The Clontarf promenade, which has given so much pleasure to the residents of Clontarf, was not landscaped until the 1950s although most of this area was actually reclaimed from the sea in the 1920s.
But in the 1950s Dublin Corporation commenced work on the promenade which when completed stretched 3 kilometres in length from Fairview Park to Bull Wall in Dollymount. For lovers of the outdoor life, the promenade has always been a joy to walk, run or cycle, both in good weather and bad, morning or evening, literally at any time of year.
Before the Promenade
Before the initial work on the seawall, the area of Clontarf flooded very frequently because only a low sea wall separated the tramline and the residents homes once there was heavy rain or a storm in the bay. For centuries Clontarf has been a meteorological blackspot infamous for its southeasterly gales. In days gone by, residents simply stacked up the sandbags and hoped for the best. The promenade in effect now operates as the main flood defence for Clontarf.
Amenities Along the Promenade
Along the promenade you will find the Sails Sculpture created by Derry-born artist, Eamonn O’Doherty in 1988. One of the area’s greatest amenities, in my opinion, was the creation of the cycle track in 1997. I can think of no other single amenity that has been received with so much popularity and general use by the public. In 1999 Dublin Corporation in association with artist Brian O’Brien unveiled the Alfie Byrne Memorial Seat, a fitting tribute to the man who was affectionately known as ‘the children’s Lord Mayor’.
Alfie served as Lord Mayor of Dublin on ten occasions including nine terms in succession. In November 2004 the Government of Chile presented a Maoi Stone Sculpture to the Irish State, which was mounted on the promenade close to Vernon Avenue. The Maoi, which was carved from volcanic stone by artist, Alejandro Pakarati, is a replica of the famous Easter Island Head, of which there are approximately one thousand on Easter Island. All the Maoi stones are characterised by their large heads and torsos without legs.
More Clontarf History
Below you will find links to other articles about this history of Clontarf, written exclusively for this website by local historian and journalist, Eamonn Casey.