Situated 12Km outside Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire is a vibrant cultural hub and an attractive place that embraces creativity and entrepreneurial flair. It has an extensive range of attractions and activities for locals and tourists alike, making it a destination location for many of our visitors. It’s close proximity and excellent transport links to Dublin City and beyond also puts the town in an ideal position for investors and future development. See links on the right hand side of this page to learn more about this beautiful town and all it has to offer.
Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it, it’s a great place to visit.
Dún Laoghaire is a beautiful seaside town on the southern coast of Dublin Bay. While it is well known for its bright granite harbour, its 820 berth marina, its range of Victorian amenities, its historic churches and a whole host of other entertaining activities including year round festivals its also known for the unusual spelling of its name.
Pronounced Dun leary (or in Irish, Doon Leereh), it provides the familiar scene of bemused Dubliners looking on as tourists try to get their tongues around its silent glottises and tangled vowels. Locals know instantly what the struggling tourists are trying to say but curiosity will keep them waiting to see what unique sounds tumble forth.
Neither are native Dubliners completely immune to the unusual spelling. Many Dubliners, upon reaching the L, will find themselves pausing for a few moments to think. Quite often, several attempts must be made as the O and the A swap places or the A disappears altogether. Common misspellings include Dun Laghaire, Dun Leoghare, Dun Loaghaire, Dun Lagohare, and of course Dun Laoire.
The spelling “Dun Laoire” may be given exception since some Irish modernisers feel it’s appropriate to leave out the silent (and intimidating) “gh”. In words where the “gh” is pronounced the sound has no equivalent sound in English but might be described as the ghost of a whisper escaping through the roof of the mouth. Still, the purists prefer it stay as Dún Laoghaire, which keeps things more interesting.
Neither has the anglicised version had much traction. Spelled as it sounds, “Dun Leary” might appear on some maps printed abroad to alleviate the suffering of visitors. The Irish however, continue to enjoy the challenge of its traditional spelling.
The name itself is originally the name of a king who set up his base of operations in the area in the 5th century. Loegaire Mac Neill was a high king of Ireland who built his fort by the coast so he could more easily carry out raids across the Irish Sea on the British coast. “Dun” in Irish means fort so Dún Laoghaire translates as the fort of Loegaire.