A chain store or retail chain is a retail outlet in which several locations share a brand, central management, standardized business practices. They have come to dominate the retail and dining markets, many service categories, in many parts of the world. A franchise retail establishment is one form of chain store. In 2004, the world's largest retail chain, became the world's largest corporation based on gross sales. In 1792, Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna established W. H. Smith as a news vending business in London that would become a national concern in the mid-19th century under the management of their grandson William Henry Smith; the firm took advantage of the railway boom by opening news-stands at railway stations beginning in 1848. The firm, now called WHSmith, had more than 1,400 locations as of 2017. In the U. S. chain stores began with the founding of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company in 1859. The small chain sold tea and coffee in stores located in New York City and operated a national mail order business.
The firm grew to 70 stores by 1878 when George Huntington Hartford turned A&P into the country's first grocery chain. In 1900, it operated 200 stores. Isidore and Modeste Dewachter originated the idea of the chain department store in Belgium in 1868, ten years before A&P began offering more than coffee and tea, they started with four locations for Maisons Dewachter: La Louvière, Mons and the tiny crossroads village of Leuze. They incorporated as Dewachter frères on January 1, 1875; the brothers offered ready-to-wear clothing for men and children and specialty clothing such as riding apparel and beachwear. Isidore owned 51% of the company, while his brothers split the remaining 49%. Under Isidore's leadership, Maisons Dewachter would become one of the most recognized names in Belgium and France with stores in 20 cities and towns; some cities had multiple stores, such as France. Louis Dewachter became an internationally known landscape artist, painting under the pseudonym Louis Dewis. By the early 1920s, the U.
S. boasted three national chains: A&P, Woolworth's, United Cigar Stores. By the 1930s, chain stores had come of age, stopped increasing their total market share. Court decisions against the chains' price-cutting appeared as early as 1906, laws against chain stores began in the 1920s, along with legal countermeasures by chain-store groups. A chain store is characterised by the ownership or franchise relationship between the local business or outlet and a controlling business. While chains are "formula retail", a chain refers to ownership or franchise, whereas "formula retail" refers to the characteristics of the business. There is considerable overlap because key characteristic of a formula retail business is that it is controlled as a part of a business relationship, is part of a chain. Most codified municipal regulation relies on definitions of formula retail, in part because a restriction directed to "chains" may be deemed an impermissible restriction on interstate commerce, or as exceeding municipal zoning authority.
Non-codified restrictions will sometimes target "chains". Brick-and-mortar chain stores have been in decline as retail has shifted to online shopping, leading to high retail vacancy rates; the hundred-year-old Radio Shack chain went from 7,400 stores in 2001 to 400 stores in 2018. FYE is the last remaining music chain store in the United States and has shrunk from over 1000 at its height to 270 locations in 2018. In 2019, Payless ShoeSource stated that it would be closing all remaining 2,100 stores in the US. A restaurant chain is a set of related restaurants in many different locations that are either under shared corporate ownership or franchising agreements; the restaurants within a chain are built to a standard format through architectural prototype development and offer a standard menu and/or services. Fast food restaurants are the most common, but sit-down restaurant chains exist. Restaurant chains are found near highways, shopping malls and tourist areas; the displacement of independent businesses by chains has sparked increased collaboration among independent businesses and communities to prevent chain proliferation.
These efforts include community-based organizing through Independent Business Alliances and "buy local" campaigns. In the U. S. trade organizations such as the American Booksellers Association and American Specialty Toy Retailers do national promotion and advocacy. NGOs like the New Rules Project and New Economics Foundation provide research and tools for pro-independent business education and policy while the American Independent Business Alliance provides direct assistance for community-level organizing. A variety of towns and cities in the United States whose residents wish to retain their distinctive character—such as San Francisco, they don't exclude the chain itself, only the standardized formula the chain uses, described as "formula businesses". For example, there could be a restaurant owned by McDonald's that sells hamburgers, but not the formula franchise operation with the golden arches and standardized menu and procedures; the reason these towns regulate chain stores is aesthetics and tourism.
Proponents of formula restaurants and formula retail allege th
Carrickmines is an outer suburb of Dublin in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland. The area, still semi-rural, was on the border of English control and featured a defensive construction, Carrickmines Castle, which became the subject of national controversy during the building of a late stage of Dublin's M50 orbital motorway. Traditionally a rural area, today a semi-rural suburban region, Carrickmines is now divided northeast/southwest by the M50 motorway, with, to the northeast, more established residential areas, to the southwest, including along Glenamuck Road, new retail parks, office buildings, housing schemes and apartments. Carrickmines developed as a settlement in the more than 6 km long valley of the same name, which contains the modest Carrickmines River and its tributaries; the Ballyogan and Golf Streams all merge in the vicinity. Downstream at Brennanstown the river merges with St. Bride's Stream, from Foxrock, to form the Loughlinstown River, which in turn meets the Bride's Glen Stream to form the Shanganagh River, which reaches the sea at Killiney Strand.
Leopardstown lies to the northwest, Foxrock to the north, Cabinteely to the northeast and Brennanstown to the east, Ballyogan to the west, Glenamuck to the south, Laughanstown to the southeast. During the construction of the M50 motorway, Carrickmines gained national notoriety when anti-roads protesters calling themselves The Carrickminders set up camp in the area and delayed the completion of the M50 for two years with legal challenges being taken by Vincent Salafia; the objectors claimed that the underground remains of Carrickmines Castle, an Anglo-Norman fort built in the 12th century on the edge of the Pale, was of national importance. Today, much of the uncovered remains are preserved in tunnels and other structures scattered around the interchange. Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council claimed the action increased the cost of the project, completed in August 2005. Junction 15 of the M50 lies at the centre of Carrickmines; the retail park and developments on Glenamuck Road have converted the semi-rural area into a mix of suburban complex, with shops, apartment blocks and housing estates, a patchwork of remaining farmland.
The retail park at Carrickmines, The Park Carrickmines, contains a mixture of retail and office space. It was sold for €100m in 2006, garnered the highest retail park rents in Ireland in 2014. In 2015 it was reported as the best performing Irish retail park by The Sunday Times. On 10 October 2015, a large fire swept through a halting site on Glenamuck Road; the LUAS Green Line Carrickmines Park and Ride stop lies in the north-east of the settlement. It is served by the regular Dublin Bus service which passes through Carrickmines on its route from Dún Laoghaire to Kilternan. Carrickmines railway station lay on the Dublin and South Eastern Railway's Harcourt Street branch line, it opened on 10 July 1854, but closed on 1 January 1959. Carrickmines is mentioned in James Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, in which it is described as an area dominated by fields. List of towns and villages in Ireland
Tallaght is the largest town, county town, of South Dublin, the largest suburb of the city of Dublin, Ireland. The village area, dating from at least the 1st century, held one of the earliest settlements known in the southern part of the island, one of medieval Ireland's more important monastic centres. Up to the 1960s Tallaght was a small village in County Dublin, linked to several nearby rural areas which were part of the large civil parish of the same name - the local council estimates the population at 2,500. Suburban development began in the 1970s and a town centre area has been developing since the late 1980s. There is no legal definition of the boundaries of Tallaght, but the electoral divisions known as "Tallaght" followed by the name of a locality have, according to the 2016 census, a population of 76,119, up from 69,454 over five years. There have been calls in recent years for Tallaght to be declared a city; the village core of the district is located north of, near to, the River Dodder, parts of the broader area within South Dublin are close to the borders of Dublin City, Kildare, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown and County Wicklow.
Several streams flow in the area, notably the Jobstown or Tallaght Stream, the Fettercairn Stream, while the Tymon River, the main component of the River Poddle, rises in Cookstown, near Fettercairn. The place name Tallaght is said to derive from támh-leacht, meaning "plague pit" in Irish, consisting of "támh", meaning plague, "leacht", meaning grave or memorial stone; the earliest mention of a Tallaght is in Lebor Gabála Érenn, is there linked to Parthalón, said to be the leader of an early invasion of Ireland. He and many of his followers were said to have died of the plague; the burials that have been found in the Tallaght area, are all normal pre-historic interments from the Bronze Age, nothing suggesting a mass grave has so far been recorded here. The Annals of the Four Masters record the legendary event as follows: Naoi mile do ecc fri h-aoin-sechtmain do muinter Parthaloin for Shenmhaigh Ealta Eadoir.i. Cúig míle d'feroibh, & ceithre míle do mnáibh. Conadh de sin ata Taimhleacht Muintere Parthalain.
Trí ced bliadhain ro caithsiot i n-Erinn."In translation: "Nine thousand of Parthalón's people died in one week on Sean Mhagh Ealta Edair, five thousand men, four thousand women. Whence is named Taimhleacht Muintire Parthalóin, they had passed three hundred years in Ireland."The name in Irish, Tamhlacht, is found at other places, such as Tamlaght in Magherafelt District, Northern Ireland, though the mention of Eadoir Binn Éadair in the passage below, suggests that Tallaght is the more location for this tale. Upon Mount Seskin can be seen numerous stone structures; the one that lies a top this mountain is referred to as "The Hell Fire Club" and was built by a man called Speaker Conolly. It was built upon a passage tomb, thus was created the perfect location for many myths and legends, as the destruction of these structures, for any reason, is said to bring bad luck. Today all across the countryside of Ireland can be found random mounds of earth; such "fairy rings" are avoided by farmers, as they would rather leave them than risk the wrath of the "good people", the "Sí".
Places near Tallaght featured in the ancient legends of the Fianna, a band of warriors that roamed the country and fought for the High King at Tara. In Lady Gregory's'Gods and Fighting Men', mention is made of, in particular, Gleann na Smól: in Chapter 12 "The Red Woman", on a misty morning, Fionn says to his Fians, "Make yourselves ready, we will go hunting to Gleann-na-Smol." There they meet Niamh of the Golden Hair, who chose Oisín from among all the Fianna to be her husband, told him to come with her on her fairy horse, after which they rode over the land to the sea and across the waves to the land of Tír na nÓg. The documented history of Tallaght dates back to early Christendom in Ireland but the many archaeological sites in the area suggest the presence of Bronze Age and even earlier settlers in the area. With the foundation of the monastery of Tallaght by St. Maelruain in 769 A. D. there is a more reliable record of the area's early history. The monastery was a centre of learning and piety associated with the Céli Dé spiritual reform movement.
It was such an important institution that it and the monastery at Finglas were known as the "two eyes of Ireland". St. Aengus, an Ulsterman, was one of the most illustrious of the Céli Dé and devoted himself to the religious life. Wherever he went he was accompanied by a band of followers who distracted him from his devotions, he secretly travelled to the monastery at Tallaght where he was not known and enrolled as a lay brother. He remained unknown for many years, they may have written the Martyrology of Tallaght together, St Aengus wrote a calendar of saints known as the Féilire of Aengus. St. Maelruain was buried in Tallaght; the influence of the monastery continued after his death, as can be judged by the fact that, in 806, the monks of Tallaght were able to prevent the holding of the Tailteann Games, because of some infringement of their rights. In 811 the monastery was devastated by the Vikings but the destruction was not permanent and the annals of the monastery continued to be recorded for several following centuries.
After the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1179, Tallaght and its appurtenances were confirmed to the Diocese of Dublin and became the property of the A
Coolock is a large suburban area, centred on a village, on Dublin city's Northside in Ireland. Coolock is crossed by the Santry River, a prominent feature in the middle of the district, with a linear park and ponds; the Coolock suburban area encompasses parts of three Dublin postal districts: Dublin 5, Dublin 13 and Dublin 17. The civil parish of Coolock takes in the land between the Tonlegee Road and the Malahide Road, as well as the lands on either side of the Malahide Road between Darndale and Artane, the lands either side of the Oscar Traynor Road on the approach to Santry. Coolock is the name of the barony which accounts for most of north Dublin city, from the coast in to the Phoenix Park, stretching north as far as to Swords. Coolock has a history dating back over 3,500 years – a bronze-age burial site in the area dates back to 1500 BC; the settlement grew up around a small early-Christian church. A Catholic church, St. John's, was built in the area; the feudal barony of Coolock was granted in 1199 by Henry II to the Archbishop of Dublin.
Coolock remained a small village until the 1950s, with lands around the village being further developed over time, notably Bonnybrook and Kilmore West, between which a new centre to the area formed. At one time the old village was on the Malahide Road but that road was diverted and now passes to the east of the village. Again, lands in the north of Coolock were developed to form the new districts of Darndale and Priorswood. Coolock lies either side of the valley of the Santry River, includes a diversion from the little Naniken River, it is a flat area a little above sea level, with a linear park around the Santry, small green areas scattered through residential developments. Coolock lies at the centre of majority working class Northside suburbs such as Kilbarrack and the Edenmore part of Raheny, itself includes localities such as Ayrfield, Darndale, Priorswood and Kilmore West; as with other large suburban areas, such as Tallaght or Swords, there is no legal definition for Coolock, so no definitive population figures, but it is one of Dublin's largest residential areas.
The majority of Coolock, excluding Ayrfield, was built-up by the city authority, Dublin Corporation, as part of a programme of phased inner city slum clearance. Dublin City Council calculates that addresses containing "Coolock" comprise the largest stock of local authority houses within its jurisdiction and the area is central to the linear range of local authority building that took place during between the 1960s and the 1980s across Dublin's Northside - i.e. Ballymun including Poppintree, Coolock, Edenmore and Donaghmede; the permanent Traveller halting site estates of Cara Park and Dominick Park, found in the Belcamp area are among the largest halting site facilities provided by local authorities in Ireland. They contain an adult education centre and pre-school facilities for the local Traveller population, both located beside Dominick Park. At least one smaller, more traditional, Traveller settlement is found in the area, close to the Clare Hall Shopping Centre. King of the Travellers, Jim Watt, is a resident of this settlement.
Public parks in the area include the Santry River Linear Park, in Bonnybrook the Stardust Memorial Garden, dedicated to the 48 people who lost their lives in the Stardust nightclub. Parnells GAA club is based in Coolock village. Coolock is a centre of local government activity, with a Dublin City Council major centre, NEAR FM community radio station, a Health Services Executive centre and a recycling centre. Ayrfield, an area beginning on the north side of the Tonlegee Road, predominantly within the Dublin 13 postal code, opposite Edenmore, near Donaghmede and Darndale, containing several estates such as Rathvale, Millbrook, Foxhill and Ard na Greine. Ayrfield has St. Pauls Junior and Senior National School; the main access road, Blunden Drive, is the home of Ayrfield Credit Union, Ayrfield Community Centre and O'Tooles GAC clubhouse and playing pitches. Ayrfield is a parish in the Howth deanery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, it is served by the Church of St Paul. It is home to Ayrfield United F.
C. which has pitches beside the credit union. Belcamp, today comprising some housing between Darndale and Priorswood but referring to a broader rural area, it is situated near the site of the former Belcamp Cottage and included cottages demolished to make way for the N32 road. Belcamp Hall, designed by architect James Hoban is a feature. Bonnybrook, a locality within the core of Coolock, above the original village, site of the main shopping centre, with its own Catholic church and primary school. Clonshaugh, stretching from the large Clonshaugh Industrial Estate opposite Kilmore all the way to the AUL, close to Baskin Lane; this includes Riverside, a housing estate at the side of the Santry River, with over 500 residents, first described as being in Santry, but with the postal district changed from Dublin 5 to Dublin 17, Newbury, situated behind Riverside, accessed from the Clonshaugh Road. Darndale, built as a range of social housing estates, east of Clonshaugh and west of Clare Hall, it comprises Marigold Court, Primrose Grove, Snowdrop Walk and Tulip Court.
Greencastle, a locality within the core of Coolo
The Irish Independent is Ireland's largest-selling daily newspaper, published by Independent News & Media. It includes glossy magazines. While most of the paper's content in English, it publishes a weekly supplement in Irish called Seachtain; the Irish Independent's sister publication is the Sunday Independent. Since May 2012, the Irish Independent has been controlled by billionaire Denis O'Brien since he acquired 29.9% of the paper's parent company. In January 2008, at the same time as completing the purchase Today FM, O'Brien increased his INM shareholding to become that company's second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O'Reilly, whom he ousted just over four years later. Traditionally a broadsheet newspaper, it introduced an additional compact size in 2004 and in December 2012 it was announced that the newspaper would become compact only; the Irish Independent was formed in 1905 as the direct successor to the Daily Irish Independent, an 1890s pro-Parnellite newspaper, was launched by William Martin Murphy, a controversial Irish nationalist businessman, staunch anti-Parnellite and fellow townsman of Parnell's most venomous opponent, Bantry's Timothy Michael Healy.
During the 1913 Lockout of workers, in which Murphy was the leading figure among the employers, the Irish Independent vigorously sided with its owner's interests, publishing news reports and opinion pieces hostile to the strikers, expressing confidence in the unions' defeat and launching personal attacks on the leader of the strikers, James Larkin. The Irish Independent described the 1916 Easter Rising as "insane and criminal" and famously called for the shooting of its leaders. In December 1919, during the Irish War of Independence, a group of twenty IRA men destroyed the printing works of the paper, angered at its criticism of the Irish Republican Army's attacks on members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and British government officials. In 1924, the traditional nationalist newspaper, the Freeman's Journal, merged with the Irish Independent; until October 1986 the paper's masthead over the editorial contained the words "incorporating the Freeman's Journal". For most of its history, the Irish Independent was seen as a nationalist, anti-Communist, which gave its political allegiance to the Pro-Treaty party Cumann na nGaedheal and its successor party, Fine Gael.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Irish Independent's coverage was pro-Franco. In 1961 the Harp became a symbol to the Irish Independent appeared in black but was changed to green in 1972. In the 1970s, it was taken over by former Heinz chairman Tony O'Reilly. Under his leadership, it became a more populist, market liberal newspaper—populist on social issues, but economically right-wing. By the mid-nineties its allegiance to Fine Gael had ended. In the 1997 general election, it endorsed Fianna Fáil under a front-page editorial, entitled "It's Payback Time". While it suggested its headline referred to the fact that the election offered a chance to "pay back" politicians for their failings, its opponents suggested that the "payback" referred to its chance to get revenge for the refusal of the Rainbow Coalition to award the company a mobile phone licence. In late 2004, Independent Newspapers moved from their traditional home in Middle Abbey Street to a new office, "Independent House" in Talbot Street, with the printing facilities relocated to the Citywest business park near Tallaght.
On 27 September 2005, a fortnight after the paper published its centenary edition, it was announced that editor Vinnie Doyle would step down after 24 years in the position. He was replaced by Gerry O'Regan, who had until been editor of the Irish Independent's sister paper, the Evening Herald; the newspaper's previous editor Stephen Rae was formerly editor of the Evening Herald and was appointed editor in September 2012. Fionnan Sheahan was appointed editor in January 2015. Denis O'Brien acquired a majority shareholding the newspaper parent company INM in May 2012. Since 2011, the Irish Independent has been the home of New Irish Writing, established by David Marcus in 1969 in the Irish Press and appeared in the Sunday Tribune from 1988 to 2011; the New Irish Writing Page is "the longest-running creative writing feature of its kind in any Irish or British newspaper". The Irish Independent, in co-operation with the Institute of Education, produces Exam Brief, a yearly six-part supplement dedicated to preparation for Leaving and Junior Certificate exams.
This supplement is published in February and April each year. Excluding The Sun and the Daily Mirror, most of the content of which are produced in the United Kingdom, the Independent Group owns just over 67% of Irish daily newspapers. INM-owned or owned titles have 58% of the newspaper market on Sunday. With the closure of the Evening Press, the Independent's Evening Herald is now the only Irish national evening newspaper. Another sister paper is the Sunday Independent. Other newspapers in the Independent News & Media group include the Irish Daily Star, the Sunday World and many local Irish newspapers; the Independent News and Media Group had a major share in the Sunday Tribune, a Sunday broadsheet before its closure in 2011. The Independent News & Media Group has been accused of holding an "unhealthy dominance" of the Irish newspaper market, all the more so since the demise of the Irish Press, Evening Press and Sunday Press newspapers publis
Airside Retail Park
Airside Retail Park is a retail park which opened in 2001, is located in Swords in County Dublin. The retail park is located close to Dublin Airport. An extension was built in 2005. There is a Premier Inn hotel located next to the retail park and there are 16 tenants. In the end of 2016, work began on a new Tesco near the Holywell Estate, it opened in May 2017
Blanchardstown is a large outer suburb of Dublin in County Fingal, built out from a small village since the 1960s. It is located 10 km north-west of the city centre, it is within the historical barony of Castleknock in the traditional County Dublin, as well as the Dublin 15 postal area and the Dublin West electoral constituency. Blanchardstown is the largest urban area in Fingal. One of Ireland's largest shopping and leisure centres, the Blanchardstown Centre, is located in the area; the name Blanchardstown comes from the Blanchard family, who were granted their estate some time between 1250 and 1260. The name'Blanchard' is thought to come from the old French word blanch, meaning white, could refer to white or fair hair; the townland has an area of over 454 acres. Blanchardstown is just outside Dublin's M50 motorway ring road to the north of the tolled crossing of the River Liffey; the core of the suburb is the townland of the same name. It is bordered to the east by the suburb of Castleknock, to the west by Clonsilla/Ongar, to the north by Tyrellstown/Hollystown and to the south and south east by Porterstown/Diswellstown.
Dublin's second river, the Tolka runs through the centre of the area, meandering to run just north of the village core, further north to Connolly Memorial Hospital and past Abbotstown. The Royal Canal and the Dublin-Sligo railway line pass along the southern edge of Blanchardstown proper from east to west. Blanchardstown was a predominantly rural area, with a small village, in western County Dublin, alongside the neighbouring district of Castleknock. Both areas shared a common history until well into the 19th century, when their development diverged. In the late 1960s, the first housing estates began to be developed. During the 1970s/80s, the village and surrounding housing developments became subsumed into the suburban fabric of Dublin; the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown was established in 1999. A criminal gang from Blanchardstown became notorious as "The Westies", they controlled the heroin trade in west Dublin. One of its leaders, Bernard Sugg, was shot in a pub in Blanchardstown in 2003, while the others were killed in Spain in 2004.
There are three Irish Rail train stations in the wider Blanchardstown area: Castleknock and Clonsilla. Trains on the Maynooth/Longford line connect the city centre, at Dublin Connolly, Tara Street and Dublin Pearse stations, to Maynooth and Sligo. At Clonsilla station, the Dublin–Navan railway line connects Docklands railway station to Hansfield and Dunboyne. Ballycoolin Industrial Estate is served by a private bus company called AMC Ballycoolin known as Express Bus. Bus Éireann services pass through Blanchardstown on Routes 105,109 and 111. Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead Ireland routes include 17A, 37, 38, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 39, 39A, 39N, 40D, 70, 76A, 220, 236, 238, 239 and 270. Two Nitelink bus routes operate on Friday and Saturday nights to Tyrrelstown Route 39N and Dunboyne Route 70N. Express bus routes include service from Aston Quay and from Coolmine Railway Station to Ballycoolin Industrial Estate. Connolly Hospital, one of Dublin's main hospitals, a public university teaching hospital, is located in the area, as is the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown.
Local retail outlets include Blanchardstown Centre, WestEnd Shopping Park. The Carlton Hotel, a 4 Star Hotel north-west of the village, is located by the Blanchardstown Centre complex. There is a SuperValu outlet on Main Street. Blanchardstown has a large public library, is home to the Draíocht Arts Centre. Primary Level Scoil Bhríde, Church Avenue Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Scoil Bhríde, Church Avenue Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Sacred Heart of Jesus Primary School, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Scoile Olilibheir, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. St Ciaran's Primary School, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Mary Mother of Hope Primary School, Clonee, Dublin 15. St Phillip the Apostle Primary School, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15Second Level Blakestown Community School, Sheepmoor Avenue, Dublin 15. Riversdale Community College, Blanchardstown Rd N, Dublin 15 Hartstown Community School, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Coolmine Community School, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Third Level Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Blanchardstown Rd N, Dublin 15 The National Sports Campus is located in Blanchardstown, includes the National Aquatic Centre, a major indoor aquatics facility with a 50m swimming pool, diving pool, leisure pool and aquapark, fitness centre.
The centre hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2003, a number of international swimming events since then. St Brigid's Roman Catholic Church is situated behind Main Street at Church Avenue; the foundation stone for the church was laid on 13 October 1835 and the first Mass was celebrated there on 29 October 1837. The construction of the Church and its unusual Flemish spire was completed in 1863. In the 19th century, the Roman Catholic parish of Blanchardstown encompassed much of the area now within the Dublin 15 postal district. Following the relaxation of the Penal Laws, it became possible for Catholic adherents to consider the construction of additional churches and to repair the existing stock of religious buildings. Church authorities used the opportunity to implement the Tridentine reform which saw the parish as the basic unit of ecclesiastical organisation and the parish priest as the central figure wit