Rewind - Terenure

By Sean Heffernan

This week we are moving from Kimmage and venturing into its near neighbour, Terenure.

It’s name in Irish is Tir an Lúir, which in English means “land of the yet tree”.


Terenure Village circa 1970

This area that lies in Dublin 6 was originally part of the large parcels of land which included Kimmage and Drimnagh, that were gifted to the Barnewell family by King John in 1215.

In a previous edition of Rewind explained in great detail, this family built Drimnagh Castle, and it was in essence the headquarters of their land holdings.

After they were confiscated by Cromwell the land came into the ownership of the Talbot family – who also owned Templeogue House and Malahide Castle.

The many acres were then sold to one Joseph Deane for the princely sum of £4,000 in the 1700’s.

The son of prominent family, Deane studied at the University of Dublin and also represented County Dublin in the Irish House of Parliament in College Green.

He was later appointed to the very prestigious and extraordinarily powerful position of Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

To put it in it’s simplest terms, this position was in essence a one-man Supreme Court, and the person in the position would be asked to preside over challenges to the law of the land, or put into place the legal statutes of decrees issued by the King or Queen of the time.

In 1785 the lands were sold again, this time to Abraham Wilkinson, who leased the building that was to become Terenure College to a Robert Shaw.

He was a descendant of William Shaw, a General on the side of William of Orange in The Battle of the Boyne, and this brought them great power and wealth.

In 1860 the Carmelite order purchased the house and began educating boys soon after.

In 1958 their was a major extension to the college which, as well as, increasing the hall and classroom space, it included the building of a fine chapel too.

Presentation Primary School

Another notable school in the area is the Presentation Primary School located on Terenure Road West.

The school for girls was first opened in 1766, with coach houses and horse stables having been converted into minimal but functioning classrooms.

The first proper school building was erected in 1899, and in 1939 a major extension saw the addition of a further ten classrooms.

St Joseph’s Church has the famous distinction of being the place where James Joyce was baptised, having been born down the road in Rathgar in 1882.

The current building on Terenure Road East was built in 1904, and was further extended in 1952.

It is also notable for containing windows designed by the internationally renowned stained-glass artist Harry Clark.

He was born seven years after the Ulysses author in 1899, and his father who was from Leeds, was involved in the decorating business in the capital.

In 1911 he won a Gold Medal in the then prestigious National Board of Education Competition, for a piece entitled “Consecration of St Mel of Longford by St Patrick”.

Other famous windows he designed can be seen in places such as Bewley’s Café Grafton Street, St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny and St Stephen’s Church in Brisbane Australia.

As well as Ireland and Australia, his windows can be seen in the UK and the USA.

Mike Murphy

The area is also home to the CYM Sports Club just off Terenure Road North, and a number of sports including Rugby, Cricket and Tennis are played there.

One famous person who was born in the Dublin 6 suburb went on to become one of the legends of Irish broadcasting.

Born Michael James Murphy in 1941, this household name worked various odd jobs before taking up acting with the Shakespearean Society and then began writing scripts for programs on RTÉ.

He began his broadcasting career with the national radio station in 1965, starting off presenting a pop-music show, and on occasion he filled in as an announcer on the game show Jackpot.

From 1979-1982 he presented the radio show ‘Morning Call’, and his TV successes included ‘Murphy’s Micro Quiz’, ‘Winning Streak’ and a light entertainment variety show on Friday nights, ‘The Live Mike’.

The multiple Jacob’s Awards winner has one of the most iconic voices to have been heard on radio and television, and it was a shock when he announced his departure from RTÉ in 2001 to focus on other projects.

In 2015 he was back on our television screens presenting the archive footage quiz show “Play it be Year”, and in the past few months he has appeared on radio and in newspapers extolling his support for the cause of the Palestinian’s, after he visited the Middle East and saw first hand what was going on there.

Take a visit!

Terenure really has come on leaps and bounds since the Barnewell’s began to really develop the area as a place to live and work in.

With many excellent eateries with all sorts of cuisines on offer, and a number of excellent public houses to rewind in, why not take a trip to Terenure sometime soon?

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