For other uses, see Santry (disambiguation).

Santry (Irish: Seantrabh, meaning "Old tribe") is a suburb on the northside of Dublin, Ireland, bordering Coolock, Glasnevin, Kilmore and Ballymun. Today it straddles the boundary of Dublin City and Fingal County Council area.

The character of the area has changed in the last 100 years, from a district centred on a large estate, and later small village, to a modern, rather dispersed, mixed-use suburb. Much of the old village is gone and where there were once fields full of crops, and wild woodlands of all sorts, there are now housing estates, an athletics stadium, a shopping complex, industrial parks and busy roads leading to Dublin Airport. Morton Stadium was until recently the home to the newest League of Ireland club—Sporting Fingal; however, the club was disbanded in 2011 when problems emerged with their ability to raise sponsorship. The Trinity College Library has a depository at Santry which holds three million books.[1]


Santry is an anglicisation of the Irish placename Shean Triabh (pronounced Shan-treev) which literally means "old tribe". Although not verified, the book of Leccan refers to a tribe called the Almanii who inhabited the area, which might have been the source of the name.

During the Viking invasions a number of peaceful Norse farmers moved into the north Dublin area, which proved to be excellent farmland. These Norsemen were famous for their agricultural prowess, crafts . They also brought new pastimes and strange Scandinavian phrases which are thought to survive to today further away from the city.

After this time people began to refer to the area north of the River Tolka, including from Santry and north to Swords, Lusk, and beyond as "Fingal", which translates as "fair-haired foreigner". The name was confined to songs, poems, folk memory and some antiquarian titles until a re-organization of local government in the 1990s set up Fingal and Fingal County Council.

In the 12th century, the neighbourhood of Santry was at the hands of Mac Gilla Mocholmog, chief of Fingal, who then established his base in Santry.

About 1170 Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath granted Santry to one of his most trusted lieutenants, Adam de Feypo.

In 1581 the lands and title of Santry were awarded to William Nugent who then lost it after falling out of favour with the Legate Kane because of his objection to Kane's policy of immortality. In 1620 the lands of Santry were confiscated from Nugent's aristocratic but Catholic offspring, the Barnewalls. The Protestant Barry family (originally from Cork) took charge of the estate and tenants and became the Lords of Santry where they remained in title for three or four generations. King Charles II made James Barry, then only a knight, Baron Barry of Santry (for services rendered).

Santry was the scene of violence in the early months of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when a punitive expedition of Parliamentarians led by Sir Charles Coote mistakenly massacred a group of local farm labourers, who were sleeping in the fields there. Coote had assumed they were rebels preparing to attack Dublin.

In the Irish Rebellion of 1798 United Irishmen from all over Fingal marched south towards Dublin city but were met by a company of local yeomanry (government militia) from Santry village and were massacred. The bloodshed was so bad in this action that the area at the northern gateway to Santry Demesne (now near the Little Venice Restaurant) was known as "Bloody Hollows" for several years after. Later a Royal Irish Constabulary station was located on the site of the present-day restaurant.


Santry Demesne (Santry Court)

Santry Demesne (also referred to as Santry Park or Santry Woods) is a demesne in Dublin, Ireland. It is in the Fingal County Council district of Dublin. Morton Stadium, the National Athletics Stadium of Ireland, is right beside it. It contains a walled garden. a lake, monuments and has the Santry River going through it. It was the venue for the European Cross Country Championships in 2009.

Where the new Santry Demesne public park is situated was once a palatial old house and gardens, built in the 18th century. This was once the largest house in north County Dublin and people travelled from far and wide to be received by the owners, the Barry family. Many clues of the house still exist and the park is worth visiting to find the house foundations, front steps, tree avenue and walled garden. A small bend in the Santry River (which forms the boundary of the park today) was widened to create a small pond for the boating pleasure of Georgian ladies and gentlemen who resided at, and visited, the house.

The house fell into disrepair, initially at the turn of the 20th century as the estate proved not to be economically viable but ultimately after the Domville family departed Ireland post-independence in 1921. It came into the possession of the state, who intended to repair it and use it as a mental asylum. This plan was shelved by the start of World War II; the need to increase security around Dublin Airport meant it was used as an army depot, and part of the gardens as a firing range. There are many theories locally about what happened next but it appears as if soldiers of the Irish army caused a fire and the house was severely damaged in 1947, followed by demolition shortly afterwards.

In 2010 the walled garden is leased to a community group which runs it as a Community Garden, the 4 acre plot is divided into three sections an ornamental section, heritage and kitchen garden.[2] Many varieties of plants, vegetables and fruit are grown by the 90 volunteers in the garden, since 2013 there is also a bee apiary.

Description of the House

Santry Court was a very important Jacobean type early 18th-century house of red brick and stone facings built in 1703 by 3rd. Lord Barry of Santry, commonly called Lord Santry. Two storeys high over an exceptionally tall basement, and with a dormered attic behind the roof parapet. The dormer windows alternated with segmental and triangular pediments. Facade was 9 bays wide on the entrance front with pedimented breakfront. The front door with segmental pediment and Corinthian columns at the top of a huge flight of steps. Originally the front door was at basement level (the door was relocated to Dublin Castle.) The parapets were partly balustraded with urns at each corner. Curved sweeps and wings were added later, probably 1740-1750. The garden front was also of 9 bays with the wings beyond. The house had a fine interior, a large hall, with sandstone mantlepiece,and unusually high doors, a staircase of wood with barley sugar balusters, Corinthian newels, and carved acanthus decoration (similar to those at Saunders Grove and Mount Levers). The dining room with plaster panelled walls and a plaster ceiling in low relief, mahogany door frames and dado which were a later addition. The window shutters of oak were probably original. The study was panelled in pine and had a good Adam-style mantlepiece. The morning room had very deep window seats in oak, and corner fireplace. The attic rooms were unusual insofar as the corridor was around the perimeter and the staff bedrooms internal. A domed temple (garden pavilion) was removed and is retained at Luggala, County Wicklow. A bridge over the river had balustrades and lions. After being gutted in a fire in the 20th century, the house was eventually demolished.

The Santry Family

The house was built by 3rd. Lord Barry of Santry 1703. Steps and wings added by 4th. Lord Barry of Santry 1740-50. He was a member of the Hell Fire Club. Convicted of murder of a porter at an inn in Palmerstown 1739. Received the death penalty. He was reprieved an lost his title. Death of Lord Barry of Santry 1751. Inherited by the Domvilles in 1751. Sir Compton Domville died 1935. Passed to his nephew sir Hugo Poe sho assumed the surname Domville.

Swiss Cottages

The Swiss Cottages that are still associated with Santry no longer exist. The cottages were built in 1840 by Lady Domville who, after a visit to Switzerland, decided to build 11 Swiss-style cottages for the farm workers and estate staff. Unfortunately 10 of the 11 cottages were demolished due to their dilapidation. While the last remaining cottage still stands in Santry, it is not in its original conception and the building was adapted into an office block in 1984 and today houses a pharmacy. Morton Stadium now stands on the site of what was the gardens at the rear of the house. The only contemporary reminder of the Swiss Cottages is found on the name of a local pub, ‘The Swiss Cottage’.

Residential Housing Estates

Santry is made up of numerous housing estates which are a mixture of private and social housing, with most estates being made up of the former. True to the town's roots many of their names start with 'Shan' such as Shanliss, Shanowen, Shanglas, Shanboley, Shanvarna and Shangan (The latter having been encroached upon by the growing area of neighbouring Ballymun due to its redevelopment). There are also the estates of Magenta, Lorcan, as well as more recent developments such as Aulden Grange, Woodlawn, Oak, Larchill, Knightswood and the extensive apartment complexes of Northwood to name a few.

Shopping and Amenities

Besides several conveniently placed local shops Santry benefits from having its own major shopping centre the 'Omni Park Shopping Centre' which also features a cinema, IMC Santry, and several restaurants. There is also a large retail park in Northwood called Gulliver's retail park. In addition Santry is home to the Crown Plaza hotel, several restaurants, multiple gymnasiums, a track and field stadium, a sports injury clinic, a go-karting/paint-balling arena, an AIB bank, an industrial estate, a skate park, several B&B's, several pubs, an outdoor 'Astro' soccer stadium and local primary and secondary schools. Santry is just a few minutes drive from Dublin International Airport. The Santry Sports Clinic is located in Santry Demense and provides a wide range of mainly sports related orthopaedic therapy.


Santry is part of the Whitehall-Larkhill-Santry Roman Catholic parish and served by the Church of the Holy Child opened in 1944,[3] and by Blessed Margaret Ball, Church[4] opened in 1994(named after one of the Dublin Martyrs). The Church of Ireland community are served by St. Pappan's Church,[5][6] in Santry village (the former St. Pappan's Church just off Santry Avenue in Ballymun, built in 1846 during the famine times. Workers were paid in food and the land was provided by the Domville family of Santry Woods; it is now a nursing home. This had replaced an earlier St. Pappan's Catholic Church on Santry Avenue built in 1797). There is an old graveyard beside St. Pappan's and a Parish Hall. While Blessed Margaret's was being developed the Parish Hall was used by the Catholic community for weekly mass. At one point St. Pappan's Catholic Church in Ballymun shared seats with St. Pappan's Church of Ireland, and they moved the seats between the Churches between services.[7]


Santry is served by boys and girls National Schools in Larkhill, Gaelscoil Cholmcille, and secondary schools Margaret Aylward, Whitehall House, St. Aidan's and Plunket College. Maryfield, Rosmini, Dominican College griffith avenue and Trinity Comprehensive School Balllymun would also serve the population of Santry.


Santry is the base of a number of sports club such as the soccer clubs St. Kevin's Boys Club established in 1959[8] who play in Shanown Road, Ellenfield park, Albert College park, Coolgreena and off the Old Airport Road and Lorcan Celtic established in 1987[9] who play in Lorcan Green, as well Santry TaeKwon-Do who meet in Astro Park. Clonliffe Harriers Athletic Club is based in the Morton Stadium in Santry. Trinity College have a sports facility on part of the Santry Demense off Santry Avenue, this includes Rugby, Soccer, Gaelic football, Hurling and hockey pitches.[10]

Industrial Estates

Santry has been the location of a number of business and industries, from Chrysler and the Talbot factory on Shanowen Road (which became the Garda Station), to IT companies and Logistic service providers associated with nearby Dublin Airport.


Public transport comprises a number of bus routes, operated by Dublin Bus:[11]

1 - From Santry to Sandymont
16 - From Ballinteer to Airport
17a - From Blanchardstown to Kilbarrack via Santry
27b - From Harristown to Eden Quay - turns away from Santry at the Santry Demesne junction
33 - From Balbriggan to Lower Abbey Street
41 - From Swords Manor to Lower Abbey Street
41a - From Swords Manor to Lower Abbey Street (no return service)
41b - From Rolestown to Lower Abbey Street
41c - From Swords Manor to Lower Abbey Street
103 - From Clontarf Dart Station to Omni Shopping Centre
104 - From Clontarf Dart Station to Cappagh Hospital

Ongoing budgetary cuts to Dublin Bus mean that many services are being cancelled, shortened, merged with other pre-existing services or reduced in frequency. Updates can be found at www.dublinbus.i.e. Residential Protests have commenced in areas where services are being affected [12]

The Metro North line of the planned Dublin Metro was predicted to begin operation in 2010. It was to pass through the nearby suburb of Ballymun with a planned stop near Northwood at the western end of Santry Demesne. As of January 2015, no evident construction or media announcement of Metro North can be seen, and most likely due to the economic downturn, Metro North will not be completed.

See also


  1. Trinity College Library Dublin. "Stacks Requests". Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  2. Santry Community Garden Website
  3. Larkhill/Whitehall/Santry Dublin Diocese Website.
  4. The Chapel of the Blessed Margaret Ball
  5. Santry
  6. Pappans People Santry St. Pappans Church Website/Blog.
  7. St. Pappan's Church Dublin Public Libraries
  8. St. Kevins Boys Club - club website
  9. Lorcan Celtic FC - club website
  10. Santry Sports Grounds Trinity College Dublin.
  11. List Bus Services
  12. Timetables Dublin Bus

External links

Coordinates: 53°23′56″N 6°14′49″W / 53.39889°N 6.24694°W / 53.39889; -6.24694

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