Dalkey gets its name from Dalkey Island. In Irish, it was called Deilg Inis meaning Thorn Island. This was later changed to Deilg –ei by the Vikings, and later anglicised to Dalkey.
The village grew up around the Early Christian Church of St Begnet. Due to the unpredictable tidal flats at the mouth of the Liffey, Coliemore Harbour in the middle ages served as Dublin’s main port. It was also one of the ports through which the plague entered Ireland in the mid-14th century. Seven fortified Town Houses/ castles were built from the 1390s onwards along Castle Street to store the goods brought ashore. At that time, in addition to the castles, Dalkey comprised of cabins, a few inns, burgages and gardens.
In 1844, the new Atmospheric Railway briefly ran to Dalkey but was soon replaced by the steam train which ran as far as Bray. Horse-drawn trams were introduced in 1879 and these were electrified (the trams, not the horses) less than twenty years later. Today, Dalkey is an affluent seaside suburb just minutes from the Wicklow hills and within easy reach of the city centre.
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