22 Apr 2020

Springtime, History, Lots of Stuff

1. Roebuck Springtime Slideshow
2. Government Mental Health Campaign
3. History of Roebuck
4. CureSpa
5. Shopping Information
6. DLR Libraries’ Book Drop
7. Keep Cups
8. Free Computer/IT Courses
9. Help for Parents
10. DLR Dog Walking Service
11. Jog On
12.  Latest message from Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support


1. Roebuck Springtime Slideshow
A resident has kindly provided some beautiful recent photos of the area, and a suggested soundtrack to go along with them. You can see the slideshow here. A few minutes of meditative calmness…


2. Getting Through Covid-19 Together – Government Mental Health Campaign
The Department of Health and the HSE, in collaboration with key cross-Government and cross-sectoral partners, have recently launched a mental well-being campaign aimed at offering support and resources to help deal with the stress, anxiety and isolation currently experienced by many people during this difficult time.You can find more information on this campaign here.

The Gov.ie/Together campaign is linking in with RTÉ who have launched a 15-minute programme to help older people to keep active at home. It will be broadcast daily on RTÉ One at 2.20pm. It will offer tips, especially to older viewers, on how to keep healthy and happy.  Fitness 15 will be hosted Monday to Friday at 2.20 PM on with Ray Lally, the Today Show fitness expert, and Dáithí Ó Sé.

HSE, Health & Wellbeing is also offering a Stress Control Online programme, via Stresscontrol.org.  This 3 week programme is free of charge to the public and delivered by Dr. Jim White, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Stress Control Ltd.


3. History of Roebuck
We recently received a very interesting and surprising email from a lady in the UK. It turns out that she has an old photo album from the Victorian era with photos of the old Roebuck Park house, lodges, garden, etc. She bought this album many years ago in an antique shop in Surrey, and only recently managed to trace it to our Roebuck. We’ve had a sneak preview of the photos and it is definitely the old Roebuck Park house (you can see a photo of it here that Margaret Mooney took in the 60’s). Ourselves, and members of Taney Area Residents’ Association have been doing a bit of research on the ground, and online. She is also in touch with the people behind the historical website www.youwho.ie, who have done research on many of the old houses in the area. They will be working with her to put all the research together, and when finished, we will share it with the community.

Perhaps some of you have photos, memories, oral history etc. of the house and families who lived here? A lot of residents will certainly remember the house’s illegal destruction in 1995 (see here and here). We would be very interested to collect together any information the residents here have, to add to the research. There was also Belfield House (where Belfield Downs is now), which some residents will remember. We would be delighted to receive any information about that too.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in local history you can see a map of the area from 1865 here. Also, the historic mapping website for South County Dublin includes some very interesting maps that show the area (search for a location, then click on the “layers list” icon on the left hand side). Explanation of map symbols etc. can be found here (OSI Characteristic Sheet).


4. CureSpa
Local business CureSpa have been in touch to ask that we let you know they are doing house-calls to those who need their services. Any patients who are need of podiatry or chiropody can avail of house-calls from the podiatry clinic at CureSpa. Service is available for diabetic patients primarily but also for potential foot infections, ingrown toenails etc. Contact Niall Donohoe, Podiatrist, on 087 2494264


5. Shopping Information
Higgin’s Off Licence on Bird Avenue is offering a delivery service. More here. Remember to keep your spirits up… put your gin on the top shelf.

Pet Food:
PetStop in Carrickmines is delivering. More information here.

We’d also like to highlight Lynam’s and Roebuck Pharmacy’s invaluable service, offering free delivery in the locality. It goes without saying that this is greatly appreciated by us all. The Residents’ Association has a network of volunteers who are keen to support this activity, and we welcome any requests for assistance from both the shops and from individuals in the neighbourhood who are isolating or who find it difficult to get out for any reason. Individuals who may need help with any type of shopping etc.

Relevant Articles:
Here are a couple of recent articles listing businesses that are delivering. Here and here. Also, just to note, all our previous emails with shopping and other information can be found on the website under the category “Coronavirus“.


6. DLR Libraries’ Book Drop
Last Friday, DLR Libraries announced a new book drop service to people who are cocooning. You can get up to 6 books and a care package. This service can be accessed via the Community call number Freephone 1800 804 535 or 01 271 3199. Click here for more information.
Don’t forget that local resident Fran is still offering his book service, you can see the details for that here.


7. Keep Cups
We have about 10 keep cups for anyone who would like one? Smash resistant, and comes with a lid, for those outdoor teas and coffees in the garden. Get in touch and we’ll drop one to your door.


8. Free Computer/IT Courses
European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is now free on the Further Education & Training Course hub (www.fetchcourses.ie) to support those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This is a new free government initiative to help Ireland stay connected during the current public health emergency. Everything you ever wanted to know about IT but were afraid to ask. All you need is a PPS number.  More information here.


9. Help for Parents
Parentline is a free, national, confidential helpline that offers parents support, information and guidance on all aspects of being a parent and any parenting issues. Sometimes all parents need is a friendly, listening ear. You are not on your own. Parentline volunteers are extensively trained in listening and counselling skills.https://www.parentline.ie/
Or call 1890 927277 or 01 8733500


10. DLR Dog Walking Service
Need help walking your dog? DLRCoCo’s staff charity, HUG (Hope u Give), have established a DLR Staff Volunteer Dog Walker group. Call the DLR Community Call line, Freephone 1800 804 535 or 01 271 3199, or email covidsupport@dlrcoco.ie.


11. Jog On
DLRCoCo have launched a Couch to 2km course. It started on Monday 20th, and runs for 4 weeks. You can sign up here; there’s lots of support, tips and advice.


12. 22/4/20 – Message from Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support

Cocooning video
We have added a video explaining cocooning which can be easily shared to our video resources.

 15 minutes of daily activity and fitness – running daily
In support of people cocooning at this time, RTE has launched a 15 minute programme to help older people to keep active at home. It will be broadcast daily on RTÉ One at 2.20pm. It will help viewers who are at home and some in self-isolation or cocooning and will offer tips, especially to older viewers, on how to keep healthy and happy.

Fitness 15 will be hosted Monday to Friday at 2.20 PM on with Ray Lally,

the Today Show fitness expert, and Dáithí Ó Sé.

 Resources for people with dementia, their families and carers
Online resources for people dementia, their families and carers and a booklet of activities which can be carried out at home have also been added.
 Irish sign language videos
Irish Sign Language videos are available online here . There are five videos, each covering a different section of the COVID-19 information booklet.

 Mental Wellbeing Campaign
Finally, a reminder about the Mental Wellbeing campaign recently launched. The campaign offers support and resources for people to help deal with the stress, isolation and helps people maintain wellbeing and cope at home during this time. The campaign is running on all National and Local radio channels, as well as across social and digital platforms. The website is www.gov.ie/together and the hashtag is #Together. We welcome your support on this and branding is available to all stakeholders creating messages in this space.

The link to the radio ads is here: https://soundcloud.com/user-992575667/sets/getting-through-covid-19-together

RTE are producing a 4 week programme series of Operation Transformation Staying Well Apart going out on Wednesday evenings at 9.30 in RTE 1 as a response to the need to help people cope with staying at home/cocooning at this time. The Gov.ie/together campaign is linking in with RTE to assist with this strategy and messaging.

We would be grateful if you would let us know if your organisation has any specific requests or urgent needs in relation to Coronavirus

COVID-19 public health information materials. 
If you do, please email us at Partner.Pack@hse.ie to let us know. Thank you to those of you who have already been in touch.

Thank you again in advance for your support at this important time.

Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support

11 Dec 2019

From Melbourne to Roebuck

We have a lovely Christmas treat for all our members – a new memoir from a long-time Larchfield Road resident, Mrs. Eileen Graham.

We would like to thank Mrs. Graham very much for sharing memories of her very interesting life with us. We would also like to thank her neighbour, Ms. Marie Ryan, for organising, interviewing, and writing it all down.

This is our third Roebuck memoir (see here and here), and we get such great feedback about them. If any other resident, or residents, would consider putting one together for us, we would be delighted. We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

From Melbourne to Roebuck

At a hail and hearty 92, Eileen Graham is one of Roebuck Park’s most long-established residents. Eileen has lived on Larchfield Road since 1956 where she settled a few years after getting married to her late husband Rupert.

Born in Melbourne in 1927, where her parents, originally from Herefordshire in the UK, had emigrated looking for work. They returned, along with Eileen, to the UK in 1930 when she was three and she grew up in the town of Morecombe. Her father joined the RAF during World War 2 and was posted in various locations in North Africa. Fortunately, he returned home safely after the war, unlike her grandfather who fought and was killed in the battle of the Somme in World War 1.

Eileen was 13 when the war started, and she was evacuated to the home of her paternal grandparents in the Welsh countryside to keep her safe. Her mother, a mid-wife, stayed on to run a nursing home in Morecombe with her maternal grandmother.

Following in the family footsteps, Eileen trained to be a nurse in Blackpool for 4 years. It was there that she met many Irish girls who has gone to train in the UK. A tradition that still exists today. After training, Eileen continued to work as a staff nurse in Blackpool and it was there she hatched a plan with some of her Irish friends to return to Australia in the hope of finding work in one of the Fever hospitals where there was a shortage of nurses at that time.

However, she first had to do some training in the area of fevers, and as she had during her time in Blackpool befriended many Irish nurses, her intention was to come to Dublin for a little while and get some experience and training in the fever hospital on Cork Street. However, the best-laid plans and all of that…

Eileen found conditions in the hospital on Cork St very different from Blackpool. Dirty, squalid, with a very strict Matron who made her remove her lipstick, Eileen left after a fortnight and would have returned to the UK only while attending a church service in Maynooth where she was staying with her friend’s family, she met Rupert.

Rupert and Eileen got married in 1951 and spent their honeymoon travelling around France on a motorbike. They settled initially in a flat in town opposite the Gaiety Theatre before purchasing their home on Larchfield Road which was three years old in 1956.

In 1956, Roebuck Park was in the countryside and Eileen’s three daughters grew up surrounded by fields.

One of her daughters recalls a stream at the end of Friarsland Road where they used to collect frogspawn in an attempt for catch a few frog sightings. Trimbleston was a farm where from time to time they would visit to buy honey. You could travel into town on the 62 bus and one of Eileen’s outstanding memories is of opening her front door after heavy rain in 1962 to find a boy travelling down Larchfield Road on a canoe!

Annual holidays for the Grahams were camping in various locations around Ireland where they would pitch their tent, fire up the primus stove and relax…

Eileen retains a love of travelling to this day, having recently returned from a Danube cruise. For her 90th birthday she ventured further afield and spent two weeks taking in the sights of India.

Similar to today, Roebuck Park was not just a housing estate, but a community, and Eileen had many friends who lived locally and took turns visiting each other’s houses where they played poker, had supper and a few drinks. The Goat was frequented sometimes and if you knew a member who would sign you in, you could also have a drink in the bar of the IGB club.

Reflecting on the changes in the area, one of the things Eileen notices is how much busier the place is, and although most people had a car in the 1950s and 60s, how much busier the roads have become. On a positive note, Eileen says that there is more to do and more happening in the neighbourhood.

She herself keeps very busy and the hardest part of getting this article written was pinning Eileen down for a time to meet. Between Tai Chi, dancing, Whist, The League of Health and various other classes in Taney Resource centre, Eileen is a busy lady.

26 Mar 2019

Kayak on Larchfield Road!

Thanks very much to Mr. Con Carroll of Mount Carmel Road who is very kindly allowing us to reproduce his photos of the flood that took place in June 1963. These are great photos – it’s not often you see someone in a kayak on Larchfield Road!

If anyone else has any interesting photos or stories about the area, please get in touch. We’d love to share them with residents.

The junction of Larchfield Road and Mount Carmel Road

Con kayaking down Larchfield Road towards Goatstown Road

24 Dec 2018

Christmas Get-together + 1960’s Photo

(Click to open a JPEG, approx 8MB)

Christmas Pressie
As an extra special Christmas present to you all, here is a fascinating photo of our area from circa 1960. Most likely it was taken by Hans Cassini of Rex Roberts Photographers, who lived on Farmhill Road. Can you spot your house? Can you also spot Farmhill House, which was the British Ambassador’s Residence? (Draw a straight line up from Roebuck Park House, which is now also gone.) Also check out the football pitch on the future IGB land, and notice all the vegetable patches and the lack of cars!

Christmas Get-together
We had a great event down on the Green in front of the shops for our Christmas event on Saturday 8th December. The weather wasn’t the best admittedly, but somehow we all survived. The cleaner-up-ers beared the brunt of it, that’s when the real rain came.

The swag-makers in the first part of the afternoon put together some lovely creations for their front doors, and later on Santa wowed the crowd of kids with his sparkling Christmassy chat and selection boxes. The mince pies, pastries and mulled wine were extremely tasty, and went down a storm.

It was great to see so many neighbours out enjoying themselves, and thanks to all who turned up. An even bigger thanks to all those who helped out in their various ways. Have yourselves an extra glass of Baileys tonight, you’ve earned it.

We collected €255 for the Peter McVerry Trust, thanks to all who donated.

So let’s forget all about Brexit, Trump, drones etc. for a few days, and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Roebuck Residents’ Association Committee

P.S. If anyone has any information as to the whereabouts of one of our wooden pallet Christmas trees, please let us know. It was last seen being bundled into the back of a blue van at 3.30am on Sunday!

This event was kindly part-supported by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.


25 Apr 2018

Shankill Tidy Towns Historical Walks

Some residents may be interested to know that Shankill Tidy Towns have organised a number of fantastic Historical Walks starting this May with a tour of the Big Houses of Shanganagh. This event is followed by a talk on the Dublin Mountain Way (3rd June), the Railways of Shankill (6th August) and 4 Castles and a Cornmill 29th October.

Click here to view a poster with more details.

26 Nov 2017

The History of Roebuck Park Through The Eyes Of Margaret Mooney

Mrs. Margaret Mooney of Farmhill Road has written a great memoir for us, which was launched at our Coffee Morning last Monday. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did. We would like to thank Mrs. Mooney very much for sharing her memories of the area with us all.

The History of Roebuck Park Through The Eyes Of Margaret Mooney
November 2017

To get to Goatstown in 1950 you took the number 62 single decker bus from Burgh Quay. It went through Ranelagh, Clonskeagh, and a winding narrow road to Goatstown, where we got off on Larchfield Road for Roebuck Park. We were all squashed on the bus (standing room only) where we met lots of neighbours. In that era Seán Lemass had been improving the status of our country and made provision for new housing estates in Dublin suburbia and provinces. Roebuck was one such estate. The Murray family originally owned the land where Roebuck Park sits today, and sold a number of acres for construction of affordable housing.

Roebuck Park House, 1960’s. Photo taken by Mrs. Margaret Mooney

When we got off the bus at Larchfield Road there was O‘Brien’s shop (on O’Brien’s farm) where you could buy milk and bread. Sheeran’s shop was the terminus for the 62 bus. We bought our newspapers and most items there. The Goat Pub was opposite, previously owned by Traynors. It was a bona fide pub, where you could drink after-hours (the official closing time being 11pm). It was a long time before Pat Quinn opened in Stillorgan Shopping Centre, and then we had Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt for our general shopping. We did have in the meantime our local shops forming. We had Tom Finnegan, Pharmacist, and we had Maurice Coakley’s newsagent and general provisions. We also had Griffith’s Post Office and general provision. Lynam’s now run Roebuck Park Post Office. In the news at the time (1953) Hillary and Tenzing successfully climbed Mount Everest, and there was a great interest in it.

In 1962 television became commonplace. We all had terrestrial aerials erected on the roofs of our houses. To get good reception it depended on the weather. We got a television set because my husband was in the electrical business. If there was interest in a football game we had all the neighbours in to view it. In the beginning we had a sitting room, dining room and kitchen, until it became the television room. This changed the order of the house.

As regards our neighbours, we all got on very well. When I had my first baby in 1957 my neighbour took her for the night to let me rest. Wasn’t that a good turn. We seemed to have more time then to be friendly with neighbours. Time went by more slowly.

At this time we were waiting a number of years for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to take over our estate, and provide us with footpaths and telephones. We badly needed it then. We had no telephone until 1958 – we were on a waiting list. At that time we had no fridge or washing machine. They hadn’t yet come into vogue. My husband said I could have one or the other.

Our estate looks so well today, with all due thanks to our Roebuck Residents’ Association. Back in the 1950‘s I don’t recall any garden centres. We went to Watson’s of Killiney to buy plants (dwarf conifers for example).

We always had a car provided by the firm my husband worked for, so transport was never a problem. Later we had a spare car, a Prefect, in the garage that I could use. There was very little traffic on the road then, or in the estate. A few Anglias, Morris Minors, Hillman Imps, and Baby Austins. No Hondas etc. in those days. We didn’t have much traffic overhead either. We didn’t have the big jumbo jets we have now.

Before Rosemount estate was built we used to walk through a lane on Farmhill Drive across the fields towards the end of Taney Road and up to Holy Cross Church Dundrum to mass on Sunday. Christchurch Taney was opposite Taney Rise, as we now know it. It had a large successful congregation. My husband attended it, and he loved it.

Think of schools. There was no such one as Our Lady’s Grove. St. Anne’s Convent Miltown and The Sacred Heart School Mount Anville Road were the nearest. Of course Dundrum Parish School was always there.

Just to mention, there was a sign in a field on Goatstown Road called Harlech which read “Beware of the Bull”. I have a photo to prove this.


Other memoirs, photos, essays etc. welcome!

19 Dec 2016

Roebuck Park 1959-1960

Click for large version (PDF, 12MB)

A longtime Roebuck resident, Mr. Joe Fahy of Larchfield Road, has written a fascinating memoir for the Association. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. We would like to thank Joe very much, and to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Roebuck Park 1959-1960
by Joe Fahy

Autumn 1959: after a few months looking around north and south of the Liffey, Ann and I, newcomers to Dublin from Galway, were at a loss to find a suitable house within our financial means, until one day, a colleague in The Irish Independent advised me to have a look at a house in Larchfield Road. He himself was keen to buy it, but his fiancee would not take it, citing the very small kitchen.

We contacted the owners, Mr and Mrs. Condon, and we were fortunate enough to be able to purchase No.34. Mr. Condon threw in all his gardening implements for nothing. He and his wife went to live in England, but returned to Roebuck Park subsequently. They were a most gracious couple.

The same can be said of all the neighbours whom we got to know in the following years. A number of those who preceded us on Larchfield Road, or their families, are still here – Eileen Graham, the Walsh, Morris, Manahan, Dennehy, Stevenson, Rogers, Mooney, Robinson, Fay and Cullen families. All of those were here from the early 1950s, when the estate was built. The late Paddy Walsh told me he saw the sites being measured on green fields, and was able to point out where the old avenue to Roebuck Park House passed through our gardens.

At the time, many people thought that moving so far from the city was crazy – we were regarded as living in the sticks! Once past Bird Avenue, there was mostly open country. The 62 bus used rattle on up the narrow winding Goatstown Road, traces of which are still visible in Clonskea, at the end of Larchfield Road, and past the Goat Grill. As the double-decker turned a sharp right corner at junction of Goatstown Road and Roebuck Road, many passengers on the upper deck would fear it was going to turn right over! The bus terminated at The Goat, the last stop being right up against the high wall of Mount Anville convent grounds, which extended all the way around to the Lower Kilmacud Road.

There were very few cars on the road then, and many, including myself, took to the bicycle. In the city centre Garda points men directed traffic flows – there were no traffic lights in O’Connell Street. Cyclists were usually first up when the Garda signalled to stop! Traffic volumes started to pick up in the 60s, leading to more and more construction of roads and houses. For quite a number of years, though, Roebuck Park remained in the country, surrounded by fields, with a large farm existing opposite Larchfield Road, to which the children regularly resorted to see the cattle, and especially the O’Brien’s donkeys. The next big estate was Eden Park, and beyond that – nothing! We regularly walked across the fields to Dundrum and Rathfarnham, pushing a pram. There were also garden allotments where houses now stand on Taney Road.

I should say in the beginning, most residents in Larchfield Road, grew vegetables in their back gardens. Mr. Condon had left us a well-stocked garden, which we kept going for as long as we could, growing potatoes, cabbage etc. Eventually, with small children, and the pace of life picking up, most gardens were let into laws, and parts went under extensions. The road, of course, was bursting with young children, ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers. There were even some school bus services, and Mass buses on Sundays.

Residents were well served by the local businesses. The late Mr. Tom Finnegan in the Pharmacy was of inestimable help to parents of young families like ourselves – he was considered to be as good as any doctor in diagnosing children’s ailments, and he had customers coming from all over south Dublin – and it’s so good to see the business being carried on by John, Paula and all their staff. Other business families who served the estate over a number of years were the Griffins, the Coakleys, the Cowleys, the Leonards, the late Noel Walsh who ran a successful butcher shop for many years, and of course, the Lynam family, who have made such a great contribution to our well-being for decades!

In pre-television days, cinemas were the main sources of entertainment, and among the many venues we frequented were the Apollo, Dundrum (later replaced by an Arrow petrol station, then a Jet petrol station, and to-day’s Topaz). Then there was the Stella, Mount Merrion, now Flanagan’s furniture store, the Ormonde, Stillorgan, Classic, Terenure, Stella, Rathmines, and various others around the suburbs.

Dundrum itself changed almost beyond recognition. The McDougal family occupied the land where the first Dundrum Shopping Centre was built, and various changes were made to the road system. In June 1963, a cloudburst deluged the entire Dublin region – a tenement block in Fenian Street, around the corner from Holles Street Hospital, collapsed, killing two children, and houses fell in Bolton Street. That same afternoon, two adventurous youths paddled their canoes down Larchfield Road! Almost the entire tarmacadam surface of the recently-widened Goatstown Road was washed away, and huge slabs of the material piled up at the junction with Roebuck Road.

Over the years, we did think about moving elsewhere, and we looked at some new estates as they were developing, but in the end, the solid construction of our house, and more importantly, the friendliness of our neighbours of many years’ standing deterred us, and we have never regretted the decision to remain firmly implanted in Roebuck Park.

Click here to view a high resolution version of a photo of Roebuck Park from the 1950s. We believe this photo was taken by a resident from Larchfield Road, (Hans Cassini?), who worked with Rex Roberts Photography.

Comments, photos and other memoirs welcome!

Update 2/1/16 – To see a cine camera clip of the flood of 1963, visit the Goatstown Facebook page. See the post dated December 23rd. There is another relevant post on December 28th – 2 photos of Goatstown in the 1970s.

NBH Watch