Your guide to Crumlin: Great spirit on the streets that made Phil Lynott and Conor McGregor

The neighbourhood is one of Dublin’s oldest suburbs.

Your Neighbourhood is a series of local area guides from TheJournal.ie, presented by KBC. We’re bringing you the best of city neighbourhoods combined with the latest property data. 

CRUMLIN, ALTHOUGH probably best known internationally as the childhood home of Conor McGregor, is in fact one of Dublin’s oldest suburbs. Taking its name from the ‘crooked glen’ - croimghlinn – of the river Camac that is now Lansdowne Valley Park, it was a recognised settlement before the Norman conquest in 1170.

Like many of the other now-suburbs that were formerly well outside Dublin’s boundaries, Crumlin was once dominated by large houses and their estates. An 1837 map shows St Mary’s church sitting amid fields and parkland, with just a few buildings along the road.

The shape of the village stayed fairly similar until the 1950s, when the first housing estates appeared. Hundreds of homes were built around the village – initially to alleviate inner-city overcrowding, and then as part of the capital’s suburban expansion. Most of the houses in Crumlin today date from this period.

Today, Crumlin is bordered by Drimnagh to the north, Kimmage to the east, and Walkinstown and Ballymount to the south and west. The heart of the area is still Crumlin Village, just as it was in mediaeval times.

Take me there! OK, here you are at the centre of the shops in Crumlin Village.

So what’s the big draw? Crumlin is a residential neighbourhood, close to the city centre, with good-quality housing stock. It’s very settled, with fewer short-term renters than some other areas and many families who have been here for decades. Relatively affordable housing is now drawing in a new generation of young families too.

The area has had some bad press over the years, thanks largely to a high-profile conflict between criminal factions. But residents will tell you that the media coverage doesn’t always reflect the area they know.

What do people love about it? The community, says resident Justin McDaid – and the spiritual presence of Phil Lynott. He might be joking about the shopping centre though.

Crumlin immediately has one up on any other part of Dublin – this is Phil Lynott country. His mam’s house is just around the corner. The canal is a short walk, Eamonn Ceannt Park’s got a velodrome (if that’s your thing) and Crumlin Shopping Centre puts Dundrum to shame. There’s a sense of community around Crumlin, you feel like you know your neighbours – you see people day in, day out.

And… what do people NOT love about it? The traffic can be a pain at times, says Justin.

I can’t find many negative things to say about the place. It could do with a few more Dublin Buses and cycle lanes for commuters, morning and evening traffic can be hairy when everyone’s spilling in towards town and back out again.

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What’s the story with house prices? The average asking price of a property in the first three months of 2018 was €298,834, according to Daft.ie. That’s well below the Dublin average of around €410,000. However, prices have been rising steadily – up by nearly 13 per cent last year and 14 per cent the year before that.

How long will it take me to the city centre? On foot, it’s around an hour. In the car, just 15 minutes or so.

Crumlin is well served by a whole load of Dublin Bus routes including the 9, 17, 18, 27, 56A, 77A, 83/A, 122, 123, 150 and 151.

Where should I get lunch? Pip’s Cafe is an old-school cafe and deli that serves sandwiches and fries; their breakfast rolls are the stuff of local legend. They also deliver said rolls to anyone in the area suffering after a late night, which is a public service by any standard. 

Alternatives: The Hungry Duck may technically be in Kimmage, but it’s a good spot for lunch nonetheless. If you’re looking for something later on for dinner, Lisle Three serves steaks and other standards in an eye-catching vintage dining room.

And what’s my new local? The Halfway House on the Walkinstown Road is a good old-fashioned suburban local. A big lounge with pints and carvery awaits.

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Alternatives: Birchall’s on Bangor Drive – formerly Sheary’s – is also good for a pint, with live music at the weekends.

Schools and supermarkets? There’s a Dunnes at either end of Crumlin – one in the Crumlin Shopping Centre, and one in the Ashleaf. There’s also a Tesco Express in the village, and a SuperValu on the Walkinstown Road.

There are a number of primary schools nearby: Mourne Road Infants (Catholic, mixed, 184 pupils) and Mourne Road NS (Catholic, mixed, 111 pupils); Our Lady of Good Counsel (Catholic, boys, 136 pupils); Assumption Junior (Catholic, mixed, 474 pupils); Assumption Senior (Catholic, girls, 231 pupils); Drimnagh Castle CBS (Catholic, boys, 403 pupils); Scoil Úna Naofa (Catholic, mixed, 395 pupils); and Loreto Junior and Senior (Catholic, mixed, 253 and 192 pupils).

There are three secondary schools nearby: Our Lady of Mercy (Catholic, mixed, 354 pupils); Meanscoil Iognáid Rís (Catholic, boys, 579 pupils); and Assumption Secondary (Catholic, girls, 258 pupils).

Anything else I should check out? Phil Lynott’s childhood home was on Leighlin Road, just up towards Kimmage. The singer is reputed to have said: “When I’m in England, I say, I’m from Ireland. When I’m in Ireland, I say, I’m from Dublin. When I’m in Dublin, I say, I’m from Crumlin. When I’m in Crumlin, I say, Leighlin Road. When I’m in Leighlin Road, I say, I’m a Lynott.”

OK, I’m sold. Give me one piece of Crumlin trivia to impress a local. Crumlin was part of the original Fair City. When the soap launched in 1989, exterior scenes were filmed in the area before the ‘Carrigstown’ set was built on the RTÉ campus.

Do you live in Crumlin? Share your opinion in the comments!