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Better Together - Clontarf Station

Knowledge exchange. Basically pseudo-academic lingo for telling each other stuff. My last post about Clontarf Station resulted in some fantastic photographs and information shared with me that I would love to share with you. (Maybe read the original post first to know what on earth I’m going on about).

Firstly, thank you to Colin Hedderly who sent wonderful photographs. The first is of the smaller ‘brutalist’ bridge which Colin suggested may show start of renewal because of the train and taking down a piece of the parapet. Ciaran Cooney's EireTrains website also states that the bridge was renewed in 2000s (brutalist version methinks) replacing the original 1850s incarnation. Perhaps this photograph shows the original bridge was already replaced? Or was it just the parapets? 
Clontarf Station Bridge - source unknown
I also like the ‘Reliable Shoe Repairs’ kiosk to the bottom-left of the bridge. Maybe the bridge needed a bit of ‘cobbling’ together, eh? 

Keeping with the original Clontarf Station, Irish Rail Archives Tweeted a response with a wonderfully evocative photograph taken from above the tracks showing a passing locomotive (experts please advise on the model!). The two platforms and their respective waiting rooms can be seen – a closer view of their design can be had in the original post showing Royal Irish Constabulary officers.
Clontarf Station - source unknown.
The station and master’s house is very clear to the right, and I love the access path to the left. Also notice the electricity and telegraph cables – modernism in action! 

Colin shared an image from the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) showing a 'Q class' passing through Clontarf station. The two heads peeking out from the signal box are delightful, as are the twin-rounded arch windows - remember these from the station entrance and waiting rooms? Unification in style. 
Q Class passing Clontarf - source: RPSI
Colin also sent images of the larger Clontarf railway bridge – the ‘skewed’ bridge. He notes that the northern arch passed over road and tramlines, whilst the southern arch spanned a waterway; here is the image from Archiseek:
Clontarf Railway Bridge - source: Archiseek.
Colin observed that this photograph must have been taken after 1899, as prior to that all trams were horse-drawn. The photo may even be to commemorate this. This is confirmed by a few posts. The first is Dublin City Council: “On 19 March 1898 the first electric tram reached Nelson’s Pillar… Clontarf was driven by a power station where the Dublin Bus Garage now is”. 

The second is a photograph dated 1897 (too early or perhaps Clontarf was electrified before the city centre?) in the National Library of Ireland of the original Clontarf Tram Depot. Look at those Dutch gable arches! Such Renaissance splendour used at what is a functional industrial structure demonstrates the significance of this achievement in transport and electrification technology. Link Line Journal quotes the 1904 ‘Moving Through Modernity: Space and Geography in Modernism’ which called Dublin’s tram system “one of the most impressive in the world”. 
Clontarf Tram Depot - source: NLI
Back to the bridge, and East Wall for All describes the battle between the Irish Citizen Army and the British Army during the Easter Rising in 1916 at Clontarf. A photograph shows Clontarf Railway Bridge barricaded by the British with two rather bemused soldiers fully-armed and ready for action. Juxtaposed to this battle trench is the female pedestrian to the right in conversation with an officer and a male pedestrian walking under the bridge.
Clontarf Railway Bridge, Army Officers - source: East Wall for All
This becalmed scene belies the subsequent shootings, impalements and collateral damage sustained by human life and buildings in the area. Read the East Wall for All post for a detailed history.

All of these photos and histories enrich observations of the current buildings and by sharing these everybody learns a little something about a bit of everything.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to the Clontarf Historical Society who have invited me to give a talk to their members in 2019 about my research. I’m really looking forward to it!

If you’d like to share any memories, observations, photographs or information about Clontarf railways station or its buildings, please contact or Twitter: @IrishRailArch