Poddle Walk 1975 – Gerard O’Kelly

The River Poddle, one of the fifty or so rivers of Dublin, and the source, from a pool on its course, of the name “Dublin”, rises in Fettercairn, today part of Tallaght, and eventually flows into the Liffey. The Poddle flows from Tallaght through Templeogue and local suburbs, before passing under the south city centre.

Nowadays much of the lower course of the Poddle is in a culvert under city streets but it has caused flooding on occasions over the years. In the late 1800s, for example, this lead to changes within St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The confluence of the Poddle with the Liffey, through a grated opening in the Liffey walls, is visible at low tide, at Wellington Quay. Formerly the Poddle formed a large pool, the Dubh Linn, or black pool, a place now the site of the Coach house and Castle Gardens of Dublin Castle. This may have been the origin of Dublin’s name.

In 1592, Red Hugh O’Donnell and Art O’Neill escaped from Dublin Castle via a drain into the Poddle, which runs under the Castle from Ship Street gate to the Chapel Royal and the Undercroft. The Poddle was later used to provide a water defence for the south wall of the castle. The river formed an early supply of water to the city, as the Liffey was tidal where they met. By the 13th century the water supply was inadequate and a deal was made in 1244 with the Priory of St. Thomas to divert water from the Dodder to the Poddle to increase the water flow. This connection still exists.

Filmed & directed by Gerard O’Kelly 1975. You can view it here.

Saturday 15 May 2021 at 9pm