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Irish: Seantrabh
County Dublin
Temple Folly, Santry Desmesne, Santry, Dublin, Ireland - - 325143.jpg
Folly in Santry Demesne
Grid reference: O166402
Location: 53°23’56"N, 6°14’49"W
Local Government
Council: Dublin / Fingal

Santry is a village of County Dublin, to the north of the City of Dublin and at the northern edge of its conurbation. Close by Santry stand Coolock, Glasnevin, Kilmore and Ballymun.

The name 'Santry' might be from the Gaelic Seantrabh, menainhg 'Old tribe'.[1] A suggestion has been made that this is a tribe mentioned in the Book of Leccan as the Almanii who inhabited the area.

The character of the area has changed in the last 100 years, from a large country estate, from which developed a 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.

Trinity College Library has a depository at Santry which holds three million books.[2]

The parish of Santry is within the Barony of Coolock.[3]


During the Viking Age, Norse farmers settled in the north of what is now County Dublin area, which proved to be excellent farmland. This marked a major cultural change for the area. In the mouths of the native Irish, the colonised area, north of the River Tolka, became known as "Fingal", which translates as "fair-haired foreigner" or 'Norwegian'.

In the 12th century, the neighbourhood of Santry was in 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 Crown because of his religion. In 1620 the lands of Santry were confiscated from Nugent's aristocratic but Roman Catholic offspring, the Barnewalls. The Protestant Barry family (originally from Cork) took charge of the estate and its tenants and became the Lords of Santry where they remained in title for three or four generations. King Charles II ennobled Sir James Barry as Baron Barry of Santry, for services rendered to the Crown.

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 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.

In recent decades suburban housing estates have been built around Santry, including most recently some initially controversial developments within Santry Demesne. Hotels have also appeared.

About the village

Santry Demesne (also referred to as Santry Park or Santry Woods) is a demesne once owned by the Barry Family, spread out around their eighteenth century seat, Santry Court, which was the biggest house int he north of County Dublin. The park contains a walled garden. a lake, monuments and it beautified by the Santry River which flows through it. The demesne is a sporting venue, and was for example the venue for the European Cross Country Championships in 2009.

The house was demolished after the War.

Morton Stadium, the National Athletics Stadium of Ireland, is right beside the Santry Demesne.

In 1972 part of the Demense was sold to Trinity College Dublin, which was developed as a sports grounds, as well as a Book storage facility for its libraries.[4]

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.[5] Many varieties of plants, vegetables and fruit are grown by the 90 volunteers in the garden, since 2013 there is also a bee apiary.

A number of tree species in Santry include native trees such as oak, ash, beech and rowan, as well as the more exotic Spanish chestnuts, Californian redwood (Sequoias), Italian walnut, Lebanon cedar, Horse chestnut, Sweet chestnut, Beech, Ever green Oak, and Chinese Pines.

The Swiss Cottages that are still associated in memory with Santry are largely no longer extant. 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. For many year afterwards the local pub was named 'The Swiss Cottage' after Lady Domville's cottages, though in 2019 it was demolished for a new apartment complex.[6]

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 local shops, Santry benefits from having its own major shopping centre the 'Omni Park Shopping Centre' which also features a cinema, IMC Santry (previously called the Omniplex Cinema), 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, a 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 Airport. The Santry Sports Clinic is located in Santry Demense and provides a wide range of mainly sports related orthopaedic therapy.


  • Roman Catholic:
    • Church of the Holy Child opened in 1944
    • Blessed Margaret Ball, Church
  • Church of Ireland: St Pappan's Church,[7][8] in Santry village. It was built in 1846 during the famine times.
  • Evangelical:
    • Dublin Christian Life Church, in schoolhouse lane[9][10]
    • Christian Fellowship Church, off Coolock Lane.[11]


Morton Stadium

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.[12]

  • Football:
    • St Kevin's Boys Club, established in 1959[13]
    • Lorcan Celtic, established in 1987[14]
  • Athletics: Clonliffe Harriers Athletic Club is based in the Morton Stadium[15]

Industrial estates

Santry has long 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. Current businesses based here include Kelloggs:

  • Airways Industrial Estate
  • Furry Park Industrial Estate
  • Santry Hall Industrial Estate
  • Shanowen Road Business Park
  • St John's Court Office Park
  • Woodford Business Park

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