Clontarf is a coastal suburb on the northside of Dublin, in Ireland. It is most famous for the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, in which Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, defeated the Vikings of Dublin and their allies, the Irish of Leinster. This battle, which extended over a wide area, is seen as marking an end to the Irish-Viking Wars.
It is also a civil parish in the ancient barony of Coolock. While Clontarf lacks a single "village centre", historically there were two population centres, one on the coast towards the city and the fishing village of Clontarf Sheds further north on the coast at what is now Vernon Avenue. Clontarf has a range of commercial facilities in several locations, mainly centred on Vernon Avenue. It adjoins Fairview, Marino, Killester, Artane and Raheny, and is in the postal district Dublin 3.
Clontarf's sea front is served by the 130, 104 and 32X Dublin Bus routes, and the inland parts can be reached from buses on the Howth Road, such as the 29A, 31 series and 32 series. The area's historic railway station, on the Howth Road, closed many years ago, but a new railway station, Clontarf Road railway station, a stop on the Dublin Area Rapid Transit system, is located between Clontarf and Fairview.
Clontarf's most notable amenity is its seafront, with a promenade running continuously from Alfie Byrne Road to the wooden bridge at Dollymount. The seafront remains a highly popular spot for runners, walkers, sailors and cyclists. Among the features of the promenade are an Easter Island Moai replica statue, a diplomatic gift from the Embassador of Chile, which is located just across the road from The Sheds pub. Also on the promenade is Clontarf's privately owned open-air seawater swimming pool, once a popular recreational destination with hot and cold baths, but now derelict, with various developments being considered. There is also a public slipway, across the road from the Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club clubhouse.
Clontarf is also next to Saint Anne's Park, which it shares with Raheny. As well as extensive walks and green areas, the park contains numerous sporting facilities, such as playing pitches and non-sport amenities. These include an Arts Centre in the Red Stables, featuring artists' stores and studios, a coffee shop and markets on some weekends, along with a large rose garden which is located alongside the Gaelic Athletic Association pitches.
Clontarf also has access to the North Bull Island at the area known as Dollymount. The island contains the amenity of Dollymount Strand as well as two golf courses. The island is also famous for its wildlife, and the lagoon and mudflats between the island and the mainland is a favourite spot for birdwatching.
Clontarf is home to a wide range of businesses, many of which are members of the local Chamber of Commerce. There is a supermarket on Vernon Avenue, and there are, for example, a number of public houses, restaurants, convenience stores, bank branches, pharmacies and medical practitioners.
Clontarf today has three Roman Catholic parishes, a Church of Ireland Parish, a Presbyterian congregation and a Methodist parish.
Historically Clontarf has had a strong Protestant community for many years, with the Church of Ireland parish being one of the most populated Anglican parishes in the country up to the 1950s. In the 1911 census, 39% of the population of Clontarf were Protestant, 25% being Church of Ireland, 8.5% Presbyterian and 5.5% Methodist. Relations between all the faith communities have always been good in Clontarf and mixed marriages were part of life even in 1911.