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Dún Laoghaire, Dublin

county dublinSometimes anglicised as 'Dunleary', Dún Laoghaire is a suburban seaside town about 12km south of Dublin city centre.

The present town of Dún Laoghaire dates from the 1820's and derives its name from Laoghaire, a 5th century High King of Ireland, who used the site as a sea base from which to carry out raids on Britain and Gaul. Dún is an Irish word meaning fort, and traces of fortifications from that period have been found on the coast. Some stones from that fort are preserved in the Maritime Museum.

Dún Laoghaire harbour is one of the largest in the country and is a major port of entry from Great Britain. It is notable for its two granite piers - the East Pier is very popular with walkers, and was featured in the 1996 movie Michael Collins, where Liam Neeson (as Collins) and two of his co-stars are seen walking along a seaside promenade, which is actually the Dún Laoghaire East Pier. A band is seen playing on a bandstand in this movie scene, and this is the actual bandstand on the East Pier.

It took 42 years to construct the harbour, from 1817 to 1859. The obelisk near the old ferryport terminal at the harbour commemorates the construction of this harbour.

A traditional Victorian-style park, the People's Park, Dún Laoghaire, is located at the eastern end of George's Street, and the annual spring and summer bedding displays are one of the park's main attractions. These, together with the very popular new playground and Tea Rooms contribute significantly to the popularity of the park.

Because of it's location, Dún Laoghaire is a perfect base from which to explore all that's on offer in the immediate area, and also in the surrounding areas of County Wicklow and Dublin City. Transport-wise Dún Laoghaire is well served by its many bus routes and the Dart, all of which makes it easy for visitors to get around.

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