National Enterprise Town Awards: Stoneybatter

We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at the urban village of Stoneybatter in Dublin.

Stoneybatter is reputed to be the oldest urban village in Dublin. The name is derived from Bothar na gCloch – the Stoney Bothar or Road which was the main road from Dublin to the seat of the High King of Ireland in Tara.

After the Battle of Clontarf (1014), the Vikings or Ostmen (men from the East) settled in an area which became known as Oxmantown.  Local street names evoke those Viking era connections: Ostman, Ivar, Harold, Norseman, Olaf, Thor, Sigurd, Oxmantown, Sitric, Viking, Niall, and Murtagh, etc.

St Michan’s Church, the oldest church on the north side of Dublin was built as a Viking Church in the 11th century.

The area known as Stoneybatter runs roughly from Infirmary Road to Grangegorman and from Blackhall Place to the North Circular Road, taking in the Electoral Divisions of Arran Quay B, Arran Quay C, Arran Quay D and Arran Quay E.

However, the Stoneybatter community extends beyond the North Circular Road to Cabra Road and Annamoe, to Phibsborough and Smithfield.

The residential area is characterised by the mix of two storey and cottage artisan dwellings built in the late 19th century for workers in the Jameson Distillery, Smithfield and Guinness Brewery across the river. As with many inner-city communities, a degree of “gentrification” has taken place with young professionals opting for inner city living rather than the long commutes from the suburbs.

There is also a good mix of social housing in the area with a number of Dublin City Council estates such as Drumalee, Montpelier, Friary Court, Blackhorse Grove and nearby flat complexes – such as Queen Street/Blackhall Parade, etc.  In the early 2000s the Dublin City Council flat complex at O’Devaney Gardens was scheduled for demolition and regeneration. The 280 flats have since been demolished and plans are well underway for the construction of a new mix of social/affordable and private housing units.

Inner city vibes and values

While Stoneybatter has developed something of a ‘hipster’ reputation in recent years, the area retains its core Inner City characteristics and many families still trace their roots back many generations in the area.

A consequence of the new TU Dublin Campus at Grangegorman has been the explosion of student accommodation residences being built or planned for in the Grangegorman area. This presents challenges for our urban village and we are working with Dublin City Council to address the issues.

The core business district of Stoneybatter follows a linear pattern from Stoneybatter up Manor Street to Prussia Street and Aughrim Street.

There is a fantastic range of shops/cafés/restaurants/ services throughout the village. There are several family businesses such as Grants and Pender’s which span many generations in Stoneybatter while other established businesses such as L. Mulligan Grocer have been revived under new management. The area has recently seen an increase in the number of eateries/cafés to cater for all tastes and is earning a reputation as the vegan hub of Dublin (Beo, V-Burger, Kale & CoCo). The Village recently featured on the front of the Irish Times Weekend Supplement, scoring 70 marks in the Healthy Street Project.

The development of the Technological University Dublin campus (TU Dublin) at Grangegorman is having a transformative impact on the area. There are approximately 2,000 students on campus at present and this is set to rise dramatically to c. 10,000 by September 2020 and 20,000 by 2023.  

Stoneybatter Pride of Place works in partnership with the Grangegorman Development Agency (GGDA) and TU Dublin to ensure the maximum benefit possible to the wider Stoneybatter/Grangegorman community including local employment, educational opportunities for local people and access to the campus recreational and sporting facilities for all local residents. The GGDA and TU Dublin are developing strong links with our local businesses and community organisations.

Pride of Place

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx8PFg7io3G/

Stoneybatter Pride of Place (POP) brings together residents, businesses, state agencies and non-governmental organisations. The primary aim of Stoneybatter POP is to make the area an attractive place to live and work and to build up a strong sense of urban community.

In 2016 Stoneybatter Pride of Place won the IPB Co-operation Ireland Award for best Urban Heritage Village in Ireland. Since then the Stoneybatter Pride of Place Committee has  continued to build on that success by organising a number of events in the course of the year, including the increasingly popular Stoneybatter Festival.

The Stoneybatter Festival is now going into its third year. A dedicated Pride of Place Committee created this amazing three-day event in Stoneybatter. The entire community was deeply engaged; all the businesses participated; and the range of events and activities was extensive. Dublin City Council, the Grangegorman Development Agency and TU Dublin (formerly DIT) provide sponsorship and technical support without which the Festival would not be possible.

The Festival has an established format taking place over the course of the weekend closest to the summer solstice (21st June) :

As well as the Stoneybatter Festival, Pride of Place works with the business community to encourage local people to shop local for Christmas.

Main image: Judges visit local a local shop in Stoneybatter during the recent NETA judging. Photo: John Kennedy

Edited by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 30 October, 2019