Dun Laoghaire is a coastal town around eight miles south of Dublin. It boasts a splendid harbour which offers a range of shopping and other passenger facilities in the ferry terminal building. Packet ferries first served the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route across the Irish Sea 150 years ago. Car ferries were introduced in 1960s and operated from St Michael s Pier, while Carlisle Pier continued to be used by mail boats. The St Columba, Sealink s flagship on the Irish Sea, was introduced on the route in 1977 and, in 1995, a new terminal was opened at Dun Laoghaire and the HSS Stena Explorer was introduced on the route.
"Dublin's Riviera" was established in the early 1990s to attract businesses and tourists to the towns of Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock and Dalkey. Various events and festivals are held throughout the year to draw attention to the harbour, coastline, parks and marine facilities.
Dun Laoghaire History. Dun Laoghaire is thought to be the oldest town in Ireland and was just a small fishing village up until 1817 when the Earl of Whitworth laid the first foundation stone of the pier. Dun Laoghaire gets it's name from the Irish translation, Fort (Dún) of Laoghaire, named in the fifth century after its founder, King Laoghaire, the High King of Ireland, before the arrival of the Vikings. He used the fort as a base to launch raids into France and Britain. King Laoghaire also allowed St Patrick to preach Christianity around Ireland; however, St Patrick subsequently destroyed King Laoghaire s ancient Druid order. Nowadays there are St Patrick festivals almost every week in the summer months. When the English came they renamed the town Dunlary (Dunleary) and King George IV of England renamed it Kingstown. It remained Kingstown through Victorian times, until in 1921, one year before independence, the town council voted to change the name back to the ancient Irish name Dun Laoghaire.
Dun Laoghaire Attractions. Dun Laoghaire offers many attractions and festivals throughout the year, focussing on its rich archaeological heritage from the Mesolithic era to the early Christian and Medieval Periods.
The main attractions are the National Maritime Museum, the Dun Laoghaire harbour with its East Pier promenade and the James Joyce Tower. Dun Laoghaire offers some spectacular views and is the starting point for many walks, including those to Killiney and Dalkey Hills, Vico Road, Dalkey Island and Village and the James Joyce Tower. It is also an ideal base for a visit to Dublin and the rest of Ireland.
Dun Laoghaire Shopping and Dining. Dun Laoghaire has been transformed from a fishing village into a prosperous town that provides excellent shopping and entertainment, with plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants to choose from. Irish pubs offer a unique atmosphere, with everything from traditional Irish music and dance to modern pub entertainment available on most nights. Many pubs and restaurants also offer an extensive menu of fine Irish food.
Dun Laoghaire shops offer great variety; authentic Irish goods such as specialist handcrafted pottery, wood carvings, glassware and furniture are available in the town s craft and gift shops.
Dun Laoghaire Access. From the west (Galway, Limerick Portlaoise) follow the signs to Dublin until you meet the M50/N81. Then follow the signs directing you to Dun Laoghaire port. From the north-west and the north follow the signs to Dublin. Then take the route for the Eastlink toll bridge and the N11 heading south for Wexford/south-east. Keep following the signs for Dun Laoghaire port. From the south and south-west follow the signs for Dublin. If travelling via Waterford/Kilkenny/Carlow head for the N11 to Dublin and Dun Laoghaire. On the approach to Loughlinstown, just past Bray, follow the signs for Dun Laoghaire port.