Churchtown is a largely residential suburb on the south-side of Dublin, between Rathfarnham and Dundrum.
Based on the 2006 Census, the population of Churchtown was 8,736, a small decrease from the 2002 census. The break-out by electoral area was as follows: Churchtown-Castle 1,244 Churchtown-Landscape 1,198 Churchtown-Nutgrove 3,100 Churchtown-Orwell 1,871 Churchtown-Woodlawn 1,323
The suburb of Churchtown is probably named after St. Nahi's Church (Church of Ireland) just off the Churchtown road. It is more easily viewed these days from the William Dargan Bridge, close to Dundrum village. St. Nahi's was rebuilt several times—in 950, 1650 and 1750. The present restoration was completed in 1910. The public housing flats in Churchtown, across from the Bottle Tower pub, are named St. Nathy's after the church.
The local Roman Catholic church is the Good Shepherd Church. It was the site of the state funeral of former Taoiseach Seán Lemass, who lived on Hillside Drive.
The Church of Ireland Theological Institute (the theological seminary of the Church of Ireland) and the Representative Church Body Library (the central library of the Church of Ireland) are both on Braemor Park, Churchtown.
The Quakers have a Meeting House on the Lower Churchtown Road.
The Good Shepherd National School is a co-educational national school in the parish of Churchtown while the boys' secondary school is De La Salle College. The De La Salle Brothers are the trustees of the college and it is under the control of a board of management. Famous past pupils include Damien Duff, who retired from the Republic of Ireland national football team in 2012. Jim Stynes who won an All-Ireland Minor (under 18) football championship medal for Dublin in 1984, and the Brownlow medal in Australian Rules Football in 1991. Jim's younger brother, Brian Stynes, also went to De La Salle College; he won a senior All Ireland football medal for Dublin in 1995. Des Fitzgerald, the former Irish international prop forward and father of current international player Luke, is a past pupil of DLS National and DLS College. He played in Croke Park in 1968 as a member of the DLS N.S. (old name for The Good Shepherd National School) Gaelic football team and in Landowne Road for the DLS Senior Rugby team later in 1975. Another player on both teams was John Treacy, the former Dublin Hurling full back and father of current Dublin Hurling star, David Treacy.
The local girls' secondary school is Notre Dame de Missions, one of whose alumni is Mary Lou McDonald, the current president of Sinn Féin and a Teachta Dála (TD).
A De La Salle Preparatory School, now closed, was located in Camberley House (also known as Inish More or Inish Ealga) on the Churchtown Road Upper. A previous owner was the widow of Éamonn Ceannt, one of the signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Camberley House was bought for the De La Salle boys' school and later developed as the preparatory school when the secondary school moved to its present location.
Mount Carmel Community Hospital, which stands on a 4.9-acre site on Braemor Park, re-opened as a short-stay nursing home in September 2015.
Churchtown was home to the HB Dairy. HB Ice Cream was named after the Hughes Brothers dairy and was produced at Hazelbrook Farm, across the road from the Good Shepherd national school.
Until the late 1980s the County Club pub on the Churchtown Road Upper had a cabaret attached called the Braemor Rooms. The Dubliners had a residency every August and Guy Mitchell also played there. The owners of the County Club however decided to change the purpose to a disco/nightclub, and changed the name from 'The Braemor Rooms' to 'Faces'. This eventually led to the demise of the pub and club. It was developed in 2018 by The Press Up Group trading as a restaurant called Union Cafe. Other pubs in the area are Churchtown Stores, The Bottle Tower and The Glenside.
Nutgrove Shopping Centre was opened in October 1984 in what was then still a rural part of Dublin. The site for the shopping centre was located on part of the old Lamb's Jam orchards.
The centre included Ireland's first drive through restaurant when McDonald's opened a branch there. The American style experience of driving up to the window, ordering your food and driving away was a novelty at the time.
There were other firsts when Nutgrove opened, including the country's first social welfare services office was located in a shopping mall.
The Mount Carmel Nursing home is located at Braemor Park. The former private maternity hospital in Churchtown, south Dublin, which was purchased by the HSE for €11m, has been redeveloped to provide a range of short-stay, traditional care, assessment and rehabilitation beds.
The former Fetherstonhaugh Hall building is now The Church of Ireland Theological Institute (formerly the Church of Ireland Theological College) is a land mark building at Braemor Park.
The Church of Ireland Theological Institute is responsible for ministerial formation and lay training within the Church of Ireland. It is located at Braemor Park.
Traditionally Church of Ireland clergy were trained for the priesthood by attending Trinity College Dublin, studying at the divinity school. In 1873, following the Irish University Bill, Trinity officially became a non-denominational university. While most Penal Laws had by that time been abolished, and the Church of Ireland had been disestablished in 1871, nevertheless, the University Bill continued the practice of anti-Catholicism in requiring professors of theology to be Anglicans. In 1911 an arrangement was formalised by which the House of Bishops and the college board governed the divinity school. In 1913 the "Divinity Hostel" was set up in two buildings in Mountjoy Square, Dublin.
In 1969, the Church of Ireland Library was moved to the site of the Divinity Hostel, a number of other archives of Church of Ireland organisations are held here.
Over the years as the Church of Ireland bishops' presence in the governance of Trinity diminished (where before 1980 as members of the board of the divinity school, the bishops could nominated the professors of theology), the divinity school at Trinity has been effectively replaced by the non-denominational School of Religious Studies and Theology.
In 1980 the Church of Ireland Theological College was set up in the Divinity Hostel, which had moved to Rathgar in 1964. In 2007 Church of Ireland clerical training was reconstituted into the current institute.
Following a report commissioned by the bishops and proposals to the synod (which were accepted), the institute was formed in 2007 out of the Church of Ireland Theological College to modernize the training of Church of Ireland clergy and other people for lay ministry. The Revd Maurice Elliot was appointed the director of the institute succeeding Rev Dr Adrian Empey who was principal of the college from 2001. Rev. James Hartin served as principal from 1980 to 1989 and Rev. Canon Professor John R Bartlet had served as principal from 1989 until 2001.
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