Dublin Port
Review and History

Dublin Port is located in the City of Dublin in Leinster Province, Ireland. Lying on the Irish Sea at the head of Dublin Bay and at the mouth of the River Liffey, Dublin Port is the capital and main port of Ireland. It is also Ireland’s center for commerce, finance, and culture. In 2006, over 505 thousand people lived in Dublin Port, and 1.2 million lived in Greater Dublin.

The engine for Ireland’s tremendous economic growth for the last two decades, both the standard and the cost of living has soared in Dublin Port. In a 2008 UBS survey, Dublin was listed as the world’s fifth richest, third most expensive, and second richest city by personal net earnings. While brewing is the historic major industry, recent industries include pharmaceuticals and information and communications technology. Several major IT firms have located their European headquarters there including Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, Google, and PayPal. Further, Hewlett-Packard and Intel have major manufacturing plants just 15 kilometers to the west in Leixlip.

Port History

A settlement known as “Dubh Linn” was known in the 1st Century BC. Greek astronomer Ptolemy wrote about a settlement called Eblana Civitas in 140 AD. Today’s city was founded by the Vikings in about 841 AD. Dublin Port was the center for judicial and military power after the Normans invaded Ireland, and Dublin Castle was the focal point of that power.

From the 14th to 16th Centuries, English control of Ireland was limited to “the Pale,” an area that included Dublin Port at the south and Dundalk at the north. The Irish Parliament was located in Drogheda Port for centuries, but after Henry VII conquered County Kildare in 1054, the Parliament was moved permanently to Dublin Port.

Dublin Port continued to be a small walled town. In 1649, Oliver Cromwell took over the town of nine thousand residents. By the end of the century, Protestant refugees from Europe brought astounding growth to Dublin Port. After the 17th Century, Dublin Port grew quickly, and it was for a time the second most important city in the British Empire. Dominated by Anglo-Irish aristocrats, Roman Catholics were denied basic civil liberty.

Movement of the Guinness Brewery there from Leixlip in 1749 brought enduring economic strength to Dublin Port, and the brewery was the city’s biggest employer for centuries. Although it continued to be Ireland’s administrative and transportation hub after the seat of government went to Westminster, the Industrial Revolution did not have a great impact on Dublin Port but rather on Belfast.

During the 20th Century, Dublin Port suffered much damage from the Easter Rising of 1916, the Anglo-Irish War, and the Irish Civil War. Dublin Port was the site of some of the most brutal fighting in the 1916 Irish rebellion and the 1919-1921 rebellion that ended in the creation of the Irish Free State.

When the new state was formed, Dublin Port’s fortunes changed. Its architecture remained much the same, earning it the nickname of the “Last 19th Century City of Europe.” However, Irish independence, particularly after the 1960s, brought dramatic changes. Modern architecture appeared with a simultaneous campaign to protect the Georgian feel of Dublin Port’s streets.

In the late 1990s, tremendous changes began. A huge private sector and new state-developed housing changed Dublin Port’s face forever. Sea-going trade has long been a mainstay of Dublin Port’s economy and activity. It is the country’s biggest and busiest port and its main exporter. It has also become the biggest center for manufacturing in Ireland, with a variety of light manufacturers. Still, Dublin Port’s most famous industry is the Guinness Brewery, one of the country’s biggest exporters and employers.

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