50 Facts About Dublin: Stuff You Probably Don’t Need To Know

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  1. Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge was originally made of rope and could only carry one man and a donkey at a time. It was replaced with a wooden structure in 1801. The current concrete bridge was built in 1863 and was first called ‘Carlisle Bridge’.
  2. O’Connell Bridge is the only traffic bridge in Europe which is wider than it is long.
  3. Dublin’s second O’Connell Bridge is across the pond in St. Stephen’s Green.
  4.  None of the so-called Dublin Mountains are high enough to meet the criteria required to claim mountain status. The Sugarloaf is the tallest ‘Dublin Mountain’ yet measures a mere 1389 feet above sea level.
  5. The headquarters of the national television broadcaster, RTE, in Montrose, was originally built for use as an abattoir.
  6. Dublin’s oldest traffic lights are situated beside the Renault garage in Clontarf. The lights, which are still in full working order, were installed in 1893 outside the home of Fergus Mitchell who was the owner of the first car in Ireland.
  7. The Temple Bar area is so called because it housed the first Jewish temple built in Ireland. The word ‘bar’ refers to the refusal of Catholics to allow the Jewish community to enter any of the adjoining commercial premises.
  8. In 1761 a family of gypsies from Navan were refused entry to Dublin. The family settled on the outskirts of the city and created the town of Rush. Two hundred and fifty years later, a large percentage of the population of Rush can still trace their roots back to this one family.
  9. Dubliners drink a total of 9800 pints an hour between the hours of 5.30pm on a Friday and 3.00am the following Monday.
  10. Dublin is Europe’s most popular destination with traveling stag and hen parties. There is an estimated six hundred ‘pre wedding sessions’ every weekend in the capital.
  11. Harold’s Cross got it’s name because a tribe called the ‘Harolds’ lived in the Wicklow Mountains and the Archbishop of Dublin would not let them come any nearer to the city than that point.
  12. Leopardstown was once known as Leperstown.
  13. The average 25-year-old Dubliner still lives with his/her parents.
  14. There are twelve places called Dublin in the United States and six in Australia.
  15. Buck Whaley was an extremely wealthy gambler who lived in Dublin in the seventeen hundreds. Due to inheritances, he had an income of seven thousand pounds per year (not far off seven million a year at today’s prices). He lived in a huge house near Stephen’s Green which is now the Catholic University of Ireland. He went broke and he had to leave Ireland due to gambling debts. He swore he’d be buried in Irish soil but is in fact buried in the Isle of Man in a shipload of Irish soil which he imported for the purpose.
  16. There was once a large statue of Queen Victoria in the Garden outside Leinster House. It was taken away when the Republic of Ireland became independent and in 1988 was given as a present to the city of Sydney, Australia to mark that city’s 200th anniversary.
  17. The largest cake ever baked in Dublin weighed a whopping 190 lb’s and was made to celebrate the 1988 city millennium. The cake stood untouched in the Mansion House until 1991 when it was thrown out.
  18. Strangers are more likely to receive a drink from Dubliners than from a native of any other County.
  19. There are forty-six rivers in Dublin city. The river flowing through Rathmines is called the River Swan (beside the Swan Centre). The Poddle was once known as the ‘Tiber’ and was also known as the River Salach (dirty river), which is the origin of the children’s song ‘Down by the river Saile’. It is also the river whose peaty, mountain water causes the Black Pool mentioned above.
  20. Forget Paris, Dublin is the city of love: we have our own Romeo and his name is St Valentine, the saint for lovers all over the world. The remains of this patron saint lie in Dublin’s Whitefrair Street Church, and many make the journey to visit him each year; so don’t forget to bring your love letter.He is no longer recognised as a Saint By the Vatican.
  21. The statue originally in Dublin’s O’Connell Street (but now moved to the Phoenix Park) is commonly known as the ‘Floozy in the Jacuzzi’ while the one at the bottom of Grafton Street is best known as the ‘Tart with the Cart’. The women at the Ha’Penny bridge are the ‘Hags with the bags’ and the Chimney Stack with the new lift in Smithfield Village’s now called the ‘Flue with the View’. The short lived millennium clock that was placed in the River Liffey in 1999 was known as ‘the chime in the slime’. The Millenium Spire is now called the “Stilleto by the Ghetto” and the “Stiffy by the Liffey”.
  22. Montgomery Street was once the biggest red-light district in Europe with an estimated 1600 prostitutes. It was known locally as the ‘Monto’ and this is the origin of the song ‘Take me up to Monto’.
  23. Henry Moore, Earl of Drogheda lived in Dublin in the Eighteenth century. His job was naming streets. He called several after himself. Henry Street, Moore Street, Earl Street, Drogheda Street. Drogheda Street later became Sackville Street and is now O’Connell Street.
  24. Nelson’s Pillar was blown up in 1966 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 rising. It now lies in a heap in a valley in County Wicklow.
  25. Leinster House in Dublin was originally built as a private home for the Duke of Leinster. At that time, the most fashionable part of Dublin was the North Side and he was asked why he was building on the South Side. He said ‘Where I go, fashion follows me!’ …..and to this day the most fashionable part of Dublin is the South Side.
  26. Tallaght is one of the oldest placenames in Ireland and it means ‘The Plague cemetery’.
  27. There are seven areas in Dublin whose names end in the letter ‘O’. Fewer than one Dubliner in 20,000 can name them off by heart. They are: Rialto, Marino, Portobello, Phibsboro, Monto, Casino and Pimlico.
  28. Kevin Street Garda Station was once the Palace of the Archbishop Of Dublin.
  29. The original name of Trinity College was ‘Trinity College Near Dublin’. The capital was a lot smaller then.
  30. There is a fountain In College Green with some ghastly statues of angels. This stands on the spot where there was once a statue of King Billy on a horse. It was blown up six times before being completely destroyed by a bomb in 1946. The wreck was taken to a corporation yard and the horse’s huge lead testicles were melted down and used to repair a pipe.
  31. The Oliver St John Gogarty in Temple Bar sells the dearest pint in Ireland at €7.15 as prices change throughout the evening.
  32. A pint of Guinness in Dublin can cost as little at €3.00 depending on where you drink.
  33. 33 Women from the Northside of Dublin are the most likely to become pregnant through casual sex. Women from Meath are the least likely.
  34. The average Dubliner earns €34,800 per annum spending €81 on a typical night out.
  35. Ten million pints of Guinness are produced in Dublin every day.
  36. Dublin has the largest park in Europe – The Phoenix Park. Only New York’s Central Park is bigger.
  37. You can cycle from one side of Dublin to the other in half an hour
  38. Dubliners love their art. Not only is it one of the many free things to do in Dublin. It has more art galleries per capita than any other city in Europe. Dublin has a thriving urban art culture with Love the Lanes transforming the back lanes of Temple Bar with new artworks and installations.
  39. There are over 1,000 pubs in Dublin to drink in.
  40. The legal drinking age is 18.
  41. There are 1.66 million people living in the greater Dublin region
  42. There are no snakes in Dublin, this has reputedly to do with St. Patrick banishing them from the country.
  43. Bram Stoker who wrote the famous novel Dracula, was born in Clontarf. The title is said to come from the Irish words “Droch Ola” which means bad blood.
  44.  U2 were given the honorary title of ‘the freedom of the Dublin city’ with this title carries the unusual privilege of being able to graze sheep for free in St. Stephen’s Green, one of Dublin’s landmarks.
  45. The prestigious “Oscar” statuette used at the Academy Awards was designed by Cedric Gibbons, who was born in Dublin in 1823.
  46. The MGM Lion was bred in Dublin Zoo. He was called Clarence.
  47. Dublin has the “Oldest Pub in Ireland”, called the Brazen Head. There has been a pub on this site since 1198
  48. Dublin or Dubh Linn is derived from the old Irish Gaelic, which has its literal meaning “Black Pool”. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their trade ships and was connected to the Liffey by the River Poddle
  49. The Vikings founded Dublin in 988 AD
  50. Even though Dublin is synonymous with pubs and good drink, there are less pubs per head in the city than in other European capitals. Shocking but true…
  51. There are actually 51 facts in this list…….. Care to make it 52?

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