Though the park is Victorian in style, the site has been used since the 5th century and it’s still a social hub for Dubliners today.
The name Dún Laoghaire (pronounced Dun-LEER-y) means “fort of Laoghaire”, and this town used to be the sea base for the High King of Ireland, Laoghaire Mac Néill, who often raided Britain and Gaul in the 5th century. 19th-century maps show us that there has been a small settlement on site since then and, at barely half an hour’s train ride from Dublin, it’s a favourite place for city-weary Dubliners. On the train you’ll also get an excellent view of Dublin Bay.
This little public park is not too far from the harbour and was opened in 1890. It’s designed in a formal Victorian style, which was mostly changed with a new set of paths in 1937, but you can still see the park’s origins in the two iron-wrought fountains and the Victorian bandstand, which has the original gaslight standards. You’ll find a tea-room in the Victorian shelter, and a park for children as well as another park specially built for the blind. Every Sunday there’s a market with arts, crafts and local produce, as well as foreign foods from Japan, Pakistan and the Czech Republic.