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”.