Tallaght ( -lə in
English; ) is the largest town, and county
town, of South Dublin
The locale held one of the earliest
settlements known in the southern part of the island, and one of
medieval Ireland's more important monastic centres. The village
area, dating from at least the 17th century, occupies a site of
significant historical and religious significance.
Up to the
1960s Tallaght was little more than a village in remoter County Dublin, linked to several nearby rural areas which were
part of the large civil parish of the
same name - the county council estimates the then population at
Suburban development began in the 1970s and a town
centre area has been developing since the late 1980s. The
administrative headquarters of South Dublin County Council
located here. The county council stated in 2003 that the population
of Tallaght and environs was just under 73,000.
village core of the district is located north of, and near to, the
Dodder, and parts of the broader area are close to the
border of County
Dublin and County Wicklow.
Several streams flow in the area, and the
, the main component of the River Poddle
The place name Tallaght
is derived from the words támh
, meaning plague burial place
. The earliest
mention of Tallaght in recorded material is an account of
in the Annals of the Four Masters
Parthalon the Greek
was said to be one of the early
invaders of Ireland, and a plague is said to have killed 9,000 of
his followers in one week, with their subsequent burial in the
vicinity of Tallaght. Thus the place came to be named Taimleach
. However, the burials that have been found
in the Tallaght area are all normal pre-historic interments, mainly
of the Bronze Age, and nothing suggesting a mass grave has so far
been recorded here.
Historical names of the area
- Taimhleacht Muintire Parthaloin (ar Sean Mhagh Ealta Edair) –
- Tamlactense (Monasterium) -769?,
- Tamlact – 769?,
- Taulaght (Lawrance de) – 1190,
- Tamelag (royal grant - Bailiffs) – 1310,
- Talaute (William Rokeby, Archbishop) – 1514,
- Tallaght (George Brown, Archbishop) – 1535,
- Talaught (Edward Basnet, Dean St. Patricks) – 1547,
- Tavelaght (Simon Water, Vicar) – 1548,
- Tawlaght (Pardon to George Brown, Archbishop and others) –
- Tallogh (Petty’s map of County Dublin) – 1685,
- Tallaugh (William King, Archbishop) – 1708,
- Tallow (Rev. Mr. Jones, Minister) – 1740,
- Tallaght (Ecclestical report) – 1807,
- Tamhlacht (modern Irish Gaelic name).
The documented history of Tallaght dates back to early Christendom
in Ireland but the many archaeological sites in the area suggest
the presence of Bronze Age
even earlier settlers in the area.
8th to 12th centuries
With the foundation of the monastery of Tallaght
by St. Maelruain
in 769 A.D. we have a more
reliable record of the area's early history. The monastery was a
centre of learning and piety, particularly associated with the
spiritual reform movement.
It was such an important institution that it and the monastery at
Finglas were known as the "two eyes of Ireland". St. Aengus, an
Ulsterman, was one of the most illustrious of the Céli Dé and
devoted himself to the religious life. Wherever he went he was
accompanied by a band of followers who distracted him from his
devotions. He secretly travelled to the monastery at Tallaght where
he was not known and enrolled as a lay brother. He remained unknown
for many years until his identity was discovered by Maeilruain.
They may have written the Martyrology of Tallaght
together, and St Aengus also wrote a calendar of saints known as
the Féilire of Aengus
St. Maelruain died in 792 and was buried in Tallaght. The influence
of the monastery continued after his death, as can be judged by the
fact that, in 806, the monks of Tallaght were able to prevent the
holding of the Tailteann Games
, because of some
infringement of their rights.
In 811 the monastery was devastated by the Vikings but the
destruction was not permanent and the annals of the monastery
continued to be recorded for several following centuries. After the
Anglo-Norman invasion in 1179, Tallaght and its appurtenances were
confirmed to the Diocese of Dublin and became the property of the
Archbishop. The complete disappearance of every trace of what must
have been an extensive and well organised monastic settlement can
only be accounted for by the subsequent history of the place, the
erection and demolition of defensive walls and castles, and the
incessant warfare and destruction that lasted for hundreds of
13th to 19th centuries
Throughout the greater part of the 13th century a state of
comparative peace existed at Tallaght, but subsequently the
O'Byrnes and O'Tooles, in what would become County Wicklow, took
offensive action and were joined by many of the Archbishop's
tenants. As a result of this the land was not tilled, the pastures
were not stocked and the holdings were deserted. In 1310 the
bailiffs of Tallaght got a royal grant to enclose the town. No
trace of these defensive walls survive and there is no evidence of
their exact location, except, perhaps, for the name of the
Watergate Bridge which spans the Dodder on the Oldbawn Road.
The continuation of such raids prompted the construction, in 1324,
of Tallaght Castle
, and it was finished some time
before 1349. Tallaght had become an important defensive site on the
edge of the Pale. A century later it was reported to be in need of
The 17th and 18th centuries brought many changes to Tallaght. Many
mills were built along the Dodder and this brought new prosperity
to the broad area, which saw the building of many houses.
When Archbishop Hoadley replaced Archbishop King in 1729 he found
the castle in ruins, and had it demolished, building himself a
palace at a cost of £2,500. By 1821 the palace too had fallen into
ruin and an Act of Parliament was passed which stated that it was
unfit for habitation. The following year it was sold to Major
Palmer, Inspector General of Prisons, who pulled the palace down
and used the materials to build his mansion, Tallaght
, as well as a schoolhouse and several cottages.
Tallaght House is now incorporated in the buildings at St. Mary's
An ancient tower was spared in the demolition of the palace and was
later incorporated into the buildings of St. Mary's Priory, where
it still stands today. It contains a spiral staircase and was
originally four storeys high but is now reduced internally to two.
Attached to the castle was a long building which was used in the
archbishop's time as a brewery and later as a granary and stables.
Under the Dominicans it was converted into a chapel and was used as
such until 1883 when the new church was built. The grounds of the
Priory, the old palace gardens, still retain many features from the
historic past such as the Archbishop's bathhouse, the Friar's Walk
and "St. Maelruain's Tree".
The old constabulary barracks on the main street was the scene of
the engagement known as the Battle of Tallaght
which occurred during the Fenian rising on 5 March 1867. On that
night the Fenians moved out to assemble at the appointed place on
Tallaght Hill. The large number of armed men alarmed the police in
Tallaght who sent warning to the nearest barracks. There were
fourteen constables and a head constable under Sub-inspector Burke
at Tallaght, and they took up a position outside the barracks where
they commanded the roads from both Greenhills and Templeogue. The
first body of armed men came from Greenhills and, when they came
under police fire, retreated. Next a party came from Templeogue,
and were also dispersed. In 1936 a skeleton, sword-bayonet and
water bottle were found in a hollow tree stump near Terenure. It is
thought that these were the remains of one of the Fenians who had
taken refuge there after the Battle of Tallaght and either died of
his wounds or was frozen to death.
In 1888 the Dublin
& Blessington Steam Tramway
opened and it passed through
Tallaght Village. This provided a new means of transporting goods
and also brought day-trippers from the city.
plan was formally adopted, Tallaght was laid out as a new town, as set out in the 1967 Myles Wright masterplan for Greater Dublin (this proposed four
self-contained "new towns" - at Tallaght, Clondalkin, Lucan and Blanchardstown - all of which were at that time villages
surrounded by extensive open lands).
Many of the social and
cultural proposals in this plan were ignored by the Dublin local
authorities, and contrary to planners' suggestions, Tallaght and
the other "new towns" were not provided with adequate facilities.
Characterised by the same problems associated with poorly planned
fringe areas of many European cities, during the 1970s and 1980s
Tallaght became synonymous with suburban mismanagement.
While it was absorbed into the larger suburban area of Dublin
(including becoming part of the postal district Dublin 24
in the late 1980s), Tallaght has
developed a distinctive identity, arising largely from its rapid
growth during recent decades, and now has a thriving local arts,
cultural, sports, and economic outlook.
Tallaght's Civic Square contains the seat of the local authority,
County Hall, a newly renovated and well-equipped library facility,
a theatre building and a "cutting edge" 4-storey arts centre named
(which opened on 5 February 2009).
Along with other local libraries and arts groups, it also has
another theatre building, and a homegrown youth theatre company.
It is also
the home to the Tallaght Swim Team, the National
Basketball Arena, Shamrock Rovers
F.C., and several notable martial arts schools and Gaelic Athletic Association
In October 2008 "An Bratach Fulaingt", or "The Endurance Flag" was
designed for Tallaght during The D'No Project, run by Tallaght Youth Theatre
with Tallaght Community Arts
, and funded by
Léargas - and was flown at the new county arts centre, Rua Red, on
April 17 and 18th 2009.
- 769: Saint Maelruain's monastery founded.
- 792: death of Saint
- 811: Saint Maelruain's monastery
devastated by the Vikings.
- 1179: Tallaght and its
hinterland, previously within the Diocese of Glendalough, confirmed
as holdings of the Archdiocese
- 1310: bailiffs of Tallaght given royal grant to enclose
- 1324: building of Tallaght
- 1331-1332; Tallaght Castle plundered by O'Toole
- 1378: Mathew, son of Redmond de
Bermingham, takes up station at Tallaght Castle to resist the
- 1540: O'Tooles invade, and
devastate Tallaght Castle and surrounding manors.
- 1635: Old Bawn House built.
- 1729: Tallaght Castle
demolished; Archbishop's Palace built by Archbishop Hoadley.
- 1822: Archbishop's Palace
demolished by Major Palmer, who then builds Tallaght House.
- 1829: modern Church of Ireland parish created.
- 1856: Tallaght House is sold to
- 1864: Saint Mary's Priory
- 1867: the "Battle of
- 1883: New Priory
- 1888: the Dublin and Blessington
Steam Tramway commences operation, passing through Tallaght
- 1955: new retreat house built at
the Priory, enclosing Tallaght House.
- 1984: Tallaght’s first public
library, at Castletymon, opened in June.
- 1987: Alan
Dukes outlines the Tallaght Strategy to the Tallaght
Chamber of Commerce.
- 1990: the
Square shopping centre opens.
- 1992: Institute of Technology,
- 1994: South Dublin County Council
comes into existence, with new headquarters at Tallaght; Tallaght
Youth Theatre is founded; Tallaght’s second public library,
situated beside the South Dublin County Council offices, opened in
- 1995: Tallaght
Theatre built in Kilnamanagh.
- 1998: Tallaght Hospital
- 1999: Civic Theatre opens
adjacent to County Council headquarters in Tallaght centre.
- 2004: the Red
Line of the Luas light rail system opens,
connecting central Tallaght to Heuston
Station and Connolly Station in Dublin City.
- 2008: Extensive rebuilding of
Tallaght's main library is completed.
- 2009: The County Arts Centre, Rua Red, is
opened; completion of Tallaght Stadium.
is centred 13 km southwest of Dublin city, in the
foothills of the Dublin Mountains. While there is no definition as such, it
might be described as beginning southwest of Templeogue, running west towards Saggart (the two are some distance apart), towards Glen na Smol in the south, and Firhouse to the east, to the southern edges of Clondalkin and Walkinstown in the northwest.
Tallaght is connected to Dublin city centre by Dublin Bus
services, and by the Red Line of the
light rail system, which opened in
September 2004. Though the first stop (Tallaght Cross) of the Red
Line is called 'Tallaght', the entire 'Red 4' zone lies within the
broader Tallaght area. Though there are buses to Clondalkin and
Ballyfermot, and Dún Laoghaire, Tallaght is not well-connected to Dublin's other
towns and suburbs, as public transport predominantly runs through
Dublin city centre; this has led to high levels of car
A metro rail system is currently being planned for Dublin.
have been proposed; Metro North, running from Dublin city to the
airport, and Metro West, which, taking a circuitous route, is
proposed to link Tallaght with Dublin's other major western
settlements, including Clondalkin, Lucan, and Blanchardstown. This metro line will eventually join up with
Metro North and continue out to Dublin Airport in Fingal.
THE LUAS extension from Tallaght to Citywest (Saggart) is currently
under construction. This will be a 4.2km (2.5 mi) extension, funded
by a Public Private Partnership with property developers.
Identified as Line A1, this €150 million spur off the Red Line at
Belgard will run to Saggart. Originally intended to be a spur off
the existing Red Line to Fortunestown, it was later decided to
bring the line to Saggart. Construction started on 9 February 2009,
with the line scheduled to be complete by late 2010. Passenger
services on the 4.2km light rail link are expected to start in
early 2011. It will serve communities such as Cairnwood, Ambervale,
Belgard Green, Fettercairn, Kilmartin, Brookview and Ardmore.
The county council stated in 2003 that the population of Tallaght
and environs is just under 73,000.
Tallaght has neither a specific local administration in the form
of, for example, its own town council, nor a legal boundary, and
therefore no "official population" figure as such. The population of the
original village remains modest but the broader area is now one of
Dublin's larger population centres (along with Coolock and Blanchardstown).
In some quarters, a particular combination
of District Electoral Divisions was used to derive population
figures, and in 1986, the Minister for the Environment removed
several localities "historically associated with" Tallaght when he
redrew the divisions. The total population from the 2006 census
figure for the remaining electoral divisions is 64,227, while
including all of the areas redesignated in 1986 gives a figure of
The original village of Tallaght lies west of the Tallaght Bypass
. It stretches east-west from Main
Road and Main Street to the Abberley Court Hotel at the end of High
Street, and encompasses Village Green, Tallaght Courthouse,
Westpark, and many shops, restaurants and banks. It also houses
Tallaght Youth Service, Tallaght's first newspaper printing house,
the Tallaght Echo, and (formally) Tallaght Community Arts Centre.
The Institute of Technology, Saint Mary's Priory, and Saint
Maelruain's Church are located in the historic quarter of Tallaght
"town centre" lies immediately to the south across the Belgard
Road, encompassing Belgard Square, the main shopping complex
(known as The
Square), the Luas Red Line terminus,
Tallaght Hospital (including the current National Children's
Hospital), County Hall, the Civic Theatre, South Dublin County
Library, Rua Red Arts Centre, and several bars, restaurants and
To the northeast of the village lies the Tymon North / Balrothery
area, rural townlands until the 1970s. This includes estates such
as Bancroft, Balrothery, Glenview
, Castle Park, Saint Aongus,
Tymon, Bolbrook and Avonbeg. These parts are home to several sporting
facilities, including the National Basketball Arena, a fitness centre, two swimming pools, an athletics
track, and an astroturf soccer facility.
Tymon Park is
watered by the River Poddle
, and is
Ireland's second largest city park. It borders the separate areas of Greenhills and Templeogue, and it contains extensive sporting grounds, ponds,
Coláiste De Hide, and one of Ireland's largest playgrounds at the
Tymon North entrance.
east of the village lies Old
Bawn, formerly a small village in its own right,
bordered by Sean Walsh Memorial (or Watergate)
Park to the north, Firhouse Road West to the south, Old
Bawn Road to the east, and Kiltipper Way to the west.
east of Old Bawn, estates include Home Lawns, Mountain Park,
Millbrook Lawns and Seskin View.
To the southeast of the N81 dual carriageway are
, Ellensborough, Aylesbury
, which comprises the residential areas
of Deer Park, Cushlawn, Donomore, Killinarden Estate and Knockmore.
Beyond these are rural lands, running towards the Dublin
northwest, Belgard Green, Belgard Heights, and Kingswood are
adjacent to Clondalkin, while Kilnamanagh is situated
beside Greenhills and south west of
Walkinstown and Crumlin. Tallaght Theatre
is situated along the
Immediately west of the town centre are the estates of Virginia
Heights and Springfield. Further west are Jobstown
, Kiltalown, Brookfield and
far west, newer estates, lying between Tallaght and the rural
village of Saggart (including Citywest business park), include Deselby, Mountain View, the
Belfry, Ardmore, Westbrook Glen, Saggart Abbey, Verschoyle and
There is also still considerable open land, some
still farmed, in this direction.
Reference is sometimes made to a "greater Tallaght area", said to
comprise several districts. Some areas were historically separate (and
physically remote, even disconnected by the river) while others,
like Firhouse, also across the Dodder, were part of the church
parish of Tallaght for centuries but otherwise
In the mountains is the still-rural Bohernabreena
also sometimes accumulated into "greater Tallaght".
The Greater Tallaght concept is probably based in part on the huge
civil parish of the same name, which covered, and in law still
covers, much of southern County Dublin, but which has nothing to
do, beyond a common name, with the former village turned county
is home to The
Square (abbreviated to "sq."), is one of Ireland's largest
The centre consists of three retail levels
and is accessible by the Luas
and extensive bus
services. Anchor tenants at the centre include
Tesco, Debenhams, Easons, and Dunnes
Stores, as well as a multiplex 12-screen cinema operated by
Many new retail outlets such as Marks and Spencers
, and H&M
been built (or are currently under development) in the new town
Five hotels are located in the town centre: the Plaza Hotel near
The Square, the Abberley Court Hotel at High Street, the Maldron
Hotel at Whitestown Way, near Watergate Park. The Glashus Hotel and
Tallaght Cross Hotel are at "Tallaght Cross".
The "town centre" area holds offices of local and central
government entities, including South Dublin County Council, the
Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social and Family Affairs,
the Health Service Executive (Eastern Region), County Dublin
V.E.C., as well as local FÁS
offices. It is
also the location of the County Library, Rua Red - the County Arts
Centre, the Civic Theatre, and many shops, bars, and
and Meath Hospital, incorporating the National Children's
Hospital (commonly known as Tallaght Hospital) is
the N81 dual carriageway, south of the town centre, is the 6,000
seat soccer ground called Tallaght Stadium.
Initially construction was undertaken by
Shamrock Rovers F.C.
belonging to South Dublin County Council, but the project was
marred by financial problems, and the site reverted to council
ownership. Work on the site recommenced on 6 May, 2008, after a
judicial review taken by a local GAA club had been thrown out of
court the preceding January. South of this is Sean Walsh Memorial
St. Maelruain's Church
St. Maelruain's Church (Church of
) now occupies the site of the original monastery. The
present-day church was built in 1829 and replaced an earlier one to
which the still-existing tower belonged. The tower is four storeys
high and has a spiral staircase. An external stairs gives access to
the first floor and the spiral stairway to the floors above. The
third floor has a vaulted stone ceiling above which is the flat
roof and a small turret. In 1662 the churchwardens were granted a
sum of £100 in compensation for damage done by Captain Alland who
had been stationed there with his troops in 1651. He stripped off
the roof of the church and used the timber slates and pews for his
own house. He also used the paving stones to pave the entrance to
his kitchen and fed his horses from the font.
There are a number of interesting historic features in the grounds
of the church. On the left inside the churchyard gate is a font
called St. Maelruain's Losset. This is a wide and shallow granite
stone trough or font. 'Losat' is an Old Irish word denoting a
wooden trough used in former times for kneading bread. It is likely
that the country people named it from its similarity in shape to
the lossets that they used in their homes. St. Maelruain's Cross
lies south of the font. It is a small ancient cross set in a
pedestal which is fixed in a circular granite base resembling a
mill stone. The pedestal and base were formerly known as Moll
Rooney's loaf and griddle and the font was called Moll Rooney's
There are a great many tombstones in the graveyard dating mainly
from the 18th and 19th centuries, and some even from the 17th
century. One of these commemorates Colonel John Talbot of Belgard
who sat in the Parliament of James II and took part in many
important military engagements. The graves of the artists Oisin
Kelly, Evie Hone and Elizabeth Rivers are in the new graveyard at
St. Maelruain's. A survey of the graves was carried out by SDCC
which recorded, amongst other information, locations of the graves,
observations on their general condition, and details taken from the
grave headstones where readable. Copies of this survey are
available (for reference only) in the Local Studies section of the
library. Also to be seen in the grounds of the church is the
remains of the fosse, the ancient curved bank which enclosed
Maelruain's monastery. The best view is from the car park at the
rear of Smith's Toystore.
Central Tallaght, including Virginia
Hall, west of the Square.
The "town centre" area has witnessed much construction in recent
years, predominantly of new apartment buildings, including Virginia
Hall, a twelve storey building on the site of the farmhouse
previously known as 'Virginia House' (the base of operations for
many years of the Tallaght Community Arts Centre). This new
building is currently the tallest in Tallaght. A new arts centre
for South Dublin County called Rua Red was recently opened at a
site near to County Hall, just south of the new library
Intensive work has been promised in the near future to further
integrate Watergate Park with the new town centre. Part of this
development will either include transforming a section of the
current dual carriageway into a boulevard to better integrate the
two areas, or the construction of a pedestrian land-bridge between
The original Tallaght village area is currently receiving a long
awaited face lift in the form of landscaping, works on statues, and
ITT is in the process of redeveloping land donated by Saint Mary's
Priory for use as sports pitches.
On 2 September, 1987, Alan Dukes
then leader of the opposition Fine Gael
political party, delivered a famous speech to the Tallaght Chamber
of Commerce in which the policy which became known as the Tallaght Strategy
Rovers F.C. are based in Tallaght started playing out of
Stadium in 2009. The schoolboys section grounds are
- Saint Anne's GAA, Saint Marks GAA and Thomas Davis GAA Club are
local Gaelic Athletic
Basketball Arena lies east of the village.
- Tallaght Swim Team is located at the Tallaght Sports
Complex, Balrothery, beside Tallaght Community School.
- Brookfield Celtic, one of Dublin's largest underage football
clubs, were founded in Tallaght in 1999.
- Glenanne Sports Club, one of the most successful Irish field
hockey teams of recent years , are based in Tallght, playing their
home games on the astroturf pitch located in St. Marks Community
- Firhouse Basketball
Club is a local Ladies Basketball club which also serves
- Tallaght RFC is a local rugby team,
and play their plays in The Postal Club in Kiltipper and were
founded in Tallaght in 2002.
On 12 July, 1998, Tallaght welcomed the Tour de France
. Tallaght holds an annual
Saint Patrick's Day
two consecutive years Tallaght has played host to South Dublin
County's annual 'Hallowfest' in celebration of the Gaelic New Year
and Festival of the Dead. It has also been home to 'Tallafest' and
has a division of South Dublin's 'FUSED Festival' and 'NOISE
Festival' every year . There is a farmers' market held every Friday
from 10:00 to 16:00 in High Street.
Notable people from the area now known as Tallaght include:
- Dave Allen (1936-2005), comedian and
- Richard Dunne (1979-), soccer
- Keith Fahey (1983-), soccer
- Evie Hone (1894-1955), artist, buried
- Robbie Keane (1980-), soccer
- Oisín Kelly (1915-1981), artist
- Malachi Horan (1847-1945), folklorist.
- Elizabeth Rivers (1903-1964), wood engraver, figure painter,
- William Howard Russell
(1821-1907), journalist, and possibly the world's first modern war
- Dublin, Gill and Macmillan, 1979 (reproduced from the original
of 1902); Francis Elrington
Ball , "A History of the County Dublin", volume 3 (of 6),
Parish of Tallaght, A History of the County Dublin
by Francis Elrington Ball
- Dublin, Hodges Figgis, 1889; Handcock, William Domville, "The
History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin", 2nd
edition, revised and enlarged, Handcock's History and Antiquities of Tallaght in
the County of Dublin, Second Edition, 1889
References and footnotes
- History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin,
2nd edition, 1889; Handcock, William Domville
- Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland: County Development Plan 2004-2010,
- Feastdays of the Saints, 2006; Ó Riain,Pádraig
- Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland: County Development Plan 2004-2010,
- Tallaght Stadium - Building Recommences May 2008
Shamrock Rovers F.C. Published on
07-05-08. Retrieved on 14-05-08.
- Shamrock Rovers F.C
- The Irish Times - Mon, Jul 13, 1998 - Brisk wind
blows riders through Tallaght in a flash Tallaght