The History of Clontarf

Clontarf is a seaside suburban area on the north eastern side of Dublin City, just 3 miles from the city centre. The name Clontarf is an ancient one and has been handed down in writing for over twelve hundred years. It derives from the original Gaelic name Cluain Tarbh – The meadow of the bull.

It is famous, historically, as the site of the epic Battle of Clontarf in 1014 when the Irish High King, Brian Boru, defeated the Vikings to end their political power in Ireland. Other major events in Irish history with a strong Clontarf Connection include Daniel O’Connell and the Repeal Movement (1843), James Stephens and the I.R.B. (1866), the Howth Gun Running (1914) and the role of Clontarf Town Hall in the Irish Rebellion of Easter 1916.

Among Clontarf’s historical treasures are Clontarf Cemetery and Church ruin (dating back to 550 A.D.), Clontarf Castle (dating from 1172), Lord Charlemont’s Sicilian Casino (completed in 1773). More modern are St. Anne’s Estate (former home of the Guinness brewing family) and the Bull Island (a biosphere reserve). Clontarf has 6 churches, all worthy of a visit.

Today Clontarf is renowned as the birth place in of Abraham (Bram Stoker) the author of the world’s biggest selling novel, the immortal gothic tale “Dracula”.

More than 500 editors of the book have been traced and up to a staggering 1000 movies had been inspired by the Dracula theme/story. An annual Bram Stoker International Summer School is held in Clontarf each year. Visitors to the area should drop in to the splendid Stoker Heritage Centre