Rathmines begins on the south bank of the Grand Canal and stretches down either side of the Rathmines Road between Ranelagh to the east and Harold’s Cross to the west. Continuing south brings you into Rathgar—the exact borders, of course, are disputed.
Rathmines has a long history stretching back to the 14th century. At this time, Rathmines was part of the vast Parish of Cullenswood.
Historically Rathmines is known for a bloody battle that took place there in 1649, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, leading to the death of perhaps up to 5,000 people. The Battle of Rathmines took place on 2 August 1649 and led to the routing of Royalist forces in Ireland and effectively put Cromwell in charge of Ireland.
Rathmines started as an elegant residential town for wealthy Dubliners who fled the cramped streets of the city centre in the mid-19th century. With up to 10,000 soldiers of all stripes stationed in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century, Rathmines with its nearby Portobello (now Cathal Brugha) Barracks was a thriving residential and business centre. After Independence, with the withdrawal of troops, civil servants and the exodus of middle class unionists, Rathmines found itself down on its uppers. From the 193os the area was synonymous with the definition “Flatland”, housing students and workers in pursuit of inexpensive accommodation.
Today it’s a diverse and vibrant community with a mix of swanky houses and modest apartments, chic restaurants and grubby stores.
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