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Tallaght ( -lə in English; ) is the largest town, and county town, of South Dublin County, Irelandmarker. 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 Dublinmarker, 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 2,500. 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 are located here. The county council stated in 2003 that the population of Tallaght and environs was just under 73,000.

The village core of the district is located north of, and near to, the River Doddermarker, and parts of the broader area are close to the border of County Dublinmarker and County Wicklowmarker. Several streams flow in the area, and the Tymon River, the main component of the River Poddle, passes.

Etymology

The place name Tallaght is derived from the words támh leacht, meaning plague burial place. The earliest mention of Tallaght in recorded material is an account of Parthalon 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 Muintire Parthalon. 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) – AM2820?,
  • 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) – 1550,
  • 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).


History

Prehistory

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 and perhaps 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 Céli Dé 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 years.

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 repair.

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 House, as well as a schoolhouse and several cottages. Tallaght House is now incorporated in the buildings at St. Mary's Priory.

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.

Modern development

While no 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, Clondalkinmarker, Lucanmarker and Blanchardstownmarker - 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 RUA RED (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 Arenamarker, Shamrock Rovers F.C., and several notable martial arts schools and Gaelic Athletic Association clubs.

In October 2008 "An Bratach Fulaingt", or "The Endurance Flag" was designed for Tallaght during The D'No Project, run by Tallaght Youth Theatre in partnership 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.

Chronology

  • 769: Saint Maelruain's monastery founded.
  • 792: death of Saint Maelruain.
  • 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 of Dublin.
  • 1310: bailiffs of Tallaght given royal grant to enclose the town.
  • 1324: building of Tallaght Castle commences.
  • 1331-1332; Tallaght Castle plundered by O'Toole of Imaile.
  • 1378: Mathew, son of Redmond de Bermingham, takes up station at Tallaght Castle to resist the O'Byrnes.
  • 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 the Dominican.
  • 1864: Saint Mary's Priory built.
  • 1867: the "Battle of Tallaght".
  • 1883: New Priory Church built.
  • 1888: the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway commences operation, passing through Tallaght village.
  • 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 Squaremarker shopping centre opens.
  • 1992: Institute of Technology, Tallaght opens.
  • 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 December.
  • 1995: Tallaght Theatre built in Kilnamanaghmarker.
  • 1998: Tallaght Hospital opens.
  • 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 Stationmarker and Connolly Stationmarker 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.


Geography

Location

Tallaght is centred 13 km southwest of Dublinmarker city, in the foothills of the Dublin Mountainsmarker. While there is no definition as such, it might be described as beginning southwest of Templeoguemarker, running west towards Saggartmarker (the two are some distance apart), towards Glen na Smol in the south, and Firhousemarker to the east, to the southern edges of Clondalkinmarker and Walkinstownmarker in the northwest.

Transport

Tallaght is connected to Dublin city centre by Dublin Bus services, and by the Red Line of the Luas 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 Ballyfermotmarker, and Dún Laoghairemarker, 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 dependence.

A metro rail system is currently being planned for Dublin. Two lines 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, Lucanmarker, and Blanchardstownmarker. This metro line will eventually join up with Metro North and continue out to Dublin Airportmarker 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.

Population

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 Coolockmarker and Blanchardstownmarker). 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 103,301.

Districts

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 village.

The newer "town centre" lies immediately to the south across the Belgard Road, encompassing Belgard Square, the main shopping complex (known as The Squaremarker), 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 hotels.

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 Arenamarker, 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 Templeoguemarker, and it contains extensive sporting grounds, ponds, Coláiste De Hide, and one of Ireland's largest playgrounds at the Tymon North entrance.

To the east of the village lies Old Bawnmarker, 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. To the east of Old Bawn, estates include Home Lawns, Mountain Park, Millbrook Lawns and Seskin View.

To the southeast of the N81 dual carriageway are Kiltipper, Ellensborough, Aylesbury, and Killinarden, which comprises the residential areas of Deer Park, Cushlawn, Donomore, Killinarden Estate and Knockmore. Beyond these are rural lands, running towards the Dublin Mountains.

In the northwest, Belgard Green, Belgard Heights, and Kingswood are adjacent to Clondalkinmarker, while Kilnamanagh is situated beside Greenhills and south west of Walkinstownmarker and Crumlin. Tallaght Theatre is situated along the Greenhills Road.

Immediately west of the town centre are the estates of Virginia Heights and Springfield. Further west are Jobstown, Kiltalown, Brookfield and Fettercairn.

Beyond Tallaght

To the far west, newer estates, lying between Tallaght and the rural village of Saggartmarker (including Citywestmarker business park), include Deselby, Mountain View, the Belfry, Ardmore, Westbrook Glen, Saggart Abbey, Verschoyle and Carrigmore. There is also still considerable open land, some still farmed, in this direction.

Greater Tallaght

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 Firhousemarker, also across the Dodder, were part of the church parish of Tallaght for centuries but otherwise distinct.

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 seat.

Features

Tallaght is home to The Squaremarker (abbreviated to "sq."), is one of Ireland's largest shopping centres. The centre consists of three retail levels and is accessible by the Luas and extensive bus services. Anchor tenants at the centre include Tescomarker, Debenhams, Easons, and Dunnes Stores, as well as a multiplex 12-screen cinema operated by United Cinemas International. Many new retail outlets such as Marks and Spencers, Penneys, and H&M have been built (or are currently under development) in the new town centre.

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 restaurants.

The Adelaide and Meath Hospitalmarker, incorporating the National Children's Hospital (commonly known as Tallaght Hospital) is located nearby.

Across the N81 dual carriageway, south of the town centre, is the 6,000 seat soccer ground called Tallaght Stadiummarker. Initially construction was undertaken by Shamrock Rovers F.C. on lands 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 Park.

St. Maelruain's Church

St. Maelruain's Church (Church of Ireland) 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 Losset.

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.

Recent construction

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 extension.

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 them.

The original Tallaght village area is currently receiving a long awaited face lift in the form of landscaping, works on statues, and new paving.

ITT is in the process of redeveloping land donated by Saint Mary's Priory for use as sports pitches.

Politics

On 2 September, 1987, Alan Dukes, the 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 was outlined.

Sports

  • Shamrock Rovers F.C. are based in Tallaght started playing out of Tallaght Stadiummarker in 2009. The schoolboys section grounds are in Kiltipper.
  • Saint Anne's GAAmarker, Saint Marks GAA and Thomas Davis GAA Club are local Gaelic Athletic Association clubs.
  • The National Basketball Arenamarker 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 School
  • Firhouse Basketball Club is a local Ladies Basketball club which also serves Tallaght.
  • Tallaght RFC is a local rugby team, and play their plays in The Postal Club in Kiltipper and were founded in Tallaght in 2002.


Events

On 12 July, 1998, Tallaght welcomed the Tour de France. Tallaght holds an annual Saint Patrick's Day parade. For 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.

People

Notable people from the area now known as Tallaght include:
  • Dave Allen (1936-2005), comedian and TV presenter.
  • Richard Dunne (1979-), soccer player.
  • Keith Fahey (1983-), soccer player.
  • Evie Hone (1894-1955), artist, buried here.
  • Robbie Keane (1980-), soccer player.
  • Oisín Kelly (1915-1981), artist and sculptor.
  • Malachi Horan (1847-1945), folklorist.
  • Elizabeth Rivers (1903-1964), wood engraver, figure painter, and illustrator.
  • William Howard Russell (1821-1907), journalist, and possibly the world's first modern war correspondent.




See also



External sources



References and footnotes

  1. History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin, 2nd edition, 1889; Handcock, William Domville
  2. Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland: County Development Plan 2004-2010, p. 78
  3. Feastdays of the Saints, 2006; Ó Riain,Pádraig
  4. http://flagspot.net/flags/ie-sdub.html
  5. Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland: County Development Plan 2004-2010, p. 78
  6. Tallaght Stadium - Building Recommences May 2008 Shamrock Rovers F.C. Published on 07-05-08. Retrieved on 14-05-08.
  7. Shamrock Rovers F.C
  8. The Irish Times - Mon, Jul 13, 1998 - Brisk wind blows riders through Tallaght in a flash Tallaght


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