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Caisleán Cnucha
Suburb of Dublin
St Brigid's church, Castleknock(Church of Ireland)
St Brigid's church, Castleknock
(Church of Ireland)
Castleknock is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County Fingal
Dáil Éireann Dublin West
EU Parliament Dublin
Elevation 63 m (207 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Urban 21,457
Postal district(s) Dublin 15
Dialing code 01, +353 1
Irish Grid Reference O078378

Castleknock (Irish: Caisleán Cnucha, meaning "Cnucha's Castle"[2]) is a suburb of Dublin and a civil parish in Fingal, Ireland. It is located 8 km (5 mi) west[3] of the centre of Dublin.


  • Location and access 1
    • Rail connections 1.1
    • Plans 1.2
    • Buses 1.3
  • History 2
    • Mythic Milesian period 2.1
    • Feudal period 2.2
    • 20th century 2.3
      • Planning controversies 2.3.1
  • Castleknock today 3
    • Features 3.1
    • Amenities and businesses 3.2
      • Retail outlets 3.2.1
      • Health care 3.2.2
      • State bodies 3.2.3
    • Education 3.3
      • Primary schools 3.3.1
      • Secondary Schools 3.3.2
    • Sports and community groups 3.4
      • Sport 3.4.1
      • Community groups 3.4.2
      • Religious institutions 3.4.3
    • Government and representation 3.5
  • People 4
  • See also 5
  • External links 6
  • References 7

Location and access

Castleknock Village at the junction of Castleknock Road and College Road

The village is located just inside the city's M50 motorway ring road, bordered to the west by the large suburb of Blanchardstown, to the east by the Phoenix Park, to the north by Dunsink and to the south by the village of Chapelizod above the Liffey valley. The N3 Navan Road also serves the area. The Royal Canal and the Dublin-Sligo railway line pass through the area from east to west.

The village of Castleknock is in the Dublin 15 postal area.

Rail connections

Castleknock Railway Station
Sunset, September 2012

The Dublin Suburban Rail the Western Suburban Railway Line or Maynooth Line running from Dublin Connolly to Maynooth. Castleknock railway station opened on 2 July 1990.[4]


As part of the government's "Transport 21" strategy, a Metro line was planned, from the southern suburb of Tallaght, through the neighbourhood of Castleknock, to Dublin Airport. Quoting from the plans:

"The path of the Metro will first swing into Dublin 15 at the south end of Castleknock golf course and proceed past Porterstown playing pitches where it is hoped to have “minimal impact.” The stop at Porterstown will be directly above the current Maynooth train line allowing the potential in the future to integrate the two services. Another stop will be provided at the Millennium Park with the line going around the park’s perimeter rather than cutting through it as had originally been envisaged. It will then proceed around by McDonalds before its major stop in Dublin 15 adjacent to Draíocht, the Civic Offices, and the shopping centre. Its path will then continue around the Westend side of the shopping centre, past Westpoint where it will cross the Navan Road and go up the Snugborough Road."[5]


Public transport in Castleknock is provided by Dublin Bus routes 37 and 38.


St. Brigid is the patron saint of the village.

Mythic Milesian period

"During the Milesian era Castleknock is named as one of twenty-five places at which Conmhaol of the race of Eber, while holding the sovereignty of Ireland, defeated in battle the descendants of Eremon,' and a Celtic writer mentions that Castleknock was sometimes known as duma meic Eremon, or the duma of the sons of Eremon.' The mention of a duma shows that there was at a very early time an eminence of note at Castleknock ; the duma may have been, Mr. Westropp observes, used for purposes of residence, sepulchre, or outlook, or, as in the case of Duma Selga, for all three."

In a poem relating to the earliest centuries after Christ the origin of the name Cnucha is connected with Conn of the Hundred Battles, and the name is said to have been borne by his foster-mother: —

The nurse of Conn who loved this strip of land
Was Cnucha of the comely head;
She dwelt on the dun with him
In the reign of Conn of the Hundred Fights.
Cnucha, the daughter of Concadh Cas,
From the land of Luimncach broad and green,
Died yonder in that house
To the horror of the Gaels.
The woman was buried, a grief it was.
In the very middle of the hill ;
So that from that on Cnucha
Is its name until the judgment.[6]

Feudal period

The Barony of Castleknock was originally a feudal lordship created in the 12th century for the Tyrell family; it passed by inheritance to the Burnell family. The first Baron, Hugh Tyrrel, gave lands in the barony at Kilmainham to the Knights of St. John who continue in the area today in the form of St. John Ambulance. Later, civil parishes, based on the boundaries of the Ecclesiastical parishes of the Established church were used to sub-divide the barony. This table[7] lists the nine civil parishes of the barony.

Name in Irish Name in English
An Barda Ward
Caisleán Cnucha Castleknock
Clochrán Cloghran
Cluain Saileach Clonsilla
Fionnghlas Finglas
Mullach Eadrad Mulhuddart
Paróiste San Iúd St. Jude's
Paróiste San Séamas St. James's
Séipéal Iosóid Chapelizod

Note 1: the entire barony lies north of the River Liffey. The parish of St Jude's,[8] which consists of six townlands, is situated on both banks of the Liffey. The only part of the parish that lies to the north of the Liffey is a field of 499 acres in the south-eastern corner of the Phoenix Park as well as a thin strip of 49 acres between the Chapelizod road and the river - the townland of Longmeadows. According to the 6 inch historical maps from the Ordnance Survey of Ireland that were created in 1829, no such parish exists. Only the later map of 1889, at a scale of 25 inches, displays the parish.

Within the civil parish of Castleknock, there are 22 townlands per the table below.[9]

Name in Irish Name in English Acres
Baile an Aba Abbotstown 101
Baile an Ásaigh Ashtown 278
Baile an Chairpintéaraigh Carpenterstown 166
Baile an Déanaigh Deanestown 173
Baile an Diosualaigh Diswellstown 418
Baile an Huntaigh Huntstown 299
Baile an Phóirtéaraigh Porterstown 219
Baile Bhlainséir Blanchardstown 454
Baile Mhistéil Mitchelstown 154
Baile Pheiléid Pelletstown 259
Baile Scriobail Scribblestown 272
Baile Sheáin Johnstown 67
An Chabrach Cabra(gh) 457
Caisleán Cnucha Castleknock
(incl. part of Phoenix Park)
Ceapach Cappoge or Cappagh 698
Cnoc na gCaorach Sheephill 349
An Chorr Dhubh Corduff 353
Dún Sinche Dunsink 423
Páirc Anna Annfield 19
Snugborough Snugborough 53
Steach Gob Astagob 93

20th century

Castleknock was a rural village in western County Dublin until the late 1960s, when the first housing estates began to be developed. Castleknock developed in tandem with neighbouring settlement Blanchardstown, both of which grew rapidly from the early 1970s to the present. During the 1970s and 1980s, the village became subsumed into the suburban fabric of Dublin.

Planning controversies

Local representatives have criticised developments which they say are to the detriment of the local character and integrity of the village.[10]

In February 2010, there were concerns about the fate of the old post office when hoarding was erected around the site. However, "proposed work involves a high quality restoration of the building to its former state after many years during which it has remained vacant."[11]

Castleknock today


  • In the neighbouring townland of Diswellstown there is a historic "rag well" - a holy well near which rags were left. Although it still flows, it was "buried" by the County Council, and its site is now marked by a carved flagstone. Nearby the Diswellstown Stream, which rises near Castleknock village, flows west and then turns sharply south, taking in a streamlet from Carpenterstown, before running down to the Liffey in a narrow steep valley.
  • Farmleigh- an estate of 78 acres (32 ha) situated to the north-west of Dublin's Phoenix Park. The Government bought the estate from the Guinness family for €29.2 million in 1999 and spent €23 million refurbishing it.[13] Quoting from the article: "One of the main reasons cited by the Government for buying the former Guinness estate was that it would be an official State guest house for visiting heads of State and dignitaries. However, it "was used to accommodate only two visiting dignitaries last year". In the interests of balance, the article goes on to say that "While the house has not been inundated with foreign dignitaries, it has proved popular with the public. Some 245,937 members of the public visited Farmleigh last year".

Amenities and businesses

Retail outlets

In the village proper may be found the Castleknock Village Centre, Castlecourt Shopping Centre and Ashleigh Centre shopping precincts which contain a variety of small local businesses and restaurants. The Post Office is located in the Castlecourt Shopping Centre (having previously been in the Castleknock Village Centre for many years).

Note: the original Post Office is immediately to the left hand side of the two storey corner building visible in the photograph above.

The original Post Office was located directly opposite the Church in a row of about 6 semi-detached styled houses. This is where the P&T would collect all the post from. There was a small sorting office out the back with some mail bags being left in the shed when the PO was shut.

Health care

There are three Health Centres that serve Castleknock and, more generally, the Dublin 15 area, located at Riverside, Corduff and Roselawn.

State bodies

The National Food Centre is in Castleknock.


Primary schools

  • Castleknock National School (Church of Ireland)
  • St. Brigid's National School (Roman Catholic Church)
  • Castleknock Educate Together National School (non-denominational), located beside the Castleknock Tennis Club
  • Scoil Thomais (Saint Thomas' School in English) (Roman Catholic Church), located at the corner of "Castleknock Vale" and "Castleknock Rise".
  • St Patrick's NS Diswellstown, Castleknock, Dublin 15

Secondary Schools

Castleknock College2012
  • Castleknock College for boys, run by the priests of the Vincentian Order (Roman Catholic Church) since 1835, which was exclusively a boarding school until 1987, following which "day" pupils were admitted. It is now "day-only", as the boarding house was closed down in 2006. The campus is located beside the Farmleigh Estate and contains nine rugby pitches, a soccer pitch, a cricket crease with pavilion, an athletics and running track, six tennis courts and stables all set in landscaped gardens.
  • Castleknock Community College, serving both boys and girls, is located in Diswellstown (a townland in the civil parish of Castleknock).
  • Mount Sackville School for girls, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny (Roman Catholic Church) since 1864. Although located in the townland of Knockmaroon and close to the village of Chapelizod, the school is within the boundary of the Fingal County.[14] Mount Sackville is a fee-paying school with a student population of over 630 pupils.

Sports and community groups


  • The National Aquatic Centre was established by the Government to be the premier venue for competitive swimming, diving and water polo in Ireland, and contains both sporting facilities and a leisure "water park".
  • The largest tennis facility in Ireland, which was home to tennis for the 2004 Special Olympics.
  • Gaelic games are played at Castleknock Hurling and Football Club whose new 23-acre (93,000 m2) "Castleknock Community Park" will be the club's home.[15]
  • St. Brigid's GAA Club play in Dr. Tom Russell Park (Old Navan Rd, Castleknock) and is one of the largest clubs in the country. The club has five adult teams, including two senior teams and an intermediate team. Russell Park also boasts the largest all-weather pitch in Ireland.[16]
  • Golf in Castleknock is well served
    • Castleknock Golf Club. Located 1 mile west of the village. Beside Castleknock Hotel
    • Luttrellstown Golf Club. Located 2 miles west of the village.
    • Municipal course at Elm Green Located about 1 mile south east of the village beside Dunsink.
  • There are two local soccer clubs, St.Mochta's FC with over 400 playing members and Castleknock Celtic FC has over 600 playing members.
  • Rugby Union is played at Coolmine RFC.

Community groups

  • Local First Aid Training, Event Cover and Community Care in the Castleknock Area is provided by St. John Ambulance Castleknock Combined Division and the Order of Malta Castleknock [17]
  • There are a number of residents associations such as "Riverwood Residents Association" and "Carpenterstown Park Residents Association".[18]
  • There is an active Tidy Towns Committee.
  • Castleknock Community Centre,[19] in the Laurel Lodge area, hosts a range of social, sporting and charitable groups.
  • Castleknock Scout Group, the 175th Castleknock, Dublin Troop, operate in this area and the Laurel Lodge/Carpenterstown areas.

Religious institutions

In the feudal period mentioned above, the civil parish was coterminous with the ecclesiastical parish. Following the changes of the Reformation, the effect of the Penal Laws and population changes, this is no longer the case. In the Roman Catholic Church, there are today six parishes that serve the same area: St.Mochta's Parish, Blanchardstown parish,[20] Castleknock parish,[21] Corduff parish, Laurel Lodge parish[22] and Navan Road parish. Merger, not sub-division, has been the practice of the Church of Ireland, both in Castleknock and nationally, due to dwindling numbers of adherents. This has resulted in the merger of three civil parishes to form the United Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla[23]

The list below groups the churches by congregation in the parish[24]

Roman Catholic
St Philip, the Apostle (Mountview)
The Oratory (Blanchardstown)
Sacred Heart of Jesus (Huntstown)
Mary, Mother of Hope, chapel of ease (Littlepace)
Our Lady, Mother of the Church (Castleknock)
St Mochta's (Porterstown)
St Thomas, the Apostle (Laurel Lodge)
St Brigid's (Blanchardstown)
St Patrick's (Corduff)
St Mary of the Servants (Blakestown)
Our Lady Help of Christians (Navan Road)
Church of Ireland
St Brigid's (Castleknock)
St Mary's (Clonsilla)
St Thomas's (Mulhuddart)
Protestant - other
Christ Faith Tabernacle (Rosemount)
Dublin West Community Church (Blanchardstown)
Acting Faith Ministries (Coolmine)
Baptist (Riversdale)
Methodist (Tyrellstown)
Cherubim & Seraphim Prince of Peace (Rosemount)
New Covenant church (Ballycoolin)
Open Door Christian Fellowship (Blanchardstown)
General Foundation Apostolic Church in Christ (Mulhuddart)
Non Trinitarian
Church Of Latter Day Saints - Clonsilla

Government and representation

Castleknock is located in the "Castleknock ward" for the purposes of elections to Fingal County Council (following the abolition of County Dublin as an administrative division of the state).[25] In the 2009 local elections, the following candidates were elected to the four seats (with percentage share of first preference vote): Joe Higgins (Socialist Party) 28.07%, Eithne Loftus (Fine Gael) 22.45%, Peggy Hamill (Labour) 16.32% and Mags Murray (Fianna Fáil) 12.44%.[26]

Castleknock is in the Dublin West (Dáil Éireann constituency) and in Dublin (European Parliament constituency).


See also

External links

  • Local Government Act, 2001
  • History of Castleknock Church of Ireland
  • Carpenterstown Park Residents Association
  • Official "Transport 21" site
  • The National Aquatic Centre
  • Castleknock Hurling & Football Club
  • Official Castleknock College website
  • Official Mount Sackville School website
  • Health Centres in Dublin North West


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports.  
  2. ^ [4]
  3. ^ Geographic co-ordinates from GPO to Post Office in Castleknock: from 53.349501,-6.260287 to 53.373024,-6.362393
  4. ^ "Castleknock station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  5. ^ Community Voice - Metro
  7. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland - civil parishes, retrieved 27 January 2012.
  8. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland - St. Jude's parish, retrieved 28 January 2012.
  9. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland, retrieved 31 January 2012.
  10. ^ Joan Burton, a Teachta Dála (TD) for the area, has criticised the recent decision of An Bord Pleanala regarding the "Uxbridge" planning application. “The decision by An Bord Pleanala to overrule the recommendations of its Inspector in relation to the planning application in Castleknock Village, behind the old Church of Ireland houses, is extremely disappointing. It is difficult to understand why An Bord Pleanala would give the go-ahead for such a high density development at this point in time, when the country is awash with unsold houses and over-development has been such a significant factor in the banking collapse and indeed in the collapse of the construction industry." Uxbridge development Another TD for the area, Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael), who, together with his party colleague Cllr. Eithne Loftus held a large public meeting on the matter last year, said “we are firmly committed to the sustainable and realistic development of Castleknock Village which preserves its character. Unfortunately, this development goes against all of that and will increase traffic in the village, cause spill-over parking problems in residential estates and will be an eye-sore." Uxbridge - Fine Gael positiion
  11. ^ Development of old post office
  12. ^ Church of Ireland - history
  13. ^ Irish Times - Farmleigh in 2010
  14. ^ Map of Schools in Fingal County Council,17834,en.pdf
  15. ^ Community Voice - GAA at Somerton
  16. ^
  17. ^ [5] Order of Malta Castleknock
  18. ^ Carpenterstown residents’ association launch new website.Community Voice,
  19. ^ [6] Castleknock Community Centre website.
  20. ^ Blanchardstown parish website, retrieved 29 January 2012.
  21. ^ Castleknock parish website, retrieved 29 January 2012.
  22. ^ Laurel Lodge parish website, retrieved 29 January 2012.
  23. ^ United Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla (Church of Ireland), retrieved 29 January 2012.
  24. ^ Dublin churches, retrieved 30 January 2012.
  25. ^ Local Government Act, 2001 Part one, schedule five, pp195.
  26. ^ Local elections 2009
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