A Dublin park for wildlife and for people

Phoenix Park the book


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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.

1907 class

Can you help?

This picture seems to date from c1907 and is a photograph of the pupils of the primary school in the park.

Would you have a copy with the names of the adult and the children in your possession?

We know the girl in the second row, third from the left is Cecilia Mahon/Duffy.

The teacher may be Miss Reidy, a local historian suggest.

We also believe that one of the girls married into the Odlum flour family and became a Mrs Odlum; but we don't know her first name or her name at school.


NCR lodge keepers

We said: The man on the right is gatekeeper Thomas James. Polly, his wife, stands on the step with their son Jack James. The James family lived in the lodge.

Georgina James wrote: I think the man in the photo (above) referred to as 'Thomas James' is my Great Grandfather..and the little boy 'Jack' is my Grandfather.
I have just started looking into my family history and found the results of the 1911 census - I know there was a connection to the Phoenix Park and sure enough the family of Thomas James is listed in the census.
The address of his home according to the census is 'St. James' Parish (part of the phoenix park), Castleknock' and his occupation is 'Gatekeeper'. I can only presume that the 'Thomas James' in this photo is my Great Grandfather. However, his wife's name on the census form is Mary Ann, but perhaps she was known as 'Dolly'? I also question the date of the photo - in the 1911 census my Grandfather John or 'Jack' as he was known was 6 years of age - the child in the photograph looks around 2 or 3 years of age and the photo is dated 1905?
If the photo is indeed that of my relatives - you might be interested to know that my Grandfather John James, the little boy 'Jack' in your photo, joined the Irish Defence Forces at age 18 and served almost 25 years in both the Army and Naval Service - he retired at a young age as a Chief Petty Officer. He was living in Cork at the time. It was wonderful to see the photo - I did not have the opportunity to get to know my Grandfather as he died before I was born. I would love to find out more about about Thomas James, the Gatekeeper.

Georgina was correct in the above note and as a consequence we were able to introduce her to her cousin who had supplied the above picture.


scjool 1937

This picture we believe dates from 1937, some 30 years later than the top picture.
Can you name the faces for us?


book jacket In the shops now

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

click to order your copy for home delivery

"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

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.

This picture of pupils at the park school is 100 years old.

Can you name the people in the picture for us?

So far, we have one name.

Help us fill in the rest.

See also below


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