Kimmage (Irish: Camaigh) is a small residential suburb located on the south side of Dublin, Ireland. Surrounded by Crumlin, Greenhills, Harold's Cross, Rathfarnham, Templeogue and Terenure, the name Kimmage comes from the Irish Gaelic cam uisce, which means winding water. In this case it is the water of the River Poddle, a Liffey tributary, which provided the major water supply to medieval Dublin. Rising at Tymon Lake near the Green Hills, it flows through Kimmage, and north to the city after dividing at Mount Argus. One stream flows through via Crumlin and Dolphins Barn to join the River Liffey after Mullinahack, a millrace near Usher's Island. The other stream flows via The Coombe underground around Dublin Castle and into the Liffey further east near Merchants Quay. Kimmage is divided between postal districts Dublin 12 and Dublin 6W.

Features and facilities


The major Kimmage landmark is the KCR (Kimmage Cross Roads), the location of a petrol station and a convenience shop built in the 1960s. The crossroads are considered to denote the southern boundary with Terenure, intersecting Terenure Road West, Kimmage Road West, Fortfield Road and the Lower Kimmage Road.

The KCR House. A landmark pub in Terenure

Shopping and pubs

The KCR Pub is located close to the KCR. The Stone Boat is another very popular spot, a family friendly pub with a lounge and bar and a room for rental. The main shopping area is Kimmage village on the Lower Kimmage Road. It includes convenience stores, beauty salons, barbers, takeaways, and a garage. The Supervalu supermarket shopping centre on Sundrive Road includes extensive parking and 12 shops.

Kimmage Manor

Close by is Kimmage Manor the location of The Holy Ghost Fathers College which prepared priests for the religious life, now the Kimmage Development Studies Centre. Kimmage Manor Church parish church is located on the grounds.

Historical features

There was a local cinema in Kimmage: 'The Apollo'. Originally called 'The Sundrive Cinema' it was refurbished and renamed in the late 50's. It has been demolished and replaced with office blocks and apartments. The Stone Boat pub is one of the area's best fine bars. It is named for the boat-shaped century engineering improvement to the diversion fork of the River Poddle. The pub, originally owned by Peter Summers was called The Turks Head. He also had a shop next door called "Pennies From Heaven" with an array of gaming machines, especially 'One Armed Bandits' that took the old pre-decimal one penny (1d) per play. Winners therefore received the "Pennies From Heaven".

The character Leo Dowling of Fair City fame is said to be based on the collective personalities of all of the people of Kimmage. His famous catch phrase "oim ontoightled to ih" (im entightled to it..) can be heard throughout the area.

The divided Poddle fed the millrace at the end of the pond in the grounds of Mount Argus. In the 50's/60's this two story building housed St Gabriels Boys Club, who were well supported by the local community when they staged Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas. There were several older style residences surrounded the main building.

The residential area between Ferns Road and Kildare Road was architecturally designed to resemble a Celtic Cross. This can be clearly seen on Google Earth and shows an almost perfect mirror image each side of Armagh road. The locals considered this road as dividing Crumlin and Kimmage. The majority of these roads were named after Irish Monasteries such as Clonmacnoise; Clonard; Kells and Monasterboice.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s the park facing the end of Stannaway Road was known locally as the 'Tip'. In the austere years after World War II it was usual to see residents of the area digging for cinders to use as heating fuel in their homes. Such was the level of unemployment, strict rationing and dire poverty at that time that coal and turf was often beyond the means of some residents. Cinders were sometimes the only available form of heating fuel. The 'Tip' had a water-filled quarry which froze over in the winter. In one tragic incident, three young children drowned when the thin ice they were walking on broke and they fell into the water. The quarry was dragged for several days to no avail.

The Cafolla owned chippie is still operating under different ownership and is situated next to the shop at the corner of Blarney Park (formally Greenes Drapers). The third shop to the left of the cinema was named M.A. HENRY, known by the locals as MA Henry. It was run by two ladies of the old school who were very strict about selling cigarettes, and in the 1950s when cigarettes were in short supply it was as if a miracle had occurred if MA Henry sold you a packet of fags. But in order to get the cigarettes, one had to also buy a packet of razor blades. The Pastor in St. Agnes Church was a brother of M.A. Henry. Next to MA Henrys and was a small premises housing a cycle repair shop, now a barbers shop. The shop adjoining the cinema was a dry cleaners, called IMCO.

The soda fountain had a jukebox which at the time was regarded as state-of-the-art technology. Older folk often referred to it as a Nickleodeon, which came from the lyrics of a hit song "Music! Music! Music!" ("Put another nickel in, in the Nickelodeon") by the very popular American singer at the time, Teresa Brewer.

Stannaway Road originally ran from Sundrive Road, up to and just beyond Cashel Road where the scheme ended with a wall across the roadway. It was demolished in the 1940s/1950s when an extension to the original scheme commenced. Blarney Park had a similar wall separating the Dublin Corporation from a private schemes. In the 1950s residents in the Corporation houses objected to being cut off and broke a hole through. The hole was gradually made larger and the Corporation deemed the wall unsafe and eventually demolished it. Access through the private section then became the norm. The Council devised a privatization policy in the 1970s and sold Council homes to the existing tenants.

Captain's Road (then called Captains Lane) runs from the top of Windmill Road in Crumlin to Kimmage Road. There were only a few houses between the schools (St Columcills CBS and the girls convert opposite) on Armagh Road and St Agnes Church. Most of the area here was regarded as being 'almost in the country' by the locals. Captains Lane was a well known area for children to go 'blackberrying' picking the abundant wild crop in August before it developed 'devils spit'.


An old mill and farm in Kimmage were used as a clearing station for arms imported in the 1914 Howth gun-running[1] and used in the 1916 Easter Rising. An Irish Volunteers secret camp, the 'Kimmage Garrison' was established in the area by Joseph Plunkett and his brother George Oliver Plunkett. IRB members with engineering skills over from England, and men on the run from conscription lived rough for three months in a mill on the farm at Larkfield in Kimmage where they manufactured home-made bombs, bayonets and pikes.

On Easter Monday, 1916, Captain George Plunkett waved down a tram with his revolver at Harold's Cross, ordered on his volunteers armed with shotguns, pikes and homemade bombs, took out his wallet and said "Fifty-two tuppenny tickets to the city centre please".[2] Arriving at Liberty Hall, they were organised into four companies, and with a hundred other Volunteers, marched with James Connolly and Patrick Pearse to seize the General Post Office, where they remained throughout the Rising.[3] The mill was replaced by the SuperQuinn supermarket in modern times.


Popular culture

Notable people associated with Kimmage

See also

List of towns and villages in Ireland


  1. Who were the men who signed the Proclamation?
  2. p41, Michael McNally: Easter Rising 1916, Birth of the Irish Republic (Campaign 180), Osprey Publishing Ltd, 2007

External links

Coordinates: 53°19′00″N 6°17′20″W / 53.31667°N 6.28889°W / 53.31667; -6.28889

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