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Irish: Fionnghlas
County Dublin
The Spirit of Finglas, Dublin.jpg
The Spirit of Finglas sculpture
Grid reference: O132391
Location: 53°23’25"N, 6°17’59"W
Population: 31,529  (2006)
Postcode: D11
Local Government
Council: Dublin
Dublin North-West

Finglas is a village of County Dublin, now forming a north-western outer suburb of Dublin itself. It is to be found close to Junction 5 of the M50 motorway, and the N2 road. Nearby suburbs include Glasnevin and Ballymun; Dublin Airport is four and a half miles to the north.

Finglas is a parish in the Barony of Castleknock.


The name 'Finglas' is from the Irish Fionnghlas meaning clear streamlet'. This describes ther local stream, now known as the Finglas River.[1]


The centre of Finglas lies on a rise overlooking the valley of the River Tolka. Flowing from the north is the stream, the Finglas River, for which it is named, forming in turn from branches from the townlands of Grange and Kildonan to the north. After meeting a tributary, the St Margaret's Road Stream, the Finglas flows through the village centre in culvert, and along the eastern side of Finglas Road, joining the Tolka at Finglas Bridge.[2] To the west of the village centre rises the Finglaswood Stream, which joins the River Tolka via an Integrated Constructed Wetland near a small civic golf course.[3]


Finglas was originally the site of an Early Christian abbey, the origin of which has been associated, from early times, with the name of St Cainnech, or Canice, the patron of Kilkenny, said to have founded it in the year 560. The Nethercross from the first abbey can be seen today in the old graveyard.[4] Several primary schools and churches in the area have been named after Canice.

According to an ancient legend, the ground on which Finglas stands had been sanctified by St Patrick, who is said to have uttered a prophecy that a great town would arise at the ford of hurdles in the vale beneath:[5] one of those convenient Patrick legends invented for the benefit of the 'Town of the Hurdle Ford' (Dublin).

The Finglas or Finglass family, who were prominent in the legal profession and in politics in the sixteenth century, took their name from the district.

In 1649, James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, used Finglas as a staging post for his army before launching an unsuccessful Siege of Dublin.

Following the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, Finglas was used as a camp for four days by King William III on his way to Dublin city. While there he issued the Declaration of Finglas, offering a pardon for many of James II's defeated supporters.

20th century onwards

In 1932, Ireland's first commercial airport was set up at Kildonan in Finglas.[6] It was the site for the first Irish commercial aircraft, a Desoutter Mark II aircraft "EI-AAD", and the first commercial air taxi service, the Iona National Air Taxis and Flying School.[7]

In the 1950s Finglas was developed with extensive housing estates, to rehouse many north inner-city Dublin residents.

About the village

In the village centre are a range of shops, banking facilities, pubs and restaurants. To the north are several light industrial estates.

Charlestown Shopping Centre and Clearwater Shopping Centre, are located outside the village core, to the north and south of Finglas respectively.


The Finglas Maypole Arts Festival was launched in 2019.[8] In its first year, the festival committee was part of a steering group that got the first blue plaque in Finglas – to honour the uileann piper Séamus Ennis.


  • Football:
    • Tolka Rovers F.C.,[9] Valley Park United,[10]
    • WFTA Football Club,[11] Willows FC and[12]
    • Finglas Celtic FC
    • Beneavin F.C.
  • Gaelic Athletics: Erins Isle
  • Rugby: Unidare RFC

See also

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Finglas)


  1. "Fionnghlas / Finglas". Irish Placenames' Commission. 
  2. Doyle, Joseph W. (2013). Ten Dozen Waters: The Rivers and Streams of County Dublin (8th ed.). Dublin: Rath Eanna Research. p. 31. ISBN 9780956636379. 
  3. Doyle, Joseph W. (2013). Ten Dozen Waters: The Rivers and Streams of County Dublin (8th ed.). Dublin: Rath Eanna Research. p. 30. ISBN 9780956636379. 
  4. "Parish of St. Canice - The Cross of Nethercross". 
  5. Sexton, Peter (2000). History of St. Margarets and Finglas. p. 62. 
  6. "Sites - Kildonan". The Historical Aviation Society Of Ireland. 
  7. "The Story of Kildonan Aerodrome". Chapters of Dublin. 
  8. Beggs, Ernie (April 10, 2019). "The return of The Finglas Maypole Festival after only 175 years.". 
  9. "Tolka Rovers Football Club". 
  10. "Valley Park Utd". 
  11. "Finglas United Football Club". 
  12. "Willows Football Club".