by Malahide Historical Society

Standing across the road from St. Sylvester’s Church, this elegant terrace of four three-bay three-storey 19th century houses is recessed from the street by a common garden fronted by railings set between stone pillars. Nos. 1 and 4 have bays extending the full height of their facades. Until recently, a curious damaged sculpture was to be seen on the roof parapet at the centre of the terrace which appeared to be a representation of a sea lion but this has lately disappeared. (Does anyone have information on its whereabouts?). The construction of No.1 commenced in 1842 and No. 4 was completed eight years later. Though a terrace, each house is slightly different. An 1850 watercolour (present whereabouts unknown) depicts the terrace with scaffolding around No 4. John Killeen of Millview House and later Seapark House built the terrace as a potential marriage dowry for his only child. However, she entered a religious order in Dumfries, Scotland, where she rose to the position of Abbess before her death in 1918. As a consequence, the terrace was sometimes referred to as the Dowry Terrace. However, by 1862, John Killeen was in financial difficulty as the Official Assignee was advertising the sale of : “the title and interest of the Bankrupt, John Killeen…in the two Plots of Ground situate at Malahide… with the four commodious and first-class dwelling houses thereon, with outhouses, offices and gardens, and known as Killeen-terrace (in the erection of which the bankrupt expended a sum of nearly £4,000), held under two leases from Lord Talbot de Malahide to the bankrupt, for 99 years from 1st May, 1849, at the yearly rents of £20 and £2 18s.; there is yet space for the erection of other houses. Three of the said houses are let to respectable tenants, and produce £162 10s annually. The fourth house is unlet, but was lately let at a rent of £60 a year.The local Presbyterian community, having unsuccessfully petitioned Lord Talbot in 1891 for a site for a church, shortly afterwards acquired an interest in No.2 Killeen Terrace. This remained their place of worship until they moved into their newly built church on the Dublin Road in 1956. This building was partly financed by the sale of No.2 Killeen Terrace. Our Photos show the terrace in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Courtesy of Malahide Historical Society

Many will remember with great fondness Sammy Wells and family who ran a sweet factory and sweet shop from about 1948 at or about the former X-traVision outlet on Main Street. Sammy made the sweets from his own recipes which he had brought from England. The most popular sweets were his fruit bon bons, butter bon bons, liquorice, fruit drops, nougat bars and the most popular of all were his penny bars. The penny bars are said to have been his speciality. In those days the children of Malahide were able to walk safely from school to Sammy Wells sweet shop specially to buy those bars. Everyone used to pop in to buy their sweets on the way to Ma Walshe’s cinema. This was a big treat. To buy your sweets you had to go to the counter in the office and ring the bell for attention and when eventually someone came, the value given for one penny was well worth the delay, the best value in town! One former resident remembers that Sammy also sold fishing gear and “If you found a wasps’ nest and you told Sammy Wells, you would get a reward and he would send someone to remove it and use the grubs for bait.” Sammy and his family, including daughters Sally and Gwneth, lived at “The Haven” at the corner of Texas Lane and the Back Strand (upper Broadmeadows estuary). He became famous for his pigeon loft and was said to have been the first person to have pigeons in the area. He built the narrow concrete landing stage opposite his house, which is still used today and erected a pole with a disclaimer notice which was certainly there up to recently. The factory and shop closed in the 1960’s and the family left Ireland thereafter but we know that some of them follow this Facebook page so if you have memories to share with them please feel free to leave a comment.

Can anyone identify the staff members in the photos? If so please contact Malahide Historical Society at malahideheritage.com

According to Fingal Co. Co. planning guidelines, Councils can advise residents and developers of requirements for naming and numbering housing estates and approve the final proposals. The naming of mixed residential and mixed-use schemes should reflect local history, folklore and/or place names in accordance with Objectives of the Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023. Names can refer to historical buildings or structures, archaeological monuments or features, the local landscape, or an association with a significant local historical individual, custom or event. Local historical societies or Fingal Libraries may be able to offer advice. In particular, the use and promotion of historical and current townland and parish names in the urban and rural environment should be promoted. Here are the origins of some of Malahide’s residential estates.

The Bawn - stems from an Irish word to describe a protective enclosure for cattle often associated with a castle.- Gaybrook - built adjacent to the Gaybrook Stream formed by the confluence of steams flowing down from Feltrim and Drynam.- Killeen - after John Killeen, the railway engineer, who built Killeen Terrace opposite St. Sylvester’s Church as a potential dowry for his daughter. Milford - many hundreds of years ago where the nearby Gaybrook Stream enters the Broadmeadows Estuary there stood a ford and a cornmill worked by the ebb and flow of the tide. Later in 1782 a cotton mill was erected nearby. - Muldowney - a corruption of Maoil Domhnainn, an ancient name for a topographical feature in that part of the inlet, in turn named after an ancient people the Fir Domhnainn. -Texas Lane – believed to be named for a cobbler who once lived in the area who had a habit of holding a supply of tacks in his mouth as he used them to mend boots and so was nicknamed ‘Tacks’. It followed that the lane where he lived was known as Tacks’s Lane which eventually became Texas Lane. - Yellow Walls - the name predates the cotton industry established in this area in 1782 but is probably derived from earlier times when linen was woven from flax fibres and hung on local walls to bleach, staining the stone in the process.

by Malhide Historical Society

In an 1844 agreement between Lord Richard Talbot and James Fagan of Bridgefoot Street, Dublin, timber merchant, the Talbots agreed to lease to Fagan the land stretching from the lately built Royal Hotel (later Grand Hotel) hotel almost to the Diamond at a yearly rent of twenty-five pounds ten shillings per Irish acre. Under the agreement James Fagan was to be at liberty to build houses on the lands but he had first to submit the plans for approval by Lord Talbot. This led to the construction by Fagan of the houses on St. James Terrace. The Talbots agreed to build a road, from a fountain which then stood in the centre of the Diamond, to the hotel, enclose part of the area with railings, plant trees and shrubs therein and lay it out as pleasure gardens. When combined with the hotel gardens they extended to four or five acres from St. James’s Terrace, up to and around the hotel. The occupants of the houses were to have free use of the pleasure gardens as were the hotel guests. Other residents of Malahide could apply for a key to use the gardens at a fee of one pound per household or family per year.When the original planting matured the gardens contained elaborate wooded serpentine walks, pergolas, shady bowers and a croquet lawn and there was seating place all around the Park. The pleasure gardens later came to be known as the Band Gardens as police and military bands gave public performances there in the latter half of the 19th century on regatta days and other public occasions. The Dublin & Drogheda Railway occasionally engaged a military band to play on weekday afternoons and laid on a special train from and to Amiens Street. A former Malahide resident painted an idyllic picture of her memories of the Park as a 10 year old girl in about 1908: “There were three tennis courts and two croquet courts. Thick laurel and chestnut bushes made lovely “houses” for children to play about in. There were also numerous “weeping” elms which were very easy to climb and made lovely green “tents”; sweet smelling lilac and showers of laburnam bushes, as well as veronica and escalonia and lauristinus, and four or five arbutus bushes which produced the most realistic “dolls’” oranges. The middle of the park sank into a shallow dell where the trees were thicker and taller and the grass seldom cut, except before the annual Fingal Show; which made the Park a particularly happy playground - as long as the children were inside the park railings and kept away from the tennis courts they were looked on as “safe’ and allowed to run as wild as the space permitted. In the spring there were sheets of bluebells under the sycamores at the Terrace end of the square.” The gardens are now, of course, the location of Malahide Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.

by Malahide Historical Society

Fingal County Council have recently done a splendid job on the landscaping of the Green which has a long history in Malahide.Thanks to Michael Ingoldsby who grew up in a house facing the Green we have a picture of what it used be like in the last century. It was, for a very long time, part of the Malahide Estate with Lord Talbot de Malahide as the freehold owner. It was usual, deep into the winter for horses and carts to be sent down by Lord Talbot at the Castle laden with logs and branches of trees and kindling. This was all dumped onto the Green and was for the people to take and to use for their fires. At Christmas, carts of holly and mistletoe were unloaded onto the Green to be taken by anyone who wanted it for Christmas decoration.When the coastguard were in operation (up until about 1922) there was a flagpole on the Green on which the Union Jack was flown daily. The Green was somewhat smaller and a slightly different shape then, before reclamation in the latter part of the 20th century. The side by the water was used by fishermen to dry and mend their nets and there were houses on the other three sides. A low bank ran between the grass and road on the Townyard Lane side. Sailing boats and small coasters carrying coal came up the estuary on the high flooding tide and sat on the hard sand off the Green when the tide later ran out. The coal was unloaded over the side into horse-drawn carts and taken over the hard sand, on to the Green and into Flower & McDonald’s coalyard which was on Strand Street or to the gasworks in Gasyard Lane. There was a small cinema “The Gem” roughly where Tesco Express is today. Michael relates that a Mr. Dunne, an old man of small stature, in leather boots and leather leggings used to herd a flock of geese down from his yard in the centre of New Street onto The Green. They spent the day there feeding and then in the evening he came and walked them back up New Street for the night. There was a water pump at the corner of the Green near the end of New Street surrounded by four stone posts which were known as the “chatting pillars”, indicating how the water pump was central to the social life of the village. In the evening the local men used to stand under the adjoining lamp standard to play “Pitch and Toss”.

by Malahide Historical Society

Having recently remembered the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, it is worth recalling that Malahide, though not exactly a hotbed of revolutionary activity, did not escape the travails of that time.The Royal Irish Constabulary barracks stood at the Diamond where the EBS and Tony Byrne’s shop are now. One night in August 1920 a group of armed men entered the building and, at gunpoint, forced the constables on duty onto the street where they could only stand and watch while the men set fire to and destroyed the building. We have been advised of information on the irishmedals website which names three of the men involved in the burning as Christy Nolan, Joe Taylor and Charles Weston from 5th Battalion, Dublin Brigade, Irish Volunteers which was based around Swords. The 3rd battalion, Finglas Brigade of the old IRA are definitely known to have mounted at least one operation in Malahide. In a deposition from the Commanding Officer of the unit on file in the Bureau of Military History archives there is this description: “In the early part of 1921, I was detailed to have a man, who lived in Malahide, shot. This man was paymaster to the Tans, I think, in Gormanston camp.I took a party of three men with me to do the job.One man was left with our bicycles.The other two men and I proceeded to the man’s house. When we went to the door, we were fired on, and it was immediately perceived that the man had armed companions in the house. We fired back through the door and windows.Apparently, the man we wanted, or some one of his companions, was behind the door and was hit and fell against the door. We tried to push in the door but could not do so owing to the body of someone being against it at the bottom. One of our men received a bullet wound in the arm, Patrick Mason was his name. So, we had to retreat, bringing him with us and had him attended to in Finglas by the local doctor and he got alright. All four of us got back safely.”

Looking for ideas for presents for Balbriggan people at home or abroad? We have produced a beautiful Sack of Balbriggan Commemorative Medal which depicts a scene from the Sack of Balbriggan and comes with a booklet containing a short history. It is available to purchase by Paypal on our Website Or if you are local just ring the Society at 083 0269848 (Brian) or 087 7852644 (May) to pay by cash for local delivery or collection.We anticipate that this medal will be in huge demand as a memento of this important anniversary so get your order in soon.We have a seminar available online as we look back at 2020. 2020 has certainly been a very interesting year with the catastrophic effects and challenges posed by Covid-19 on an unprecedented global scale and pages of history books will be filled with it in the future. We historians of today just had to rise to the challenge of carrying on with our activities as best we could and still commemorating the Centenary of the Sack of Balbriggan in an appropriate manner.We were delighted to record our Sack of Balbriggan Commemorative Seminar with Diarmaid Ferriter as our keynote speaker. The other talks were by our own Jim Walsh relating the key events of the Sack. Giving the RIC perspective on events was visiting speaker Jim Herlihy while Frank Whearity spoke about the experiences of the Costello family who lived on Clonard Street and Brendan Matthews looked at the effect of the Sack on the then thriving town of Balbriggan. Jim Glennon, former TD, whose grandfather was the owner of the Gladstone Inn gave an insight into his own family’s experience. A link to all the talks is available on our website. This also includes a new digital version of a video from 1992 of three eyewitness accounts of this tragic night from Michael Hammond, Mrs Kathleen McGillivary and Mrs Bridget Daly.We also commemorated the Sack of Balbriggan by laying a wreath in memory of Seamus Lawless and Sean Gibbons following a commemorative Mass on September 20th and displayed photographs from the era in town shop fronts as well as the entries in our schools competition.We would like to take this opportunity to thank our members and friends for their support during this challenging year, and we hope that you and all your family and friends are keeping well and safe.The Society can be contacted at balbrigganhistsoc@gmail.com or on our website and we are also on Social media.

by Malahide Historical Scoiety

Just before the entrance to Seapark stands Muldowney House, once the home of Malahide’s famous landscape painter, Nathaniel Hone. He was born in 1831 and at the age of twenty-two he went to Paris to study painting. He remained in France for seventeen years observing and painting with famous artists of the Barbizon school. In 1872, he married Magdalen Jameson of the Jameson distilling family.After a short sojourn in Seafield House at Kilcrea on the northern shore of the estuary, they moved to Muldowney House. They lived here until 1895 when they moved to St. Doulagh’s Park following the death of his Aunt Dorothea at her home there. Thereafter, Hone’s brother-in-law, the Rev. William Reid, resided in Muldowney House until his death in 1912. Hone became a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1880 and accepted an R.H.A. professorship in 1894. While at Muldowney House, he spent his time painting, sketching, sailing, yacht racing and golfing. The changing light and seascapes of Malahide attracted him. He had a studio and a gallery at Muldowney House and painted one of his best known works, Malahide Sands from his window, which still overlooks the beach. When Nathaniel died in 1917, his wife bequeathed the greatest part of his collection to the National Gallery of Ireland. Hone, Reid and Richard Wogan, 5th Baron Talbot founded Malahide Golf Club on the foreshore and land around the house in 1892.

Contributed by Malahide Historical Society

Up until 1973 when the Island Golf Club built a new clubouse at the northern end of the course and more accessible by road, golfers commuting to the Island golf course were rowed over and back from Malahide by local boatmen. Depending on the state of the tide golfers boarded from a long wooden stage or in later years from the concrete slip and disembarked onto a much longer
stage on the opposite shore. The signal to the boatmen to collect golfers was a large disc which was hinged in the centre and could be seen from the Malahide shore. When the disc was in the closed position it was green and blended in with the side wall of the Clubhouse. When opened it showed red and white and was a sign to the boatmen to come and collect golfers. A sudden deterioration in the weather might cause the suspension of the ferry service and require a laborious journey home by train from Donabate or by hackney or whatever transport available via Swords. There were legendary characters among both the boatmen and their passengers and Island members still regale each other and their visitors with wonderful tales of those days. On either side of the main slip are stout wooden posts standing several feet proud of the sand. Probably at least a hundred years in situ, these are the sole survivors of a series of such posts along the shoreline of The Green. They were
used in the days of sailing ships as mooring posts and for hauling them close to the shore for unloading over the side at low water. They were also employed to help turn vessels as required.

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Lusk Heritage Group have recently produced a rerun of The Story of Lusk.This beautiful little booklet was originally compiled in 1998 by the Heritage Group but has been out of print for some time. Articles in it range from the Ancient History of Lusk to the Reformation in Fingal, the 1798 rebellion, Passing the Baton from 1798 to 1921 and Lusk stories up to the 1950s.This rerun ofThe Story of Lusk was made possible with the generous support of local sponsorship and from Fingal County Council.The Lusk Heritage Group also has a second booklet available entitled Lusk Through the Ages. This dates back to 1995 when it was written by their Chairman Aidan Arnold. It is a fascinating compilation of local history and reminiscences about local people including Katie Hunt, Sean McDonnell, Aidan Corr, Henry Maxwell, Dan Sherry, Eilish Hand and many more.Twenty five years ago Aidan wrote in his introduction “History is not a precise art. We depend on past recorders and inevitably biased reminiscences. Despite that is a fascinating art which flows through time like a river. I have allowed my stories to flow from the Stone Age to the present day. Anecdotes about some of the inhabitants of Lusk are included, as I believe that history is happening around us every day. It is people, not dates and places, who shape that history.”Both books are beautifully illustrated and should bring back lots of memories to Lusk families new and old. People new to the area will find a treasure trove of fascinating information as well as gaining a lovely addition to their bookshelves.An amazing collection of videos, stories and local heritage about Lusk and Fingal can also be found on the Lusk Heritage Group website at http://luskheritage.com/The Story of Lusk and Lusk Through the Ages are available from Pat Kelly of Kelly’s Garage. They cost €6.00 each or €10.00 for both books.