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PALMERSTOWN IS NAMED after a medieval pilgrim by the name of Ailred, who in the 12th century returned to Ireland from the Middle East carrying a palm leaf.
He became known as Ailred the Palmer, and the priory that he founded became the parish of Palmerstown. Sitting on the main route out of Dublin to the west, on the south bank of the Liffey, the village grew into an industrial centre with hundreds of people working in mills along the river.
From the 1950s onwards, new housing estates began to appear to the south of the old village – first around the Redcow Farm area, then Woodfarm and finally Palmerstown Manor. Today, the area is a mix of longtime residents and newer ones, with a lot of younger families moving into the neighbourhood over the last few years.
Take me there! OK, here you are on the old main road passing through the village.
So what’s the big draw? Palmerstown is an attractive old village above the river, with a settled community and plenty of amenities for families – from sports clubs to a range of community organisations. It’s got great transport links thanks to its location on the N4, although the main road does cut through the neighbourhood.
It’s also got all the facilities of Liffey Valley on the doorstep, and a great park in Waterstown.
What do people love about it? The community, says Alan Hayes, secretary of the local Tidy Towns group.
Firstly, it’s the sense of community that really makes Palmerstown the place it is. People look out for each other and when needs must, they rally around to lend a hand. An older community is becoming home to a new generation of children and it is reigniting the vibrancy of this wonderful place. Your pick of buses and a cycle lane all the way into the city centre and the most unspoiled and tranquil park in South Dublin, Waterstown park offers a slice of the countryside to be enjoyed.
And… what do people NOT love about it? The N4 is… a bit mad, says Alan.
The main junction. It’s the last set of traffic lights leaving Dublin and the first set entering Dublin from the N4. Every morning and evening is commuter mayhem. The junction needs an underpass. The main road needs to be reclassified as the N4 (it used to be until 2012, now the N4 only begins when you pass westbound over the M50). The R148 as it’s called now needs to become an underpass.
What’s the story with house prices? Prices aren’t as steep as some areas of Dublin, but Palmerstown is a desirable pocket and that pushes the average higher than some nearby areas. The average asking price for a property is €336,672 – higher than Chapelizod just downriver, and a huge leap from neighbouring Ballyfermot to the south where the equivalent figure is just €221,807.
How long will it take me into town? It can be anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour in the car, depending on traffic conditions. Half an hour is pretty typical for a destination right in the centre or the other side.
There’s a good choice of buses, with the 25/a/b, 66/a/b and 67 all running into town in 20 minutes or so.
Where should I get lunch? Head for Easy As Pie, a longstanding neighbourhood staple on Manor Road. They serve breakfasts, sambos and more substantial lunches too. As an additional bonus, the place opens on Friday and Saturday nights serving Malaysian food.
Alternatives: For something different, look into The Coach House on the other side of the main road. Serving coffees, cakes and lunches, it’s part of a social enterprise that provides training for people with learning disabilities.
And what’s my new local? Palmerstown House is a big place on the main village street. It’s a lively enough spot with a beer garden and carvery at weekends.
Schools and supermarkets? There’s a SuperValu at the southern end of Palmerstown, an Aldi near the old village, and a Lidl down in Cherry Orchard – plus more big options in Liffey Valley just across the motorway.
There are five primary schools nearby: St Lorcan’s (Catholic, boys, 381 pupils); St Brigid’s (Catholic, girls, 382 pupils); St Louise’s (Catholic, girls, 323 pupils); and Mary Queen of Angels 1 and 2 (Catholic, boys, 171 and 118 pupils).
There are four secondary schools: Palmerstown Community School (interdenominational, mixed, 742 pupils); Kings Hospital (Church of Ireland, mixed, 716 pupils); Caritas College (Catholic, girls, 185 pupils); and Mount Sackville (Catholic, girls, 661 pupils).
OK, I’m sold. Give me one piece of Palmerstown trivia to impress a local. There’s some controversy over the spelling of Palmerstown. For years, it was officially rendered on maps as ‘Palmerston’, while locals continued to use Palmerstown. A local vote to make Palmerstown the official spelling narrowly failed in 2009 – before another one in 2015 passed, but only for Palmerstown Village. So currently the main village is Palmerstown, while the surrounding area is officially called Palmerston.
Do you live in Palmerstown? Share your opinion in the comments!