Bluebell (Irish: An Cloigín Gorm) is a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Situated approximately 6 kilometres south-west of the city centre, on the Camac, a Liffey tributary, the suburb borders the Grand Canal and Ballyfermot to the west, Walkinstown & Drimnagh to the east, Inchicore to the north, and Clondalkin to the south. Bluebell is in the Dublin South-Central Dáil constituency and is administered by Dublin City Council at the local government level. Its postal code is Dublin 12.

There is an early reference concerning Bluebell cemetery and church ruins, dated 1254, when the people who lived here were most likely part of the Barnewall’s Drimnagh Castle estate and home farm. Bluebell was part of the Civil Parish of Clondalkin. Until the 1950s, Bluebell was mainly a market garden and farming community on the outskirts of the city. It was developed for residential housing by what was then Dublin Corporation in the post-war housing programme, which brought an influx of young families to the area. Over the years, the area received heavily industrialised development with the coming of paper mills, making use of the Camac River for their water supply. Gradually more industry moved into the area, with companies including Lambs, Roadstone, Nugget, McInerneys, Fiat and Volkswagen.

The project site is made up of different characteristic areas that each bring a unique perspective that will be used to inform emerging plans for the Project. The Bluebell filter bed complex, which dates back to the mid-19th Century, are being assessed and future plans will endeavour to incorporate a piece of this heritage within the scheme.

Grand Canal 5th Lock and Waterbeds

The Grand Canal has a great history and has been documented by many.

Waterways Ireland is the cross-border navigational authority responsible for the management, maintenance, development and promotion of over 1000 km of inland navigable waterways, principally for recreational purposes.

There is a set of filter beds at the Fifth Lock. The filter beds at the Fifth Lock These filter beds used to supply water to Guinness. In bygone days, Guinness was made not, as some assert, with Liffey water but with canal water. Other breweries and distilleries were supplied with water by both the Royal and the Grand Canal, as were citizens Grand Canal Lock 5.

Further details can be found at:



Waterways and Means is a selection of writings by Brian Goggin, mainly on the late 18th and 19th century, a boom period for Irish waterways. As navigation by water became faster and easier, new possibilities opened up: fresh eggs and bacon to Liverpool for breakfast, a ready supply of turf to Limerick to fuel the distillery, bogs drained for arable land, and fast, comfortable trips to Kilkee to take the sea air. Based on a collection of Brian’s extensive research and writings on Irish waterways, this book tells the story of those improvements and of many diversions along the way: waterways which were never completed, debauchery in the canals of Dublin, cargoes stolen, workers on strike and boats sunk. There are some very interesting observations and photos of the 5th Lock and thank you to the Goggin family for allowing us share these. Further information at:


Jo Kerrigan writer of an excellent book on the Grand Canal: Stretching from Dublin through the Midlands and west to the Shannon, the Grand Canal is a stunning feat of eighteenth century engineering. Step back in time to discover quirky humpbacked bridges and ivy-covered warehouses, in a landscape far removed from modern pressures, as well as elegant bridges and the wildflowers and animals that live there

The O’Brien Press | All the Way by The Grand Canal, By Jo Kerrigan By Jo KerriganPhotographs by Richard Mills (obrien.ie)

Bluebell Cemetery

From the National Inventory of Architectural heritage, we are told  Bluebell cemetery is an enclosed irregular-plan graveyard, consisting of early graveyard with thirteenth-century church to south, extended to north 1905.

The church appears to have been in use in 1547 at the time of the dissolution of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The earliest known gravestone dates to 1713. Church of Ireland burials took place from 1742 to 2001, and the graveyard was extended to the north as far as the Camac River in 1905. The early graveyard is shown in the 1844 Ordnance Survey map. Church is noted as being in ruins on the 1911 Ordnance Survey map. This site attests to the long-standing ecclesiastical presence in the locality, and is of significant importance in the social history of the area. The once rural area of Bluebell was developed by Dublin City Corporation from the 1960s, and the cemetery is now surrounded by industrial estates.

Further information: