Dublin (city, Republic of Ireland)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Dublin (city, Republic of Ireland)

Dublin, Irish Baile Átha Cliath, county borough (1991 pop. 915,516), Leinster, capital of the Republic of Ireland, on Dublin Bay at the mouth of the Liffey River. Its harbor, with shipyards, docks, and quays, dates from 1714. It is the center of the Irish railway network. It has an international airport and regular ferry service to Holyhead, Wales. The old Royal and Grand canals, connecting Dublin with the interior, have been superseded by railroads for most commercial traffic. Agricultural products, whiskey, and stout are the chief exports. Dublin's chief industries are brewing, textile manufacturing (silk making was introduced by Huguenot refugees in the 16th cent.), distilling, shipbuilding, food processing, and the manufacture of foundry products, glass, and cigarettes. Microprocessors are produced in the suburb of Leixlip. The Irish legislature, the Dáil Éireann, is in Leinster House.

Points of Interest

The Univ. of Dublin, or Trinity College (founded 1591), has in its library the famous Book of Kells and a copy of every book published in the British Isles. University College (Roman Catholic) was incorporated in 1909 as part of the National Univ. of Ireland. Dublin Castle (c.1220 but much altered since) was the residence of the lords lieutenants of Ireland until 1922 and now houses government facilities and the Charles Beatty Library. Another important library is the National Library of Ireland, founded in 1877. The city's earliest church, Christ Church, was founded in 1038; in 1172 Strongbow built a new church (restored 1871–78) on this site, and his tomb is there. St. Patrick's is the national cathedral of the Protestant Church of Ireland; Jonathan Swift, buried there, was dean from 1713 to 1745. Kilmainham Hospital, a notable structure that is no longer a hospital, dates from 1679. The General Post Office (1818) is important primarily as a key site in the Easter Uprising (1916); nearby is the 394-ft (120-m) Spire of Dublin (2003). Dublin has a national museum, noted for its collection of Irish antiquities, and the National Gallery of Art, which has a good collection of old masters.

History

Dublin was a Viking town until 1014, when Brian Boru defeated the Vikings at nearby Clontarf. The Vikings established themselves again until Richard Strongbow, 2d earl of Pembroke, captured the city for the English in 1170. In 1172, Henry II of England came to Dublin and granted the city to the "men of Bristol" ; it became the seat of English government and center of the Pale. In 1209 occurred the Black Monday massacre of English residents. Edward Bruce unsuccessfully assaulted the town in the early 14th cent.

In the English civil war the city surrendered (1647) to the parliamentarians, and Oliver Cromwell landed there in 1649. James II held (1689) his last Parliament in Dublin. After winning the battle of the Boyne, William III entered the city in 1690.

From 1782 to 1800, when the Irish Parliament (the so-called Grattan's Parliament) enjoyed temporary independence of England, Dublin experienced a prosperous and stimulating era; many of the city's buildings date from this period. After the Act of Union of 1800, which sent Irish representatives to the British Parliament, many wealthy aristocrats moved from their Dublin mansions to London, and the years of prosperity ended.

In the 19th cent. Dublin saw much bloodshed in connection with nationalist efforts to free Ireland from English rule—the insurrection led by Robert Emmet in 1803; the 1867 uprising of the Fenian movement; and the murder (1882) of Lord Frederick Cavendish, chief secretary for Ireland, and his undersecretary in Phoenix Park during terrorist activity and agitation by the Land League. Dublin also became the center of a Gaelic renaissance: the Gaelic League was founded there in 1893, and the Abbey Theatre began producing Irish plays. In 1913 the city was paralyzed by strikes, eventually culminating in the Easter Rebellion of 1916. The early troubles of the Irish Free State led to the worst period of bloodshed in Dublin's history (see Ireland, Republic of).

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