Blackrock Co Louth

Blackrock (Irish: Na Creagacha Dubha) is a seaside village just to the south of Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. The small town is in the townland of Haggardstown and part of the Dundalk metropolitan area.

History

In the 1950s and 60s, Blackrock was a holiday destination for people in landlocked Monaghan and Cavan. The beach, which is pictured in colourised postcards of that era (still on sale), was created with sand imported from beaches further down the coast, as sand is continually washed away contributing to the buildup of silt in Dundalk Bay. Although it is no longer considered a tourist resort, there remains a tradition of visiting Blackrock on the 15th of August (vide the Celtic feast of [[L�nasa]]).

Church of St. Oliver Plunkett

Since the late 1960s, Blackrock has expanded significantly and has become a dormitory village of Dundalk. With the opening of the M1 motorway to Dublin, there has been another wave of expansion and it is also becoming a commuter town with access to north Dublin.

Blackrock beach and its promenade (incorporating Blackrock’s Millennium project – a sundial which is believed to be the largest in a public area in Ireland[1][2]) is still the focal point of the village and the site of Christmas Day fundraising events organised by Conor Hughes, an annual Raft Race, as well as several other events throughout the year. The promenade area includes a number of restaurants and public houses.

The view looking north over Dundalk Bay from the promenade toward the Cooley Mountains is impressive.

In common with a number of east coast locations, the beach has a very gentle gradient and the sea retreats about 5 km at low tide. The exposed seabed is a mixture of sand and mud flats. It is a suitable and fertile habitat for a variety of wader birds, including brent geese and dunlins. The River Fane (to the south of Blackrock) enters the sea as a channel crossing from south to north in front of the promenade. Even at high tide, the water level is only about 1m out to the channel, and the front has become popular as a safe sailboarding venue.

Sport

Kitesurfing

More recently kitesurfing has become more and more popular in the area. It is an ideal location for learning when the tide is out and when the tide is in because of the shallow depths and, more often than not, flat water.

Greyhound racing

Blackrock Greyhound Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium in Sandy Lane and the racing was organised by the Blackrock Greyhound Racing Company Ltd. The first racing in Blackrock took place at ‘The Field’ which is now modern day Beech Park housing in 1929 but moved a very short distance to Sandy Lane during the 1930s. Olympian Pete McArdle was a greyhound trainer at the track in the early 1950s. The site closed during the 1960s and the Blackrock Community Council took over Sandy Lane in 1971.

Association football

After the closure of the greyhound track Sandy Lane became a venue for the Juveniles and then Rock Celtic Football Club.

Transport

The village is served by regular public transport links seven days per week. Halpenny Travel’s route 169 provides services to Dundalk. Additionally, [[Bus �ireann|Bus Eireann]] routes 100 and 100X serving Dundalk, Drogheda, Dublin Airport and Dublin can be accessed on the Dublin Road in Haggardstown, approximately one mile from the village.