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 Finglas Historical Society

Finglas - a timeline

This is a work in progress. We aim to build a comprehensive accurate history of Finglas. Pleas feel free to contact us with corrections or new articles.

The History

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560 - 2010

St Patrick passed through finglas as he travelled around Ireland converting the irish people,while standing on one the hills around finglas he looked out across the valley towards the sea and said that one day a great city would arise (Dublin).while in finglas he took water from a cool spring,it is believed his powers were transferred to the spring.this spring we know today as St Patricks well ,now on mellows court.


Contributed by .T.


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598 - 1690

The name Finglas (Fionn Ghlas), meaning a clear stream, comes from the small river, which flows through the village (mostly underground now) and joins the Tolka River at Finglas Bridge. Finglas first appears in history, in The Annals of the Four Masters, as the site of a Celtic abbey, which has been linked with St. Canice, who died in 598 AD. According to an ancient legend, the ground on which the abbey stood was chosen and sanctified by St. Patrick, who is said to have made prophecy that a great town would arise at the ford of hurdles in the valley beneath. The village remained a rural country village until urban development in the 1950s when many houses were built by the government to ease overcrowding in the city centre. This development has continued and now, while Finglas is a thriving suburb of the city with many industries, sadly, much of old Finglas has disappeared.


Contributed by T


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650 - 1880

The nether cross is believed to date from early Christian times.the cross is about is about 12 feet feet high,and is made from granite.there are carved panels on the cross,but many of these panels are worn and are unclear



It is thought that there were two crosses the other known as upper cross which was in tallagh                               

the barony of nether(lower)cross covered the area around finglas

the barony of uppercross covered the area of tallagh

The cross we see today had an interesting past.When Cromwell came to Ireland in 1648-1649.the local people decided to bury the cross to it protect from Cromwell’s men it was buried in great secrecy.it remained hidden for over a century.In 1816 the revd.robert walsh heard the story of the cross from an elderly parishioner.He told the revd, that his grandfather had helped bury the cross in the glebe field. The revd.gathered together a group of men and started to dig in the locaton of the field.They found the cross and had it erected in the graveyard .


 


Contributed by .T.


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1500 - 1870

Cardiffsbridge was once a village in its own right, it was midway between finglas and cabra.it was a sleepy small village,where the locals made a living from the trout in the tolka,and breeding angora rabbits,there were small dairies and farms,in the 16th century it was a picturesque little village.the land around the area was owened by the kerdiff family.the family had a mill known as kerdiffs mill,it was beside the bridge over the tolka,kerdiffs bridge,became cardiffsbridge. the mill employed up to 16 people,and during the 1800s,as a steel mill it was known for manufacturing shovels.the mill closed around 1870.the area is now a nature park and the old bridge can still be seen.the site is still popular with fishermen


Contributed by .T.


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1647 - 2010

st canices graveyard: this is the site of an early christian settlement.st canice founded a monastery on the site in 560.over the next couple of centuries the monastery was repeatedly attacked by vikings,the church which is now part of the graveyard,dates from the 10th to 12th centuries inside the main gate is the nether(lower)cross,it is about 1300 years old.the earliest grave that there is a record of is to a member of the treswell family ,it dates from 1647,since then over a 1000 people have been buried in the graveyard.the graveyard had two gates, one on church st which was used by the protestant parishioners,as it was close to the church,the other gate (the one still in use),was used by the catholic parishoners,as it was opposite the old barn church.  


Contributed by .T.


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1690 - 1700

in the summer of 1690 king james arrived in ireland.he was on his way to do battle with william of orange on the banks of the boyne.he stayed for a time at finglaswood house,which was owned by a friend.king william got the better of king james who fled,to be persued by king william.when williams army arrived in finglas they built fortifications to protect them while they rested.the remains can still be seen today,they are known as king williams ramperts.


Contributed by .T.


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1700 - 2010

Rosehill house was built in the early 1700s.it was designed by sir edward lovett pearse.one of the main features of the house is its octagonal reception hall,the house is listed as being of major architectural interest.rosehill house was home to many families over the years the first family to live there were the doyles in1837 .the curably family were in residence from 1848 to 1853.over the next few years the shaws,the dalys and the hart families lived in the house.in 1874 the baylys moved in,they were one of the  wealthiest families in dublin at that time.members of the bayly family are buried in finglas graveyard,where they have a vault. early in the 20th century the sandersons moved into the house they were coachbuilders.they left in 1916.patrick derham and his family,who were land owners in finglas lived in rosehill up to the late 1940s.the house remained vacant for a few years until the fitzpatricks who were master butchers came to live there they were the last family to reside in the house. it is now used by the finglas -cabra partnership the photos below show the outside of the house ,a detail of the fine plaster work from the drawing room,one of the curved doors leading from the hall,and the curved window looking out towards ballygall.       (check our events page for more photos)


Contributed by .T.


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1700 - 1850

the first finglas may festival took place in the early 1700s.it was to  celebrate the coming of summer and the longer days.the maypole stood at the centre of the village where the dick mckee momorial now stands. the maypole was decorated with coloured streamers and favours which could be claimed by climbing to the top of the pole.many other activities included chasing the local bell ringer while blindfolded .sack races.and the most popular catch the pig,this was not as easy as it seems as the pig was shaved and covered with grease!.every year a new queen of the may was chosen to regin for the year ahead.as the years passed the may fair attracted a more rowdy crowd until in 1788 following a row 9 people died,towards the middle of the 1800s after many years of trouble  the festival was stopped and the may pole  was taken down.


Contributed by .T.


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1710 - 1976

Gofton hall formally Eagle Lodge dates back to the early 18th century the last person to live in the house was ms o donnell ,once owner of the duck inn (the widows) 


Contributed by .T.


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1750 - 1950

Farnham house ,along with Rosehill,Ashbrook,St Helenas,and Eagle lodge(later known as Gofton Hall).these large houses were built during the 18th century.Farnham house was the home of of lord Farnham (john maxwell).


The house was sold to Dr.Duncan for use as an asylum.for the "treatment of upper and middle classes" .We know that in 1843 Farnham house had 41 patients.As finglas village fell into decline towards the end of the 19th century,Farnham house saw its fortunes decline,and was demolished in 1954. The Farnhan name lives on in the housing estate that was built close to where the old house once stood.all that remains of the old Farnham estate is the former gate lodge now towsons cottage


Contributed by T.


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1785 - 2009

Dunsink Observatory is the oldest building of its type in ireland ,it was built in1735-1785.the site was chosen because of its elevated position,and was at the time of building in a perfectly dark location.william rowan hamilton was appointed to dunsink in 1827.he was a mathematics and language genius,and his work in the field of quaterion algebra made him world famous.he had a eureka moment while out walking along the royal canal,he made notes on the only place available at the time,on the wall of broombridge,a plaque to him is on the bridge to this day


Contributed by .T.


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1800 - 2010

St Helenas,was built in the early 1800s,it may have been designed and built by george semple,who also was responsible for St Patricks hospital.(Helena was born about 248 in aisa minor she converted to christianity, she was involved with constantine who built many fine basilicas,and for many years she devoted herself to serching for the true cross).the house was home to judith lady dowager,baroness of fulham.we know that the house was then leased to Dr William Harty ,in dec 1812.the dr ran a lunatic asylum ,which housed 22 patients,they suffered from dementia,melancholia,and imbecility.following a scandal involving false imprisonment the Dr surrendered the lease to sarah nash,in turn the house was taken over by a Dr joseph Barret.the next family to live there was the reeves who were followed by the Maffetts in 1913..on the 5th of june 1917 john craigie ,who lived at merville glasnevin,bought the house and some land around the house..in july 1968 the house and surrunding lands were taken over by dublin corporation to use to build finglas south,St Helenas  is now a community resource centre.


Contributed by .T.


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1800 - 2010

North road ,now part of the M2.the earliest maps show a coach road passing through the townlands of charlestown,dubber, newtown and st.margarets.the great slane road (north road) was built by richard and william bourne in 1807.it was a toll road,and there were two turnpikes,one at harts corner and the other at finglas bridge.the cost of travelling along the road proved to be prohibitive.villages along the route suffered a loss of business as a result,also the road was of poor quality.following complaints from locals it transpired that the bourne bros won the contract by unfair methods,they had bribed members of the planning board,and they had altered the milestones to show that their north road was shorter than the swords road ,when if fact it was longer.in 1835 the office of public works bought out the brothers interest in the road ,with this cash and the money they had made from tolls they developed the village of ashbourne.


Contributed by .T.


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1850 - 1922

The Barn Church was the parish church from the early 19th century until 1922 when it was replaced by the new church.for the rest of the 20th century served as a parish hall and meeting rooms ,it was also used by scouts and guides.it was demolished in the late 1970s beside the barn church was the old parochial house,it has been demolished and the site is now vacant


Contributed by .T.


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1850 - 2006

The Royal Oak was one of the best known public houses on the northside of dublin,by the side of the tolka river on finglas bridge.it traded through 3 centuries,for many years it was "bone fide",that meant that if a person traveled more than 3 miles,they could be served alcohol outside normal hours.this practice was abolished in the mid 1950s.the geraghty family ran the pub for many of the early years,the molloy group took charge in the 1970s,and the last owners were the stafford family.the pub was demolished in 2006.the site is now vacant. 


Contributed by .T.


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1880 - 1975

finglas post office..the luby sisters ran finglas post office for many years.mary and anne,served the people all their working lives.the post office was for many a place to meet, and chat. it is said the sisters would often pay out the pension early to hard pressed people when times were tough.the site where the post office stood is now the main centre car park.


 


Contributed by .T.


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1880 - 1920

Finglas golf club was founded near the end of the 19th century.it was one of the earlist golf clubs in the country.At its peak in 1912 it had a membership of 270.Its professional was patrick doyle.members were local business people and landowners from all around north county dublin.visitors were allowed to play at the invitation of members green fees cost 1s6d on weekdays and 3s on sunday and holidays.at the outbreak of world war 1 many members went away to fight some never returned,and with the civil war here,the club fell on hard times,by 1920 the club closed .The fairways estate takes its name from the old club


Contributed by .T.


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1880 - 1930

the craigie brothers came from scotland to silloge and harristown at the turn of the 20th century.they developed an extensive herd of cattle,and a new pasteurisation process.they started a dairy on the site of the old finglas golf course....to be cont.


Contributed by .T.


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1893 - 1920

Richard (Dick) mcKee was born in phibsborough on 4/4/1893.Dick mcKee joined the Irish volenteers as a young man ,he was training to be a printer at the time.Mckee took part in the easter rising of 1916,he was second in command to Tom Mc Donnagh,they fought for a week before the order to surrender was given.Mckee and others were captured and sent to Frongroch prison in Wales


Contributed by .T.


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1898 - 2010

the nine cottages..built at the end of the 1800s.the cottages were built to provide housing for council workers,some of the men served in british army,and saw action at the battle of spine cop during the boar war.the cottages were unoffically given the name spion cop.


Contributed by .T.


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1900 - 2000

some finglas people who lived in finglas doring the 20th century


charlie brennan in the trench in ww1


willie mchugh ploughing on derhams land


paddy mooney lived at the watery lanes


jem maloneys sister at her dubber cottage


 


Contributed by .T.


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1900 - 1976

mary fagans shop which was next door to "lubys"post office ,were the focal point of village life for many years in finglas.they both closed ,and were demolished .the finglas main centre car park is now on the site


Contributed by .T.


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1900 - 1996

Heath square was named after lady heath a pioneering pilot who was involved with kildonan aerodrome


(photos by Jim o Donoghue)


Contributed by .T.


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1900 - 1996

Heath square:houses were built on markeys field in the mid 90s they face on to mckee ave and the north rd 


Contributed by .T.


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1900 - 2000

some photos of people who lived and worked in finglas during the 20th century


pic1 merto christy,chigger brogan.pic2 chris duffy and ? pic3 long tom,chigger,chris duffy pic4 sissy teeling and others unknown


Contributed by .T.


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1908 - 2008

the word cappagh means "fertile land".the first owner of cappagh house was sir dominic corrigan,his daughter lady martin left the house in her will to the irish sisters of charity.lady martins family had a conection with temple st hospital,which originally was on buckingham st.cappagh house was first used as aschool of nuresing and a convalescent home for temple st .in 1920 3 old army huts were bought and thus began cappagh orthopaedic hospital.


Contributed by .T.


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1920 - 1976

the duck inn corner (the widows) was a well known pub in finglas it closed on 31st of may 1976.replaced by maries newsagents prop:mr coleman.it is now a centra store.


Contributed by .T.


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1920 - 2010

music in finglas.


st canices fife and drum band    dick mckee pipe band            seamus ennis        aslan


1920                                                1950                           1960                   1990


Contributed by .T.


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1920 - 1955

st canices church was built between 1920 and 1922 it was opened by archbishop walsh it replaced the old"barn church" which had served the village for many years.The church was extended in the mid 1950s to serve the ever growing new suberb of finglas.The new church which is the one we use to this day ,was blessed and opened by archbishop mc quaid in 1955,


Contributed by .T.


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1920 - 2010

public houses in the 20th century were the focal point for much of village life,so it was in finglas.the 3 best remembered pubs in the village were heerys(later the duck inn),top floods(the drake),bottom floods(bottom of the hill).the floods were cousins, and ran a succesful bar and grocery trade for many years.when mr heery died they bought the old pub from him,it was later to be run by their nephew pat o donnell,they paid £700.for the premises.mr o donnell passed away and his widow continued on the business.the pub then became known as" the widows".the top floods and the widows were bought by paddy mckiernan and renamed the drake inn and the duck inn .the duck closed in may 1976 and is now a centra store,the drake closed in dec 2008 and is still unused the bottom of the hill is still trading as a pub/restaurant/take away.


Contributed by .T.


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1922 - 1955

tolka rovers was founded in 1922.there first club rooms were close to the royal oak in finglas bridge. first photo back row l to rw.lawlor,j.lawlor,a.dunne,d.lowham,m.o rourke,t.lawlor,c worral.front row.a.brogan,s.duffy,b.farrell.j.byrne.d.lawlor.


second photo.back row l to r.s.cosgrove.f,fortune,p o neill,j.brady,b.farrell.c.corrigan.front.b.gentles.j o brien.f.geraghty.d.power,t,dowling


third photo (54-55)back row.t.lawlor.d.butler.m.farrell.b.lawless.j.byrne.d.lawlor.p.byrne.f.reilly.b.lawlor.p.crampton.j.white.w.dowling.front row.v.caffery.c.worrall.n.kane.n.bradshaw.g.caffery.j.cribban.f.barr.d.morgan.g.crompton.b.farrell.a.murray.a.mcevoy 


Contributed by .T.


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1928 - 1980

montgomery brothers,ran their butchers shop in finglas and glasnevin serving a couple of generations of the community.they were a family business,who killed their own cattle on site. they also delivered meat to most of finglas ,glasnevin,st margarets,and the surrounding areas


Contributed by .T.


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1930 - 1940

some former staff of Merville (premier dairies)


mr. howley..barney smullen and helper..dessie lowham holding horse,with barney smullen in the cab


merville trucks


Contributed by .T.


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1930 - 2010

parkes garage on the north road served the people of finglas for many years,not only did they serve petrol and parafin oil,they also ran a hackney service .mr and mrs parkes,lived next door to the garage ,the house now gone has been replaced by apartments,the garage no longer serves petrol,since the road became a cul de sac,but it repairs and maintains cars.


Contributed by .T.


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1931 - 1938

kildonan aerodrome was located about 1  mile north of finglas on the finglas/ashbourne road.three different companys operated from kildonan,iona national airways from 31-33.everson flying services,from 33-35,and dublin air ferries from 35-38.the service at kildonan varied ,depending who was running the airfield,these included,charter flights,training of pilots,air ambulance,mail flights,air displays,and local air trips.local curate fr furlong who had been a chaplin in the r.a.f. 20 years earlier , was a very keen aviator,he even bought his own plane ,when he took to the skys he always brought his "best friend" his dog bruno.last photo kildonan house


Contributed by .T.


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1932 - 1932

eucharistic congress-the finglas connection:the 31st eucharistic congress of 1932 was held in dublin from 21st-26th of june the alter used on o connell bridge was transferred to the grounds of cappagh hospital,finglas ,where it still stands.a room under the alter was used to store the suitcases of young men and women who came to dublin that week and joined religous orders.many of the cases are still in place today many years after they were first stored there .


Contributed by .T.


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1945 - 2000

ariel view of mckee ave/jamestown rd .several factories can be seen in the photos ..did you work in any?do you have a story or photos to share .if so ,see our contact page we would love to hear from you and perhaps include them on this site. 


Contributed by .T.


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1946 - 1951

the dick mckee memorial was paid for by public subscription ,donations,and a variety of fund raising events: the contract to build the monument was won by albert power r.h.a.and sons.it was unveiled by eamon de valera on the 10th june 1951.


Contributed by .T.


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1949 - 1990

gateaux ltd.was founded in 1949.over the next 40 years many finglas people worked there.from the start gateaux was known for its high quality cakes.the company was taken over by j.lyons in 1970.this opened international markets for the bakery.gateaux closed in 1990.


Contributed by .T.


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1949 - 1990

gateaux,mckee ave finglas.photographs..


Contributed by .T.


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1950 - 1970

kathleen keenans bakery ..keenans bakery was famous for its home baking,all done on the premises.the shop has changed hands over the years and now sells bedlinen.


Contributed by .T.


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1950 - 1965

Liptons shop was on main st until the late 1960s when it lost out to the new wave of supermarkets


Contributed by .T.


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1951 - 1967

The first wave of new residents to move into the new parish of finglas west  arrived at the start of the 1950s.most were moving out from the inner city to a new life ,into houses with hot and cold running water.a garden ,front and back :to many it was the start of a better life with a house of their own which they could call home.


Work began on the "tin church"in january 1958.the church which had served the people of larkhill,was taken down and re erected on cappagh road.the cost of this work was £26000:the church was  blessed and opened on 1st of march 1958.In 1962 the parish of finglas was split in two and finglas west got its first parish priest Fr.daly, who served until1971:Fr daly stayed on to see the building of the new permanent church.work began on the church in 1965,and was opened on the 8th of october 1967


 


Contributed by T


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1955 - 2012

 the extension to st canices church was completed in the mid 1950s.


Contributed by .T.


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1958 - 1959

 Finglas park celtic.


back row:sean crowe-barry congdon-harry greene-peter farrell-liam bell-terry mc carthy


front row:  ? - ?-brian mc carthy-bartley flatherty-paddy mc carthy


c1959


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1959 - 2009

finglas parochial school celebrated its 50th year in 2009.many friends old and new came to the service and met in the parish hall for refreshments


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1959 - 2009

finglas parochial national school the present building was opened in 1959


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1960 - 1960

finglas parochial news may-june 1960 (a selection of pages)


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1960 - 1962

At the start of the 1960s Finglas was a busy and thriving village.this was at a time before supermarkets,or fast food outlets.Eating out ment a visit to di lucias fish and chip shop for a one and one.Below are some ads for finglas shops of the time.


Contributed by .T.


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1961 - 2010

shamrock lodge,was opened in 1961.built by mayo man patrick downey.it is now part of the sean quinn group


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1961 - 1961

finglas parochial news feb 1961(a selection of items from this monthly parish newsletter)


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1961 - 1961

finglas parochial news oct 1961(a selection of pages)


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1961 - 1961

finglas parochial news nov 1961(a selection of pages)


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1966 - 2010

dano lynch and his family have been caretakers of finglas graveyard since 1966.the family continue to do great work into the 21st century.the photos below show the "white"house"(kearneys) beside the graveyard ,and later ,wellmount road.also dano and the keys of the graveyard .there was a british army barracks here at one time and its because of this that barrack lane gets its name.


Contributed by .T.


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1970 - 2011

photos taken at Finglas fire station in the 1970s


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1988 - 1988

The Finglas Festival of 1988


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1989 - 1989

The Finglas Festival 1989


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1991 - 1991

The Finglas Festival 1991


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