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Dublin (Template:PronEng, Template:IPA-en or Template:IPA-en) is the largest city (being a primate city)[1][2] and capital of Ireland. It is officially known in Irish as Baile Átha Cliath Template:IPA-ga or Áth Cliath Template:IPA-ga; 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 Liffey 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 in the Global Financial Centres Index,[3][4] has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city,[5][6] and is listed by the GaWC as a global city,[7][8] with a ranking of Alpha - which places Dublin amongst the top 25 cities in the world.[9] Dublin is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the island of Ireland 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"). The common name for the city in Modern Irish is Template:Lang (meaning "town of the hurdled ford"). Template:Lang is a place-name referring to a fording point of the Liffey in the vicinity of Heuston Station. Template:Lang was an early Christian monastery which is believed to have been situated in the area of Aungier Street currently occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

The subsequent Scandinavian settlement was on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey, to the East of Christchurch, in the area now known as Wood Quay. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Scandinavians 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 Library in Dublin Castle.

Táin Bó Cuailgne also known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley refers to Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, meaning Dublin, which is called Ath Cliath. In the Irish language, Dubh is correctly pronounced as Duv or Duf. The city's original pronunciation is preserved in Old Norse as Dyflin, 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 'DuTemplate:Unicode Linn' or 'DuTemplate:Unicodelinn'. Those without a knowledge of Irish omitted the dot and spelled the name as Dublin.


File:Dublin castle.JPG

Dublin Castle


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 Template:Lang. 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[10] 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 Cashel.[11] 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.[11] The last high king (Ard Rí) of 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. In 1348, the city was hit by the Black Death,[12] a lethal plague that ravaged Europe in the mid-14th century.[13]

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The Custom House on the north bank of the River Liffey

From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly, helped by the Wide Streets Commission. The population grew from about 10,000 in 1600 to over 50,000 in 1700, and this in spite of another plague epidemic in 1649-51.[14] 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. 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's and Christ Church cathedrals participating.


The O'Connell Bridge and O'Connell Street, both named after Daniel O'Connell, and Liberty Hall

After the Act of Union, 1800, with the seat of government moving to Westminster, 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.[11] Belfast developed much faster than Dublin during this period on a mixture of international trade, factory-based linen cloth production and shipbuilding.[15]

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.Template:POV-statement The Irish Free State government rebuilt the city centre and located the Dáil (parliament) in Leinster House.

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Carlisle Bridge c. 1840, showing the extent of the Wide Streets Commission interventions, with unified commercial terraces marching from the river towards the GPO.

The formation of the new state resulted in changed fortunes for Dublin. It benefited 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.Template:POV-statement 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:

  • the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541)
  • the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800)
  • the island as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922)
  • the Irish Republic (1919–1922),[16]

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 Ireland. One of the memorials to commemorate that time is the Garden of Remembrance.

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.[17]

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 Ireland.


Illustrated page from Book of Kells

There are several theatres within the city centre, and various world famous actors have emerged from the Dublin theatrical scene, including Noel Purcell, Sir Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney and Gabriel Byrne. The best known theatres include the Gaiety, the Abbey, the Olympia and the Gate. The Gaiety 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 Abbey 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 Gate was founded in 1928 to promote European and American Avant Garde works. The largest theatre is the Mahony Hall in The Helix at Dublin City University in Glasnevin.

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 College. The Chester Beatty Library 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 Green, the main public park in the city centre. In addition large art galleries are found across the city, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, The City Arts Centre, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy.

Three branches of the National Museum of Ireland are located in Dublin: Archaeology in Kildare Street, Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks and Natural History in Merrion Street.[18]

Musical, Operatic and Dramatic societies[]

Dublin is home to many acclaimed dramatic, musical and operatic companies, including: Festival Productions, Lyric Opera Productions, The Pioneers Musical & Dramatic Society, The Glasnevin Musical Society, Second Age Theatre Company, Opera Theatre Company, Opera Ireland amongst many others.

Perhaps the most famous Dublin theatre company is the hugely renowned Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society which has been in existence since 1913. The company produced full scale productions of popular musicals and operettas including Oklahoma!, Carousel, The Mikado, Guys and Dolls, The Pirates of Penzance, Me and My Girl, My Fair Lady, The Yeoman of the Guard, Gigi, Fiddler on the Roof, The Gondoliers, Anything Goes, The Merry Widow, Iolanthe, The Producers and HMS Pinafore. At present, the society is performing a tribute concert to the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein at the National Concert Hall.

The society will recreate their 1913 production of The Mikado this November 2010 at the NCH.

In addition to opera, Ireland is well known for its love of baroque music. Baroque music is highly acclaimed at Trinity College.[19]

Nightlife and entertainment[]


Temple Bar, the city's centre for 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 citizens being younger than 25.[5][6] Furthermore in 2007, and again in 2009, Dublin was voted the friendliest city in Europe.[20][21] Like the rest of Ireland, there are pubs right across the city centre. The area around St. Stephen's Green - 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 Bar area just south of the River Liffey. To some extent, the area has become a hot spot for tourists, including stag and hen parties from Britain.[22] 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, Boyzone, Ronan Keating, 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 Cinema and the Cineworld Cinema, both north of the Liffey. Alternative and special-interest cinema can be found in the Irish Film Institute 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, Dublin (originally called, and still often known as, the Point Theatre) has housed world renowned performers in all fields of music.


File:Croke park all ireland.jpg

Croke Park, Europe's third-largest stadium and home to the Gaelic Athletic Association.

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: Soccer, gaelic football, rugby union and hurling. It is also the headquarters of the world governing body for Rugby Union the International Rugby Board (IRB).[23] Dublin has been selected as the European Capital of Sport in 2010.[24]

File:Aviva Stadium 3.jpg

Aviva Stadium is home to the Ireland Rugby & Ireland Football team's.

The city is host to the 3rd largest stadium in Europe,[25] Croke Park, the 82,500 [26] 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 Park. The nickname for the Dublin Gaelic football team is "The Dubs". Lansdowne Road 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. 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 will be replaced by a 50,000 all-seater stadium, the Aviva Stadium. On 29 January 2009, Uefa confirmed that the Aviva Stadium will host the 2011 Europa League Final (UEFA Cup).[27] During the redevelopment, rugby union and soccer home internationals are played at Croke Park.

Leinster Rugby play at the RDS Arena though their former home of Donnybrook Stadium remains an important venue for rugby of all levels in Dublin.

Dublin is home to six League of Ireland clubs, Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, St Patrick's Athletic, Template:Afc and Sporting Fingal. Dalymount Park in Phibsboro, the traditional Home of Irish Soccer, is now used only for home games of local club, Bohemians. Shamrock Rovers play at Tallaght Stadium, while Template:Fc play at Richmond Park in Inchicore, in the south west of the city and the newest club, Template:Fc, who play at Morton Stadium, Santry. The other senior clubs, who play in the First Division, are Template:Fc, who play at Tolka Park in Drumcondra and Template:Afc, based at the UCD Bowl, Belfield.

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 RDS, Ballsbridge, which hosted the Show Jumping World Championships in 1982. The national boxing arena is located in The National Stadium on the South Circular Road. There are also Basketball, Handball, Hockey and athletics stadia — most notably Morton Stadium in Santry, which held the athletics events of the 2003 Special Olympics.

Rugby League as a sport in Dublin has attained popularity in recent years.[citation needed] 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.[28]

Club Sport League Venue Established
Bohemian F.C. Soccer League of Ireland Premier Division Dalymount Park 1890
Dublin GAA Gaelic games Various Parnell Park 1884
Leinster Rugby Rugby Union Magners League RDS Arena 1875
Shamrock Rovers F.C. Soccer League of Ireland Premier Division Tallaght Stadium 1901
Shelbourne F.C. Soccer League of Ireland First Division Tolka Park 1895
Sporting Fingal F.C. Soccer League of Ireland Premier Division Morton Stadium 2007
St Patrick's Athletic F.C. Soccer League of Ireland Premier Division Richmond Park 1929
UCD FC Soccer League of Ireland Premier Division UCD Bowl 1895


File:Clerys 12-10-2006.jpg

Clerys' department store on O'Connell Street.

File:Moore Street market, Dublin.jpg

Moore Street market.

Dublin is a popular shopping spot for both Irish people and tourists. Dublin city centre has several shopping districts, including Grafton Street, Henry Street, Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Jervis Shopping Centre, Powerscourt and the newly refurbished Ilac Shopping Centre. On Grafton Street, the most famous shops include Brown Thomas and its sister shop BT2. Brown Thomas also houses several boutiques such as Hermès, Tiffany's, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

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 Debenham's (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 Street, Abbey Street 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 Street, will become a full urban street and pedestrian thoroughfare.[29] Construction, which began in November 2008, led to the loss of 580 retail jobs.[30][31] It is hoped that the Northern Quarter will open for business in 2013.[32]

The city retains a thriving market culture, despite the arrival of new shopping developments and the loss of some of Dublin's traditional market sites. Several historic locations remain, including Moore Street, one of the city's oldest trading districts.[33] In addition, there has been a significant growth in local farmers' markets and other alternative markets[34][35], while 2007 saw the Dublin Food Co-op, the city's only wholefoods co-operative, relocate to a large warehouse in The Liberties area where it is now also home to a range of market and community events.[36][37]

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

Northside and Southside[]

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The River Liffey divides the city into Northside and Southside.

A north-south division has traditionally existed in Dublin for some time, with the dividing line being the River Liffey. 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).

Education and research[]

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Trinity College, Dublin

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.[24]

The University of Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland dating from the 16th century. Its sole constituent college, Trinity College, 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 Green, 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 Dublin (UCD), the largest university in Ireland with over 22,000 students.

Dublin City University (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 Green in the city centre.

The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, another constituent university of the NUI, is in neighbouring Co. Kildare, about Template:Convert 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 Grangegorman. Two suburbs of Dublin, Tallaght and Blanchardstown have Institutes of Technology: Institute of Technology, Tallaght, and Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown. Portobello College has its degrees conferred through the University of Wales.[38]

The National College of Art and Design (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 Dublin, 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.


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The Grand Canal

The City of Dublin is the area administered by Dublin City Council, but the term "Dublin" 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 Dublin. This area is sometimes known as Dublin Region.

The population of the administrative area controlled by the City Council was 505,739 at the census of 2006, while the population of the urban area (the city and the suburbs in adjacent local authority areas) was 1,045,769. At the same census, the County Dublin 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.[39] Today, approximately 40% of the population of the Republic of Ireland live within a Template:Convert radius of the city centre.[citation needed]


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[40] and the greatest numbers come from the European Union, especially the United Kingdom, Poland and Lithuania.[41] There is also a considerable number from outside Europe, particularly China, Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.[citation needed] One section of central Dublin is now known as Little Africa.[42] 10% of the Republic of Ireland'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.[43] By 2006, the percentage of foreign-born population had increased to 14.5% for the state and 17.3% in Dublin.[44]

Economy and infrastructure[]

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View of Dublin, facing North

Industry, employment and standard of living[]


The Spire of Dublin from O'Connell Street at dusk. The Spire is often considered a shining symbol of Ireland's recent period of rapid economic growth

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.[citation needed] In 2009, Dublin was listed as the fourth-richest city in the world.[45] According to one source, Dublin is now the world's 25th most expensive city.[46] It is also listed as the tenth most expensive city in the world in which to live.[47] However, it had the second highest wages for a city in the world, ahead of both New York City and London, though behind Zürich but as of 2009 has dropped to tenth highest.[48]

Historically, brewing has probably been the industry most often associated with the city[citation needed]: Guinness has been brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewery 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[citation needed]. Intel and Hewlett-Packard have large manufacturing plants in Leixlip, County Kildare, Template:Convert to the west.[citation needed]

Banking, finance and commerce are also important in the city - the IFSC alone handles over €1 trillion a year[citation needed]. Many international firms have established major headquarters in the city (e.g. 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.[citation needed] 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 Hall, is only Template:Convert tall; already under construction in the city is Heuston Gate, a Template:Convert building (Template:Convert including spire). The Template:Convert Britain Quay Tower and the Template:Convert Point Village Watchtower have been approved. Construction has started on the latter. Also the U2 Tower will be the tallest building on the Island of Ireland when it is finished.[citation needed]

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.[49] 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 bank predicted medium-term growth rates of around 3–5% last year.[50]


File:Hueston Station.jpg

Dublin Heuston railway station


The Luas tram system.

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-Link, two adjacent concrete bridges that tower high above the River Liffey near the village of Lucan. The West-Link 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.[51]

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 Tunnel 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 Canal, 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 Drogheda and Dundalk. One of these is an electrified line that runs along Dublin Bay 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.[52]


The typical blue and yellow double Dublin Bus.

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, Drumcondra (Croke Park, inter-city and suburban rail stop), Dublin City University, Ballymun, Swords and Dublin Airport. The Metro West will serve the large suburbs of Tallaght, Clondalkin and Blanchardstown.

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

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Dublin Bikes

Dublin Bikes is a public bicycle rental scheme which has been operated in the city of Dublin since 2009. The scheme uses 450 French-made[53] unisex bicycles with a silver colour.[54] Dublin was the 17th city to begin using this scheme (predecessors include Copenhagen, Lyon, and Paris), though Dublin City Council suggested the Dublin launch was better.[54][55] The scheme is sponsored by JCDecaux.[56]

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 Éireann (RTÉ) is Ireland's national state broadcaster, and has its main offices and studios in Donnybrook, Dublin. 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.[57] 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 Four Courts on Inns Quay.


Dublin City Hall, former seat of Dublin Corporation is situated on Cork Hill.

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 House. Dublin City Council is based in two major buildings. Council meetings take place in the headquarters at Dublin City Hall, 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 Quay.

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.[58]


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 Uachtaráin, the former residence of the Governor-General of the Irish Free State in the city's largest park, Phoenix Park. Both houses of the Oireachtas meet in Leinster House, 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 Buildings
Formerly the Royal College of Science.

Government Buildings 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 Science. 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 UCD) until 1989.[59] Both it and Leinster House, meant to be a temporary home of parliament, became permanent homes.

The old Irish Houses of Parliament of the Kingdom of Ireland are in College Green.


Template:Unreferenced section Dublin enjoys a maritime temperate climate characterised by mild winters, cool summers, and a lack of temperature extremes with moderate rainfall. 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 Template:Convert, the average maximum July temperature is Template:Convert.[60] 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,[60] lower than Sydney, New York City and even Dallas.

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 Template:Convert was recorded at Casement Aerodrome 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. Template:Convert in July 2006, over Template:Convert 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 are thunderstorms, most common in late summer - though still only averages 4.1 days per year.

Template:Infobox Weather


Official statistics from An Garda Síochána for 2004-2007[61] show that the overall headline crime rate for the metropolitan area per 1,000 of population is the highest in the country.

International relations[]

Twin towns — Sister cities[]

Dublin has the following sister cities:[62]

See also[]

  • Global city
  • Dublin English
  • List of people from Dublin
  • List of European metropolitan areas by GRP


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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[]


Template:County Dublin Template:IrishCities Template:Capital cities of the European Union Template:European Capital of Culture Template:List of European capitals by region Template:Host cities of the Eurovision Song Contest

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