From the Grand Canal to the Dodder: Illustrious Lives by Beatrice M. Doran.

The southside suburbs located between the Grand Canal and the Dodder encompass the area  we now know as Dublin 4.  It contains some of the most expensive roads and houses in Dublin.  The area consists of  Donnybrook, Ballsbridge, Sandymount, Ringsend, Irishtown and part of Merrion. The area developed during the 19th and early 20th centuries  when the business, political, artistic and professional  classes moved to the south side of the city.   Here they built beautiful houses and villas  laid out on leafy roads and avenues,  so characteristic of this elegant area of Dublin. 

The book contains sixty-seven short biographies of well-known,  and not so well-known people who lived at one time or other,  between the Grand Canal and the Dodder.  Many famous people have lived  here over the years including two former winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) and Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) who lived in Sandymount.  Two former Presidents of Ireland Sean T. O’Kelly and Eamon De Valera (1882-1975)  made their homes in Donnybrook.  Two  former Lord Mayors of Dublin Alderman George Roe (1796-1863) and Alderman Robert Briscoe (1894-1969)  were also Donnybrook residents.  Bob  Briscoe  lived on Herbert Park,  and George Roe of Roe’s Distillery,   owned a beautiful estate  called Nutley, on the Stillorgan Road  which he farmed.  Nutley is now the home of Elm Park Golf & Sports Club.

Many distinguished women lived in the area too. Pamela Travers (1899-1996)  author of Mary Poppins lived at 69 Upper Leeson Street during the 1960s. Sophie Bryant (1850-1922) born in Sandymount,  was a brilliant mathematician and educator. She had a keen interest in Irish history and politics and wrote books on the subjects.  Among the women artists  who lived in the area was Sarah Purser, portrait painter and stained-glass artist, who lived in a beautiful house called Mespil House which was  located on Mespil Road overlooking the Grand Canal.

Published by The History Press, you can order From the Grand Canal to the Dodder on our website.

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