Kilmacud (Irish: Cill Mhic Oda, meaning ‘The Church of the Son Of Oda’) is a suburban area of Dublin in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Ireland, at least partly contiguous with Stillorgan.
Kilmacud is north of Sandyford, east of Dundrum and south of Goatstown. The west end of the Lower Kilmacud Road starts in Goatstown, heading in a southerly direction. It then goes southeast through what appears to be a narrow shortcut and on out to the end of Drummartin Road and turns east. From there it continues eastwards through to the Stillorgan dual carriageway or N11. In total, it is about 2.6 kilometres or 1.6 miles long. The Upper Kilmacud Road starts in Dundrum and goes uphill initially it continues eastward, levels off, and continues until a sharp corner brings it northward and downhill. It joins the Lower Kilmacud Road close to St. Laurence’s Boys School. It is about 2.9 kilometres or 1.8 miles long.
The areas of Kilmacud and Stillorgan are overlapping. For example, Kilmacud Crokes GAA club is located in Stillorgan and Stillorgan’s Roman Catholic parish is called Kilmacud. Kilmacud can be described as the area between and immediately around the Upper and Lower Kilmacud Roads. A now-gone placename sign for Stillorgan stood up until the 1970s near Beaufield Park, which is on the section of the Lower Kilmacud Road running between the shops near St. Laurence’s Church, and the Stillorgan Shopping Centre. This would have been on the western edge of Stillorgan, and many of the existing housing estates mentioned earlier would not have been in place prior to the 1950s, so it would have marked the beginnings of a built-up area. The area now referred to as Kilmacud would have been on the western side of the sign, with the Chapel of SS Laurence and Cuthbert close by. This was long before the current church was dedicated just to St. Laurence O’Toole, which opened in 1964.
I lived in Stillorgan in 1964 when the Parish of St. Laurence O’Toole, Kilmacud, was formed. The Parish was made up of Kilmacud and Stillorgan. The first Parish Priest was Canon Harley. Until then our local church was Mount Merrion.
Kilmacud takes its name from the Irish Cill Mochuda, the church of Mochud. Mochud was from Munster, and is associated with the monastery of Lismore, Co.Waterford. He is said to have died around 703.
St. Brigid is the saint associated with Stillorgan. She founded the monastery in Kildare in the 5th or 6th century, which became one of the “Big Three” – with Iona and Armagh. Emissaries from Kildare came to Stillorgan, and built their church on the site of the present Church of Ireland church, probably in the early 9th century.
After WWII Dublin began to expand. Kilmacud and Stillorgan mushroomed and the needs of the Parish took on new dimensions.The De La Salle Brothers started St Benildus College in 1966 to provide secondary education for boys. Five years later, 1971, the Sisters of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus opened St Raphaela’s to provide a similar education for girls. Fr Walsh C.C. saw the need to provide physical recreation for young people in the Parish and was instrumental in founding the Kilmacud GAA Club in 1959.
A few years earlier, in 1948, the chapels of ease at Kilmacud and Mount Merrion were amalgamated into a single parish. Sixteen years later, in 1964, Kilmacud then became a Parish in its own right.
The chapel in Kilmacud was now much too small for the growing population, and all recognized that a new church was needed. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity donated a site, and the Church of St Laurence O’Toole was opened on December 14, 1969 by the Archbishop of the time Most Rev John Charles McQuaid. After the death of Canon Harley on January 13, 1981 Monsignor Val Rogers was appointed Parish Priest in June of the same year, a position he held with great distinction until he retired on his 75th birthday in 1995.
I lived beside Stillorgan Shopping for the first thirty years of its existence and as it was the first shopping centre [mall] in Ireland and many of my friends were more than envious and kept finding excuses to visit me at home. Even though the centre is old and small compared to most modern shopping centres it is very popular as it is an outdoor centre.
Stillorgan Village is now an outdoor Centre, with wide malls and covered walkways. The Centre’s strong retail offering includes well-known brands such as Tesco, Dunnes, Kilkenny and Donnybrook Fair. However, Stillorgan Village is also home to many boutique brands and Irish owned businesses.
In the 1930s, 60 houses were built at Beaufield Park. The Merville Estate was subsequently built in the 1950s on land belonging to the Jolly family dairy farm. St Laurence’s Park was completed in October 1954.
The first bowling alley in Ireland, the Stillorgan Bowl opened in December 1963 and was demolished in May 2021.
The first shopping centre to be built in Ireland opened in Stillorgan in 1966. It was opened by Dickey Rock. It had three supermarkets, Powers, Liptons and Quinnsworth. The road in front of the shopping centre was completely lined with cottages built during the early 19th century and, to enable the construction of the centre, they were knocked down and the rubble was used to fill in and level the lands that are now Páirc De Burca, the playing field of Kilmacud Crokes.