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County Dublin
Firhouse Village
Grid reference: O112272
Location: 53°16’60"N, 6°19’60"W
Postcode: D24
Local Government
Council: South Dublin
Dublin South-West

Firhouse is a village of County Dublin that has become an outer suburb of Dublin itself. It developed from a small rural village by the River Dodder, with a second settlement, Upper Fir-house, nearby.[1]

The village stands just outside the M50 orbital motorway, adjacent to Knocklyon (with which it shares a townland) and close to both Tallaght and Templeogue. It is in Barony of Uppercross.

Modern development only began in recent decades, although there were previously a number of mills and the two hamlets.


Firhouse was historically the site of a small rural settlement near the river bank, and another, Upper Firhouse, nearby. Firhouse lay within the townland of Knocklyon, and was owned, over time, by Walter de Ridelford, and later families including the Burnells, the Bathes, the Nugents and the Talbots, eventually being sold by the Duke of Wharton to the famous Speaker Conolly.

In the 14th century, a weir, the City Weir or Great Weir, was made in the Dodder there, named for Balrothery, the district on the north bank opposite, and much of the Dodder's water was diverted to the course of the River Poddle, to supply the then-small Dublin city.

In the early 1800s, Handcock referred to "a small dirty village, principally inhabited by stonebreakers."[2]

While there was no bridge near in a south westerly direction until the 20th century, a bridge was made just north of the village. The settlement grew further in the 19th century, and a number of mills existed in the vicinity, including a paper mill across the river.[3] By the 1910s, the village already extended for half a mile, with a school, church, convent, public house and two smithies,[4] but the population remained small until suburban development began in the 1960s and 1970s.

Historical account

A brief history of Firhouse (as "Fir-house") is included in "The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin",[5] a comprehensive account of the large historic parish of Tallaght. Handcock in fact refers to two villages of Fir-house, the main settlement and another he calls "the village of Upper Fir-house."[2] The scholar Gerry Smyth has written a cultural history of Firhouse in his book Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination.[6]

The Kearneys

Firhouse was the site, in 1816, of the hanging of the Kearneys, a father and two sons. Following the disappearance of gamekeeper John Kinlen, a bloody axe was found near the Kearneys' pub in Firhouse and they were convicted of the killing. A gallows was built at the scene of the crime, outside their pub, for their hanging. When the son, William, fell through the gallows, it was discovered that he was too tall to be strangled by the rope around his neck, so a hole was dug under the gallows, the hangman then pulled down on his legs and held onto him until he was dead.[5] No public reference to this bloody incident can be found in modern Firhouse.

About the village

There are two community centres, Firhouse Community and Sports Complex, which is home to various sporting teams, as well as the local Scouting Den, and The Park Community Centre in Ballycragh Park.

Firhouse also has one main shopping centre, Firhouse Shopping Centre, anchored by a supermarket. There is also a local Credit Union, a post office and a Chinese restaurant, while the local pubs are Scholars, The Speaker Conolly and Mortons, The Firhouse Inn.

Facilities of Knocklyon and Templeogue are within 1-2 km, and those of Tallaght town centre, including local government amenities and a major shopping complex, are within 1-4 kilometres.


  • Football: Firhouse F.C.[7], based at Firhouse Community Centre (junior football)
  • Gaelic Athletics:
    • Ballyboden St Enda's GAA, located on the Firhouse Road
    • St Anne's GAA, located in Bohernabreena

Firhouse also has a basketball club, and Firhouse Community College has active clubs including GAA and basketball.

Outside links


  1. Dublin, 1889: Handcock, George Domville: "The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin", 2nd edition, Chapter 17
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dublin, 1889: Handcock, George Domville: "The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin", 2nd edition, Chapter 17
  3. Dublin, 1889: Handcock, George Domville: "The History and Antiquities of Tallaght in the County of Dublin", 2nd edition
  4. Dublin, Ordnance Survey Office: Ordnance Survey Mapping, 1911 and 1935 editions
  5. 5.0 5.1 The History Show, RTÉ Radio One 12 June 2011, "Public executions through history"
  6. 'The Location of Criticism, or, Putting the "I" into Ireland', in Gerry Smyth, Space and the Irish Cultural Imagination (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 93-129
  7. Firhouse Carmel F.C.