The ruined church of Tully and two ancient crosses are located just south of the village of Cabinteely (so strictly speaking not in Dun Laoghaire town at all but its an interestin spot so . . . )
The origins of the ruined Tully church are usually ascribed to the 12th century, though some claims have been made that it actually dates back to the 9th century and was originally founded by the Danes. Most of what you can see today dates from the 12-13th century and the church fell out of use in the 17th century. The church is surrounded by a small graveyard and gives you a good view back into Dun Laoghaire.
The two crosses date from around the 12th and 13th century and the one in the field across from the church and graveyard is very evocative (though sadly this is changing - while the site used to be completely surrounded by fields, the constant growth of the suburbs looks likely to swallow them all in the next few years, so go while its still got some of the old atmosphere left!)
In honour of the work done by the Lifeboats over the years, the Harbour office commissioned a sculpture for the new Dun Laoghaire marina within the harbour. Personally, I think its quite striking but you'll have to take a look for yourself to see if you like it.
This monument commemorates the building of the harbour and the visit of George IV to Dun Laoghaire in 1821. The town was renamed in his honour 'Kingstown' and only returned to Dun Laoghaire after independence in 1922. The main street in Dun Laoghaire is still called George Street.
Fortunately misguided attempts to blow up the monument in times past failed!
The Victoria monument was erected to commemorate the disembarking of Queen Victoria in Dun Laoghaire in 1900. Unlike in more modern times, such royal visits were very rare occasions and perceived as very special. During her 63 year reign Queen Victoria only visited Ireland 4 times. She was greeted very warmly every time she did choose to visit.
This small decorative fountain was vandalised in 1982 and completely restored in 2002 (when the harbour had the cash to do it!)
Cabinteely Park is one of a number of large south Dublin public parks. Asides from pleasant walks and being a great place to pick up chestnuts (as any kid will tell you - for conkers :), its also the only park I've come across in Dublin that has a circuit walk with exercise stops (bars etc) and ity also has one of the best playgrounds in the city, with different zones for different aged kids. Also in the Park is Cabinteely House, the former big house of the area, which is now owned by the local council and is occasionally open to the public (check with Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Council)
Although out of the city centre (about 7 miles) its quite easy to get to as you head out along the stillorgan dual carriageway to Cabinteely village.
It could be argued that Killiney Hill is really in Killiney rather than Dun Laoghaire but I'm taking the view that its in the same local authoirity area so can be claimed :-)
Killiney Hill was opened as a park in the late 19th century, with Dalkey Hill being added to it at a later date. Its a forest park with wonderful views over the sea and some nice paths to wander.
The centre of Dun Laoghaire is a little ugly (maybe I'm being charitable . . ) The Dun Laoghaire shopping centre is an unlovely piece of 1970s architecture, which replaced a row of victorian buildings. The church across the way is a modernist 1970's concrete monolith built to replace the original 19th century church, which was destroyed by fire in 1965. All that remains of the original church is the rather fine 60 m tower, which is now used as a youth information centre.
During Napoleonic times, the British government built a series of these along the coastlines in Britain and Ireland to defend against invasion, having been impressed by the capabilities of the original model in Italy. Dun Laoghaire has a number of these, but undoubtedly the most famous now houses the Joyce museum and has become a mecca for joyceans from all over the world, as it is the settin g for the start of Ulysses. Its not too hard to find. Jump off the train at Glasthule station, head to the sea and then turn right, keeping by the sea. Soon you will hit Sandycove (which is exactly as described and jampacked with people anytime there is any sunshine at all) after that you are just around the corner from the tower, but in between is another Dun Laoghaire institution, the 40 foot bathing place. Named so as its supposedly that deep, so no problem diving in (tho have also heard it was named after the regiment that garrisoned the towers, the 40th Foot!). Be aware that a lot of the hardened regulars (and you have to be hardened to swim in the sea in Ireland :-) swim naked. While probably not the most inviting place, women can now bath there, though there are no changing facilities. Every Christmas morning assorted nutcases jump in for the traditional swim - most of them actually survive the experience! The seas can actually be very rough along this stretch of coast so be careful if you are going swimming at the forty foot!
Dun Laoghaire, which has a proud maritime tradition, is the home of the Irish Maritime Museum. This desperately underfunded institution survives on the efforts of its volunteers and could really do with as many visitors as it can get. Don't expect a comparable experience to that of maritme museums in other countries though. The museum is housed in the old Mariners church (1837-8) and the collection is quite small.
The town hall has recently been renovated and extensively remodelled, though the original building dates back to 1878. Its a good place to go to get information on whats going on in Dun Laoghaire and has a nice exhibition space open to the public in its centre. You can also go in and view planning permission request, which are normally accompanied by what look like very expensive 3D models of what they will end up looking like (wonder what happens to them when the permission is granted . . . . )
You can go lawn bowling in Moran Park. The facility is publicly owned though there is a club there. However two of the runs are kept for non-members to use.
Moran Park House was the location for the first wireless transmission by Gugielmo Marconi on 20th July 1898, though this being Dun Laoghaire not much is made of this. Theres nothing to see in the house, which as far as I can tell is unused.
This statue of Christ the King by Andrew O'Connor had a long and winding journey before it was erected in its current location. It was made to commemorate the fallen of WWI and originally exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1926. In 1931 meetings were held in Dun Laoghaire to erect it in Dun Laoghaire. Support was rather slow to come and the statue was still in France when WWII started. It was hidden and in 1949 was finally purchased. However it wasn't finally put on public display in its current location until 1978! While it is on an elevated site overlooking the harbour can't help feeling most people pass it by , as I did, which is a pity as it repays closer inspection!
These tracks lead from Dun Laoghaire to Dalkey and follow the original line used to transport material from the quarries in Dalkey to Dun Laoghaire during the construction of the harbour. They are a peaceful and largely car-free way to get to Dalkey and best of all you can't get lost as they follow the train tracks all the way!
A small oratory(prayer house) that used to stand in the grounds of the Dominican convent school. It was built in 1919 to house a statue of the sacred heart sent from Flanders to commemorate the soldiers from Dun Laoghaire who died in World War One. Sr Concepta Lynch, a teacher of art at the school and the daughter of a well-known Dublin painter, spent 16 years of her life decorating the walls and ceilings before dying in 1939. The work is meticulous and is considered one of the high points of the celtic revival style. It also contains windows by Harry Clarke, a renowned Irish artist of the time. The convent has since been torn down and replaced by a shopping centre (welcome to the new Ireland!) but the oratory was listed and so preserved. Unfortunately it is only rarely open to the public but is usually opened for festivals (guided tours only). Ring this number to arrange a viewing (01) 205 4700 ext 4555
The Pavilion Theatre is Dun Laoghaire's municipal theatre facility, built on the site of the old Pavilion cinema. It has a varied and quite extensive event list. Its modern auditorium can hold several hundred in comfort (no getting your knees crushed if you're tall :) and tends to be be very popular, so don't be surprised if things you want to see book out!
Its handilly located for a variety of restuarants and the entrance to the 40 foot pub is just a few metres away.