which apply on most services. Certain routes (particularly Xpresso) use a different fare system.

The Dublin Suburban Rail network is a system of five rail lines serving mainly commuters in the Greater Dublin Area, though some trains go even further to commuter towns such as Droghedamarker and Dundalkmarker. One of these is an electrified line that runs along Dublin Baymarker and is known as the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) line.A two-line light rail/tram network called the Luas opened in 2004 and has proved popular in the (limited) areas it serves, although the lack of a link between the two lines is widely criticised. Five new luas lines are planned, the last of which will be opened in 2014, with the two existing lines set to be joined up by 2012.
There are plans to begin building work on the Dublin Metro (subway / underground) system set out in the Irish government's 2005 Transport 21 plan within the next few years. Although not confirmed, it is believed that the metro will be fully segregated from all traffic which will mean it will not disrupt traffic when in operation, unlike an on-street Luas Tram or the DART. The Metro North will bring rail access to areas and institutions currently lacking it, such as the Mater Hospital, Drumcondramarker (Croke Parkmarker, inter-city and suburban rail stop), Dublin City Universitymarker, Ballymunmarker, Swordsmarker and Dublin Airportmarker. The Metro West will serve the large suburbs of Tallaghtmarker, Clondalkinmarker and Blanchardstownmarker.

Dublin is at the centre of Ireland's transport system. Dublin Portmarker is the country's busiest sea port and Dublin Airportmarker is the busiest airport on the island.

Communications and media

Dublin is the centre of both media and communications in Ireland, with many newspapers, radio stations, television stations and telephone companies having their headquarters there. Raidió Teilifís Éireannmarker (RTÉ) is Ireland's national state broadcaster, and has its main offices and studios in Donnybrook, Dublinmarker. Fair City is the broadcaster's capital-based soap, located in the fictional Dublin suburb of Carraigstown. TV3, City Channel and Setanta Sports are also based in Dublin. Dublin is home to national commercial radio networks Today FM and Newstalk, as well as numerous local stations. The main infrastructure and offices of An Post and telecommunications companies, such as the former state telephone company Eircom, as well as mobile/cellular operators Meteor, Vodafone and O2 are all located in the capital. Dublin is also the headquarters of important national newspapers such as The Irish Times and Irish Independent, as well as local newspapers such as The Evening Herald.

The most popular radio stations in Dublin, by adult (15+) listenership share, are RTÉ Radio 1 (30.3%), FM104 (13.3%), Dublin's 98 (11.9%), RTÉ 2fm (10.4%), Q102 (7%), Spin 1038 (7%), Newstalk (6.8%), Today FM (5.7%), RTÉ lyric fm (2.7%), Dublin's Country Mix 106.8 (2.6%) and Phantom FM (1.8%). Among the under 35s, this figures are very different with FM104 (24.9%), Spin 1038 (17.3%) and Dublin's 98 (15.6%) being by far the most popular stations in this age group.There are two Irish language radio stations which can be picked up in the Dublin area: RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and Raidió na Life 106.4fm, both of which have studios in Dublin.



The 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 Housemarker. Dublin City Council is based in two major buildings. Council meetings take place in the headquarters at Dublin City Hallmarker, the former Royal Exchange taken over for city government use in the 1850s. Many of its administrative staff are based in the Civic Offices on Wood Quaymarker.

The City Council is a unicameral assembly of 52 members, elected every five years from Local Election Areas. The party with the majority of seats (or a coalition of parties who form a majority) decides who sits on what committee, what policies are followed, and who becomes Lord Mayor. Chaired by the Lord Mayor, the Council passes an annual budget for spending on housing, traffic management, refuse, drainage, planning, etc. The Dublin City Manager is responsible for the implementation of decisions of the City Council.

The current ruling coalition, after the 2009 local elections, is the Democratic Alliance, made up of Labour and Fine Gael. Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Greens and non-party councillors act as opposition. The current Lord Mayor is Emer Costello, who was elected in June 2009.

In 2008, the national government announced plans for local government reform, with the biggest change being plans for an elected Mayor of Dublin with executive powers. The plan also includes local plebiscites, petition rights, participatory budgeting and city meetings.


The national parliament of Ireland, the Oireachtas, consists of the President of Ireland and two houses, Dáil Éireann (Chamber of Deputies) and Seanad Éireann (Senate). All three are based in Dublin. The President of Ireland lives in Áras an Uachtaráinmarker, the former residence of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State in the city's largest park, Phoenix Parkmarker. Both houses of the Oireachtas meet in Leinster Housemarker, a former ducal palace on the south side. The building has been the home of Irish parliaments since the creation of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922.

Government Buildingsmarker house the Department of the Taoiseach, the Council Chamber (used for the weekly Cabinet meetings), the Department of Finance and the Office of the Attorney General. It consists of a main building (completed 1911) with two wings (completed 1921) and was designed by Thomas Manley Dean and Sir Aston Webb as the Royal College of Sciencemarker. In 1921 the House of Commons of Southern Ireland met here. Given its location next to Leinster House, the Irish Free State government took over the two wings of the building to serve as a temporary home for some ministries, while the central building became the College of Technology (part of UCDmarker) until 1989. Both it and Leinster House, meant to be a temporary home of parliament, became permanent homes.

The old Irish Houses of Parliamentmarker of the Kingdom of Ireland are in College Greenmarker.


Dublin enjoys a maritime temperate climate characterised by mild winters, cool summers, and a lack of temperature extremes with moderate rainfall. However, contrary to popular belief, Dublin does not experience as high rainfall as the west of Ireland, which receives over twice that of the capital city. Dublin has fewer rainy days, on average, than London. Measured at Dublin Airport, the average maximum January temperature is 7.6 °C, the average maximum July temperature is 18.9 °C. The sunniest months, on average, are May and June. The wettest months, on average, is December with 76 mm of rain. The driest month is February, with 50 mm. The total average annual rainfall (and other forms of precipitation) is 732.7 mm, lower than Sydneymarker, New York Citymarker and even Dallasmarker.

Due to Dublin's northerly latitude, it experiences long summer days, around 17 hours of daylight between official sunrise and sunset times for the longest day of the year in June and short winter days, as short as 7 and a half hours between official sunrise and sunset times for the shortest day of the year in December. These are lengthened slightly when dawn and dusk are taken into consideration. In summer, dawn can come as early as 04:00 before the official sunrise time of 04:56 on the longest day of the year. Dusk is lengthened also, sometimes up to 23:00 after the sun has set just before 22:00 on the longest day of the year.

Like the rest of Ireland it is relatively safe from common natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Strong winds from Atlantic storm systems ("windstorms") can affect Dublin, though usually less severe than other parts of Ireland. Severe winds are most likely during mid-winter, but can occur anytime, especially between October and February. During one of the stormiest periods of recent times, a gust of was recorded at Casement Aerodromemarker on 24 December 1997.

The city is not noted for its temperature extremes due to its mild climate. Typically, the coldest months are December, January and February. Temperatures in summer in recent years have been rising to substantially above average figures, e.g. 31 °C in July 2006, over 12 °C higher than the average maximum. Recent heat waves include the European heat wave of 2003 and European heat wave of 2006.

The main precipitation in winter is rain. The city can experience some snow showers during the months from October to May, but lying snow is uncommon (on average, only 4.5 days). Hail occurs more often than snow (on average, around 9.5 days), and is most likely during the winter and spring months. Another rare type of weather is thunder and lightning, most common in late summer - though still only averages 4.1 days per year.


Official statistics from An Garda Síochána for 2004-2007 show that the overall headline crime rate for the metropolitan area per 1,000 of population is the highest in the country. During the 1980s and 1990s, a heroin epidemic swept through working class areas of the inner city and outlying suburbs. In 2008 there were 20 homicides in which 16 were gang-related gun murders.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Dublin has the following sister cities:

See also


  1. GFCI Index 2008
  2. TalkingCities
  3. The Irish Experience
  4. A Popular History of Ireland - Thomas D'Arcy McGee (1825-1868)
  5. It should be noted that this state was unilaterally declared and was not recognised by any other country apart from Russia. The control did not extend to all of the island, particularly Unionist areas in the north east.
  6. BBC record of Survey
  7. National Museum of Ireland
  8. BreakingNews.ie - Dublin voted friendliest European city (13 March 2007)
  9. Irish Times - Dublin voted friendliest city (4 May 2009)
  10. Article on stag/hen parties in Edinburgh, Scotland (which mentions their popularity in Dublin), mentioning Dublin, Accessed Feb 15 2009.
  11. Dublin City Council - 2011 UEFA Cup Final comes to new Dublin stadium
  12. Croke Park Fixtures - UEFA European Championship Listings 2006
  13. LRSDC.ie - Homepage of Lansdowne Road Development Company (IRFU and FAI JV)
  14. - Facts and Figures 16th February 2009
  15. History of Dublin Neighbourhoods
  16. Call for improved infrastructure for Dublin 2 April 2007
  17. Most new immigrants young and single 15 February 2009
  18. Foreign nationals now 10% of Irish population 26 July 2007
  19. Central Statistics Office Ireland data from 2006 census for Ireland
  20. City Mayors - The world's richest cities by purchasing power in 2008
  21. Global/Worldwide Cost of Living Survey Rankings 2007/2008, Cities, International, Europe 2007
  22. City Mayors - The world's most expensive cities in 2008
  23. London is the most expensive city in the world, while Swiss cities are home to highest earners
  24. Central Bank predicts less growth
  25. Mediaworks - Radio Listenership Up-Date Republic of Ireland
  26. RTÉ News - Elected mayors in plans for local govt
  27. Department of the Taoiseach: Guide to Government Buildings (2005)
  28. Garda Annual Reports 2004-2007 Accessed 15 February 2009

Further reading

  • John Flynn and Jerry Kelleher, Dublin Journeys in America (High Table Publishing, 2003) ISBN 0-9544694-1-0
  • Hanne Hem, Dubliners, An Anthropologist's Account, Oslo, 1994
  • Pat Liddy, Dublin A Celebration - From the 1st to the 21st century (Dublin City Council, 2000) ISBN 0-946841-50-0
  • Maurice Craig, The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880 (Batsford, Paperback edition 1989) ISBN 0-7134-2587-3
  • Frank McDonald, Saving the City: How to Halt the Destruction of Dublin (Tomar Publishing, 1989) ISBN 1-871793-03-3
  • Edward McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland 1680–1760 (Yale University Press, 2001) ISBN 0-300-09064-1

External links

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