A Dublin park for wildlife and for people

Phoenix Park the book

A history

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"Author Brendan Nolan provides a fascinating read."
Irish Independent.

"Brendan Nolan's comprehensive history and guidebook of Phoenix Park is a masterpiece." Community Voice.



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Training beneath the park
The first two departures, ever, of scheduled passenger services, on the 138-year-old tunnel line beneath Phoenix Park were unintentionally free for many passengers.
While preparations for the new service between Connolly and Heuston stations were well prepared, the one thing that was overlooked was any way for intending passengers to purchase a ticket on November 21, 2016, .
This was corrected as service continued
The journey along the single bore twin-track tunnel takes about eight minutes.
Iarnród Éireann now operates services connecting stations between Newbridge and Parkwest with Connolly to Grand Canal Dock via the Phoenix Park Tunnel line at peak times.
While the tunnel runs beneath the park there is no passenger access to the park from the tunnel.
The line swerves around below ground avoiding the massive weight of the Wellington monument above, which stands near to the Heuston end of the tunnel.


Deer cull reduces herd

Some 225 fallow deer have been culled in Phoenix Park over the past three years in a scheduled herd management plan.

The OPW hired a professional marksman to kill the unsuspecting animals from a distance.

Four culls took place between November 2015 and March 2016 to help manage the wild deer population in the park which has an optimum size of 500 animals.

Warnings have also been issued to humans to stop feeding the animals by hand for they do not need it and any plastic bags subsequently discarded and then consumed by the deer can cause serious problems for the deer's digestive system.


Barbeque areas designated on trial

Bowing to a demand by park users for places in which to have a quiet barbecue the OPW has designated two areas of the park on a trial basis where barbeques make take place subject to some conditions.

One space is at the existing picnic area on Furze Road between Oldtown Wood and the Ordnance Survey in the western end of the park, where picnic tables are provided.

The other is at the top of the Furry Glen at the picnic area beside the circular Knockmaroon Centre nearby the public carpark.

The park by-laws already state that: No person shall light fires in the Park.

Nonetheless, while the OPW points out that barbeques are potentially unsafe, small scale barbeques will be permitted on a trial basis in the designated areas provided they are of the variety of barbeques in disposable trays with steel bins provided, said the OPW..


Phoenix Park 350th anniversary year started with a cake and a sword

arrival of Ormonde

Brian Hayes TD the minister responsible for Phoenix Park cut a cake with a ceremonial sword and started a five kilometre race on January 1, 2012 in celebration of the 350th year of the park.
Commemorative events were held through the year under the auspices of the Office of Public Works which has responsibility for management of the park.
James Butler, the Duke of Ormonde, was re-appointed Lord Lieutenant or Viceroy of Ireland in 1661 by Charles II on his restoration to the throne.
Ormonde then began assembly of the lands that lie enclosed behind the wall of the present-day park.
He introduced deer, partridge and pheasant into the deer park, of which the present-day deer herd are descendents.



book coverThis comprehensive guide to Phoenix Park covers its origins and history, buildings and monuments, wildlife, literary associations, military use, sports and outlines self-guided walks for the leisurely stroller to undertake.

Provided are histories and descriptions of park landmarks, including Dublin Zoo, Áras an Uachtaráin, Ashtown Castle, Farmleigh, the American Ambassador’s Residence, Garda Headquarters, and more.

It touches on such historical events as the political murders of 1882, the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979, the national soccer team’s homecomings, and the Nurse Gargan murder.

This book is of interest to visitors, and Dubliners alike, and to anyone interested in this most historic and scenic park.

It would make a welcome addition to corporate and conference goodybags as well as being an ideal introduction to the area for new arrivals.

In the shops now.

ISBN 1-904148-78-6
or order online here



Brendan Nolan has reported on Phoenix Park as a freelance journalist for several decades and was a professional observer at many of the events of the late 20th century related herein.

He was born in Chapelizod in a house beside the churchyard of Le Fanu and counted Phoenix Park as his personal rambling ground through his growing years and beyond.

Can you help identify people in this 100-year-old photograph?
see here for detail


shop window

book jacket

click to order your signed copy for home delivery copy

"This is an enthusiast's book."
RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny

"It's a fabulous book. It should be in all schools."
West Dublin Access Radio

josh winter



Nolan sets well-known events in the Park's history beside accounts of its buildings and institutions, as well as obscure subjects like park rangers' uniform regulations.
Irish Times



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