Residential area

Our Lady's Church, located in Darndale
Coordinates: 53°24′04″N 6°11′38″W / 53.401005°N 6.193959°W / 53.401005; -6.193959Coordinates: 53°24′04″N 6°11′38″W / 53.401005°N 6.193959°W / 53.401005; -6.193959
Country Ireland

Darndale (Irish: Darndál) is an area on the Northside of Dublin, in Ireland, featuring a high concentration of social housing and many social problems. It is located in the north of the sprawling suburb of Coolock. Darndale lies within the Dublin 17 postal district. Since September 2014, a documentary-series about the housing estate, named Darndale: The Edge of Town aired on TV3 and also in March 2015 it featured on 'The Benefits Estate' a reality documentary-series on Channel 5 in the UK.


The area originally comprised farmlands in the northern part of the civil parish of Coolock, and took its name from either a large house situated to the west of Malahide Road or from the townland of the same name. It was intensively developed by Dublin Corporation in recent decades.

Location and access

Located to the north-east of Dublin city, Darndale is bordered to the east by the Malahide Road, to the north by the N32, to the west by Priorswood, and to the south by the Riverside housing estate in Coolock. It comprises the housing estates of Buttercup, Marigold, Primrose Grove, Snowdrop Walk and Tulip Court.

Darndale is accessible by the Malahide Road and the N32 (via the old Clonshaugh Road), and also via the Greencastle Road. It is within 3 km of Dublin Airport. It is served by Dublin Bus.


Darndale has a planned village centre which contains a newsagents/off licence, pharmacy and take-away restaurant. Within the village centre is Darndale Belcamp Integrated Childcare Services(known locally as the Jigsaw Centre); one of largest community childcare centres in Ireland and a HSE Primary Care Unit which provides a doctors surgery, baby nurse and community welfare supports to the local community. The main building in the Darndale Belcamp Village Centre is the Bell Building which is a unique and collective combination of integrated community services operating in and around a multipurpose building.

The Bell Building provides many services to the local community including adult education, youth training, information and support, older people support services, environmental programmes and administration and job seeking services to the local community. [1]

There is a large traveller community located close to Darndale, by the N32, and in a separate compound, Traveller school facilities. This site is mentioned in Christy Moore's song, Go Move Shift.

Immediately adjacent is the large Clare Hall Shopping Centre (anchored by [Tesco Ireland]), a Green Apple petrol station and a Hilton Hotel (the "Dublin Airport Hilton"). There are also several other amenities in the area including an Odeon Cinema, Leisure Plex, several fast food restaurants, community sports hall, community gym and an industrial estate directly across from the main road into Darndale.

Since around 2004, Darndale has also had an unusual leisure amenity - a substantial fishing pond located in the local park, built in cooperation with the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board and in 2011, underwent a massive cleanup operation to remove a large amount of weed which had grown in the pond making it unusable.

Darndale, along with the neighbouring Belcamp housing development, forms a parish in the Roman Catholic church.[2] The parish is in the Fingal South East deanery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.

Social issues

Darndale was built as a social housing experiment consisting of low-rise, courtyard-based houses to encourage stronger community links in large, and largely resettled, communities. The idea of the "courts" was to create neighbourly bonds among the new residents. This idea of a communal space fostering community spirit was based on a large housing scheme called Cricketer's Way, located in Andover, Hampshire, England. This housing plan has not been repeated in the Republic of Ireland since the construction of the Darndale estates.

Problems involving the courts began to surface and some became centres of anti-social behaviour, with residents complaining to the local authority.[3] Changes were made to the housing plan: laneways were closed and back gardens extended,[4] and CCTV was installed in the estates.[5]

In 1993, Martine Franck, a Magnum photographer and Henri Cartier-Bresson's second wife, did a project on Darndale, showing deprived children in their environment.[6]


  1. Website of Darndale Belcamp Village Centre. http://www.darndalebelcampvc.ie/
  2. Website of Our Lady's Parish in Darndale Belcamp.
  3. Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Darndale (Dublin) Estate. Thursday, 16 February 1978] http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/
  4. Renewing Darndale; Problems And Potential. Raymond Dinh, 2012. http://issuu.com/raydinh/docs/renewing_darndale__problems_and_potential
  5. Seanad Éireann - Volume 128 - 13 March 1991 Adjournment Matter. - Darndale (Dublin) Estate.http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/S/0128/S.0128.199103130007.html
  6. Franck, Martine. "IRELAND", Magnum Photos. http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&STID=2S5RYDQ11KK
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