Inchicore derives its name from the Gaelic, Sheep Island, a place in marshy land just outside medieval Dublin where livestock were watered before being brought in to the city markets. It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that the country village began to expand into the bustling suburb we know today, as the Victorians moved in and began developing the land surrounding the Great Southern & Western Railway terminal yards at Islandbridge. This became the area’s main employer and to this day the engineering works are the largest in Ireland. Famous natives of the area include World War I poet, Francis Ledwidge and soccer legend Paul McGrath. Today Inchicore is a thriving neighbourhood with a mix of students, young workers and older local residents.
First opened in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol is steeped in Irish history. Irish revolutionary leaders were detained and, in many cases, executed here. Perhaps most significantly the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were shot by firing squad in the grounds of the prison. Kilmainham Gaol held some famous prisoners too, none more so then the “uncrowned King of Ireland”, Charles Stewart Parnell MP, 1881, who was locked up by the Crown authorities for trying to spark a national tenant farmer strike. It was also the county jail for Dublin; ordinary men and women were incarcerated here over the centuries. The building is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and is a major tourist attraction with thousands of visitors each year. Kilmainham Gaol has been so well preserved that it is frequently used as a historical film location. Find out more here. Kilmainham Gaol is 15 minutes’ walk from Rascals HQ.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art
The Royal Hospital Kilmainham stands on the site of the 7th century Early Christian settlement of Cill Maighneann, from which the area of Kilmainham derives its name. In 1174, Strongbow developed the site replacing the Christian settlement with a medieval hospital and monastery of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers). Centuries later, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham was established and built between 1680 and 1684 on a 60 acre site granted by King Charles II at the instigation of James Butler, First Duke of Ormond. A retirement home for old soldiers rather than a hospital, the building opened its doors in 1684 and for the next 243 years, thousands of army pensioners would live out their final days within its walls. The building underwent extensive restoration by the Office of Public Works in the 1980s and today this magnificent 17th century building has been restored to its former glory. It’s now home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art and is well worth a visit. Check out more here and credit to HeritageIreland.ie for the copy and description.
Gravity Climbing Centre
Gravity Climbing Centre has been offering exceptionally high quality bouldering in Inchicore since 2011. Bouldering is a rapidly growing sport involving climbing short ‘boulder problems’ above a thick, gymnastics type mat. Without the need for a rope and harness, it’s easy to get started. As well as being a great workout it’s extremely sociable, highly addictive and great fun. The colour coded problems mean that you can find a challenge at the right level for you, with problems suitable for everyone from complete novices to national champions. Gravity also hosts regular competitions, the Irish Bouldering Championships and its own G Force annual open, bringing top level climbers from across Ireland and further afield. They are literally next door to us! Check out their website. Why not go climbing and then reward yourself with beer & pizza in Rascals afterwards?
St. Patrick’s Athletic F.C.
Richmond Park is the home of League of Ireland football club St. Patrick’s Athletic. Established in 1929, the club is a hugely popular local football team in Dublin 8. They’ve won nine league titles and experienced massive success in the 1950s and 1990s. They’ve never been relegated from the premier division and count three FAI cups and three league cups among their honours. Celebrating 90 years in existence this year, you can watch St. Pat’s play their home games most Friday evenings, with a 7.45pm kick-off being the standard. The season runs from February to October, more details here. St. Pat’s home ground is just a five minute walk from our taproom and pizza restaurant.
Constructed as part of a network of defence from Dublin to Cork, Richmond Barracks was named after the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Duke of Richmond, and sited in the open farmland of Goldenbridge. Soldiers stationed there saw action in the Crimean War, Boer War and World War I. In 1916 the Royal Irish Regiment was called out from the barracks to help put down the Easter Rising; many of the captured rebels were brought to Richmond Barracks prior to being interned in Wales. In 1922 the buildings were handed over to the new Free State Army by the departing Crown forces and renamed Keogh Barracks after Commander Tom Keogh, an IRA volunteer. Richmond Barracks hosts an impressive museum and heritage centre. Rascals is located within five minute’s walking distance from the barracks, and you can find out more here.
You’ll find Inchicore Library on Emmet Road, not far from Kilmainham Gaol and less than fifteen minutes walk from Rascals HQ. The building itself really stands out; the ornamental art deco entrance is quite unique and something you’d associate with a 1920s cinema or dancehall. The library, built in the early 1930s, is one of a trio of art deco libraries in Dublin – the others are in Ringsend and Drumcondra – and one of the few buildings in that style in the city. There are always interesting exhibitions and events happening at our local library. For example, Inchicore Library’s film club has screenings on the second Wednesday of every month at 6pm. You can find out more details here.
Dublin Roller Derby
Dublin Roller Derby (DRD) is Ireland’s first roller derby league, founded in 2009, and they’re based here in Inchicore. Since they were established the league has grown to over 90 members, competing and officiating internationally. In 2015 they became members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). They have three travel teams that compete internationally and they can often be see jetting off around Europe and the USA. They are currently 11th in Europe and 42nd in the world WFTDA rankings (as per June 2018). For the summer of 2019 they are running Skating 101 courses at Inchicore community sports centre and you can find out more details here. Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating counter-clockwise around a track. Roller derby is played by approximately 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide.