A WALK ALONG LOWER RATHMINES ROAD – 8 NOVEMBER 2019
Rathmines is an inner suburb on the south-side of Dublin, about 3 kilometres south of the city centre. It effectively begins at the south side of the Grand Canal and stretches along the Rathmines Road as far as Rathgar to the south, Ranelagh to the east and Harold’s Cross to the west. It is situated in the city’s Dublin 6 postal district.
Rathmines is best known historically 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 shortly after this time. Some have compared the Battle of Rathmines – or sometimes Baggotrath – as equal in political importance to England’s Battle of Naseby. The battle brought a swift end to the ongoing Royalist Siege of Dublin.
Rathmines has thriving commercial and civil activity and is well known across Ireland as part of a traditional “flatland” – providing rented accommodation to newly arrived junior civil servants and third level students coming from outside the city since the 1930s. In more recent times, Rathmines has diversified its housing stock and many houses have been gentrified by the wealthier beneficiaries of Ireland’s economic boom of the 1990s. Rathmines, nonetheless, is often said to have a cosmopolitan air, and has a diverse international population and has always been home to groups of new immigrant communities and indigenous ethnic minorities.