DUNDALK and its hinterlands are a wonderful place to visit. It is one of Ireland’s largest towns, and it is in the smallest county in Ireland, affectionately known as the ‘wee county’ Here you will find the perfect combination of old world folklore (home to Lugh the pre-Christian God of Light, and Brigid the Goddess of Fertility and Healing), mighty warriors, druids, saints and scholars, blended with a more tangible history and heritage consisting of Cúchulainn’s Castle, a megalithic dolman, monastic round towers, high crosses and a Franciscan Friary to name but a few. Our rich heritage is part of our living history and our daily lives, Dundalk’s official town crest reads “Mé do rug Cú Chulainn Cróga”, meaning "I gave birth to brave Cú Chulainn".

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At first glance you will see a modern-day vibrant multi-cultural town and at the heart of it, a European style piazza with people drinking frothy cappuccinos, watching their children run through the magnificent fountain. As you explore more of the town and surrounding areas you will see an abundance of modern and medieval architecture side by side, churches, crosses and statues beside ancient pagan holy wells, and contemporary art depicting legendary tales from early Irish literature. A bird’s eye view will bear witness to Dundalk’s relationship to its bay, which is the most important site in Ireland for over-wintering birds. Against the breathtaking views of the Cooley Peninsula, land and sea gradually give way, one to the other. Dundalk is built where the river enters the estuary and then falls into one of the largest, shallowest bays in Ireland, a result of the last Ice Age, whose traces dominate our region’s landscape. www.discoverdundalk.ie 

DUNDALK...SO MUCH TO SEE....

Explore our unique town and embark on a journey into our past, encompassing our rich heritage, history, industry and architecture. Experience our living history with a visit to St. Patrick’s Pro Cathedral and the many other churches that adorn our streets including St. Nicholas 13th century Church of Ireland known locally as the ‘Green Church’.  www.discoverdundalk.ie 

Market Square & Courthouse

This European style piazza is the jewel in Dundalk’s crown. Unwind in the heart of the town with a frothy cappuccino – catch a front row seat alongside the Táin Warriors and experience Dundalk life go by as the majestic fountain dances to the beat of the town with a dazzling range of displays! The Market Square is overlooked by Dundalk Courthouse (thought to be based on the portico design and dimensions of the Temple of Theseus in Athens) and on Earl St stands the sculpture of a ‘Torc’ to commemorate the historic visit and speech of former U.S. President Bill Clinton in November 2000.

County Museum

Located in a beautifully restored 18th century warehouse, the award-winning county museum traces the history of Dundalk and County Louth from the Mesolithic era to the modern day through a variety of interactive displays.  With three floors of permanent exhibitions and a changing and extensive programme of temporary displays covering drama, music recitals, storytelling festivals, lecture and film, the museum has something of interest for everyone and is well worth a visit. Kids love the 1966 Heinkel bubble car exhibit! Pre-book a guided heritage walking tour: April – Oct 042 9392999. www.dundalkmuseum.ie

Cultural Quarter

An Táin Arts Centre is the hub for arts and culture in Dundalk, providing a diverse programme of local arts, national tours, workshops, visual arts and in-house productions. An Táin Arts Centre is the new independent arts space and cultural quarter for Dundalk, Co. Louth based in the former Táin theatre, Town Hall, Crowe Street.  The centre houses a 360 seat theatre, a 55 seat studio, a visual arts gallery and several workshop spaces. This beautiful building is one of the jewels in Dundalk Crown, a small palazzo. www.antain.ie

Franciscan Friary - Seatown Tower

Medieval Dundalk became a major walled town but almost nothing of the medieval town remains. Almost the only exception is a tower of the Franciscan friary. The friary was founded in the 1200s. In 1315 it was plundered and 22 friars were killed, and over the ensuring years battles and attacks on Dundalk took their toll on the Franciscan Friary – by 1540 only the crossing tower you see today still remains. It is known locally as Seatown Tower. Generations of children in Ireland have heard the many stories of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

Craft Quarters

Bridge Street Studios is home to artists and crafts people who work in a variety of different disciplines including ceramics, painting, textiles, metalwork, sculpture, print and jewellery. The Studio is also home to ‘The Gateway Gallery’, this permanent gallery space is dedicated to exhibiting the work of Bridge Street Studios members. A wide range of art and craftwork is on display and available for purchase. 042 9351712. Other areas showcasing the town’s Arts and Cultural heritage are the County Library, The Basement Gallery and An Táin Arts Centre both located in the Town Hall and the Mac Anna theatre in DKIT. Another museum to visit in Dundalk showcasing our proud industrial past is the Railway Museum in Clarke Station, home to the Great Northern Railway. It features memorabilia and photographs spanning over the last century.

The Pro Cathedral of St. Patrick

The Pro Cathedral of St. Patrick was built after Catholic emancipation became law in 1829. The Cathedral was built between 1837 and 1848 with money raised entirely by local parishioners. The architect designed it, using the chapel at King’s College in Cambridge, England, as his inspiration. St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, travelled through County Louth many times and has a special place in the hearts of local people.

Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol

The Oriel Centre based in historic Dundalk Gaol, is a Regional Centre for one of the worlds largest cultural movements – Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann. The Centre combines the role of resource centre, visitor attraction, social & performance space, whilst providing facilities for teaching, archives, recording, rehearsal, performance & session playing. Open to visitors throughout the year with guided history tours. Concerts & gigs featuring Traditional Irish Music performances regularly available. Contact 042 9328887 or visit our website www.orielcentre.ie

Cúchulainn’s Castle

This site is important in Irish mythology as it is said to be the birthplace of the legendary warrior Cúchulainn. Castletown Motte/castle is built on this site, a pre-Christian fort called DúnDealga, meaning ‘The Fort of Dealga’  The motte is a ruin of a late 18th century castellated house and was built by Patrick Byrne, an infamous pirate in 1780.

St Nicholas Church of Ireland

This 13th century church with its distinctive spire (locally known as the green church) has been much modified over the centuries. It is like a jigsaw puzzle of medieval, post medieval and modern building pieces. In the adjoining graveyard is the grave of Agnes Galt, sister of the renowned Scottish poet Robbie Burns.

DkIT

Located on the outskirts of the town, is not only a Centre of Excellence in Learning and Teaching but also home away from home for 5000 Irish and International scholars. For information on Schools and Departments within the DkITcall 042 9370200. www.dkit.ie

Blackrock Village, Co. Louth

The seaside village of Blackrock lies on the shores of Dundalk Bay, just 10 minutes drive from Dundalk. With it’s beautiful promenade, variety of beaches, seafront cafes and traditional tearooms, it is the ideal location to enjoy a relaxing afternoon and take in spectactular views of Dundalk Bay and the Cooley Peninsula. www.visitblackrock.ie

Fadó Fadó…long long ago…

That’s how all the best stories start around here. And this part of Ireland – as you’ll soon discover – is full of stories. On windswept hills, in small green fields, or simply at a bend in the road – stories are never far away. They’re written on the land. And echo in the voices of the locals.

Mourne Cooley Gullion Region.

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On Dundalk’s Doorstep you will find over 400 million years of geological history! Of the many areas of outstanding natural beauty across Ireland, the region covering the Cooley Peninsula, Ring of Gullion and Mourne Mountains is exceptional. It is an area rich in geology, archaeology and heritage set against the spectacular landscape of the Mourne Cooley Gullion Region.

Festivals & Event Listing

www.discoverdundalk.ie

JANUARY/FEBRUARY

Brigid of Faughart Festival www.brigidoffaughart.ie

MARCH

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations www.facebook.com/stpatricksdaydundalk

JUNE

Seek Dundalk Urban Arts Festival www.facebook.com/seekdundalk

Táin March Festival www.tainmarch.ie

Legends of Louth Festival www.facebook.com/legendsoflouth2019

Táin International Hillwalking Festival www.facebook.com/tainInternationalhillwalkingfestival

County Louth Agricultural Show www.colouthagriculturalshow.com

JULY

Ladies Day/ Dundalk Stadium www.dundalkstadium.com 

Summer Seisiún | Oriel Centre www.orielcentre.ie 

Dundalk Pride Festival www.facebook.com/DundalkPride 

AUGUST

*All Ireland Poc Fada Championships www.facebook.com/GAAPocFada

Summer Seisiún | Oriel Centre www.orielcentre.ie

Heritage Week www.heritageweek.ie

SEPTEMBER

Culture Night https://culturenight.ie/events/louth

OCTOBER

Festival of Horrors www.halloween.bellurganpark.ie

Púca Festival www.pucafestival.com

NOVEMBER

Frostival Parade & Christmas Markets www.facebook.com/FrostivalDundalk

A Taste of Louth www.facebook.com/tasteoflouth Spliced www.antain.ie

DECEMBER

Christmas Homecoming Concert www.antain.ie Stay in the loop www.dundalktown.ie/events-calendar

COMMUNITY INFORMATION

EMERGENCY SERVICES 

GARDA STATION 042 9335577 

LOUTH COUNTY HOSPITAL 042 9334701 

FIRE BRIGADE 042 9334666 

LOCAL SERVICES 

POST OFFICE Hours 9.30am-5.30pm Mon-Fri & 10am-1pm Sat 

DUNDALK LIBRARY 042 9353190 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

DUNDALK BUS STATION 042 9334075 

DUNDALK TRAIN STATION 042 9335526 

MATTHEWS COACH HIRE www.matthews.ie

SO MUCH TO DO

Golf

Golf is a way of life in County Louth and forms part of the landscape surrounding Dundalk. Ballymascanlon Golf and Leisure Club, Dundalk Golf Club is only minutes drive from town in idyllic parkland settings offering magnificent views varying from the Cooley and Mourne mountains to the Irish Sea and Dundalk Bay. Although these courses are as testing as any in Ireland, the key challenge is simply to keep your eye on the ball amid such splendid surroundings.

Fishing

If this is your passion head out from Toberona Bridge on the Castletown River or wade into the Fane River in Dundalk – both famous for their salmon and trout fishing. Perhaps you’d prefer sea fishing going out from Soldiers Point or Carp fishing at Stephenstown Pond. www.browntroutanglers.com. www.dundalksalmonanglers.com

Bird Watching

A bird’s eye view will bear witness to Dundalk’s relationship to its bay, which is the most important site in Ireland for over-wintering birds. The Bird Observatory & Information Centre is open Mon to Friday: 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm and Saturday: 10a.m-12pm.

Cinema

IMC Dundalk – T: +353 (0)42 9320400 and OmniPlex, Dundalk Retail Park – Tel: +353 42 933 9494

Kidz Corner

OUTDOOR – St. Helena’s Park and children’s playground is a vast area set aside for recreation, equipped with safe, brightly coloured amusements, and Ice House Hill Park is the perfect location for a leisurely walk or family picnic. INDOOR – Facilities available check locally or with the tourist information office for further information.

Swimming

Hours of Splashtastic fun for the little ones. T: +353 (0)42 9336230 www.auraleisure.ie/location/dundalk or check with the tourist office.

Dundalk Football Club

A town with a huge following and tradition in soccer, sees many home and away visitors travel to Oriel Park to follow their beloved teams. Matches are Friday night’s kicking off at 7.45pm during the season. Come and enjoy the special atmosphere at Oriel Park. Souvenir store open Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm and match nights. T +353 (0)42 93 35894 or www.dundalkfc.com.

Hurling

Hurling is believed to be the world’s oldest field game. When the Celts came to Ireland they brought with them a unique culture, their own language, music, script and unique pastimes. One of these pastimes was a game now called hurling. It features in Irish folklore to illustrate the deeds of heroic mystical figures and it is chronicled as a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years. The stick, or “hurley” (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or “sliotar” is similar in size to a hockey ball but has raised ridges. *All Ireland Poc Fada Championships www.facebook.com/gaapocfada or www.gaa.ie/my-gaa/getting-involved/poc-fada

Dundalk Horse & Greyhound Racing

Open every Friday & Saturday night throughout the year. World-class, all-weather horse track with approx. 38 horse fixtures each year and greyhound racing every weekend.Restaurant packages available in our glass fronted restaurant overlooking both tracks. Music after racing, group rates and finger food deals also available.Other facilities; fast food outlet, Carvery (open horse race fixtures only), several bars, ATM & Free car parking. www.dundalkstadium.com

WhiteRiver Karting

Thrill Seekers and petrol-heads alike will love a trip to WhiteRiver Karting, an exciting outdoor kart racing venue located just 5 minutes from Drogheda, on the Dunleer – Collon Road. Whether you’re 8 or 80 years old speed lovers won’t be disappointed here. WhiteRiver Karting provides all the equipment you need to go racing, from karts to helmets, suits, gloves etc. Superior Birel Art Karts are designed to give a very realistic race kart feel and the circuit is super smooth with lots of demanding corners and gradient changes. See www.WhiteRiver.ie for individual, group, party bookings or more details. Call 041-9819100 or email info@WhiteRiver.ie

Shopping

Dundalk is a shoppers’ paradise, a real hidden gem when it comes to fashion! The streets boast stylish shops and brands from high-end designer boutiques to all the hottest names on the high street. When you’ve shopped til your ready to drop you can refuel at one of our many fine restaurants, cafes, traditional Irish bars and gastropubs.

Did you know you can

Trace your Dundalk Roots! Dundalk Library have fantastic genealogy research sources available in their Reference Library – get in touch with Isabelle to find out more. referencelibrary@louthcoco.ie | +353 42 9324323