Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Image by infomatique
Historically Dún Laoghaire has always been a ‘Gateway to Ireland’, Dún Laoghaire gets its name from the Irish translation Fort (Dún) of Laoghaire. It was once the seat of King Laoghaire, the ancient High King of Ireland before the Vikings sailed from Scandinavia and established themselves in Dublin.
When the English later arrived in the late 11th century, they renamed the town Dunlary (Dunleary) to suit the English tongue. In 1821 it was renamed Kingstown by King George IV of England to honour his visit to the town that year.
It remained Kingstown through Victorian times until in 1921, one year before the Irish won their independence from Britain, when the town council voted to change the name back to the ancient Irish name Dún Laoghaire. The person most responsible for this was the Irish martyr Patrick Moran, who was commemorated with the naming of Moran Park.
A town with a rich and complex heritage, its very name has often led to some confusion, which persists to this day – it is often spelled without a space between the two words, Dunlaoghaire, or even Dun Laoire, but its most common form is Dun Laoghaire.