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Irish: Dún Dónaill
Dundonald (Northern Ireland)

Dundonald shown within Northern Ireland
Population 20,000
District Castlereagh Borough
County County Down
Constituent country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BELFAST
Postcode district BT16
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
European Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament East Belfast
List of places: UKNorthern IrelandDown

Coordinates: 54°35'38?N 5°48'47?W? / ?54.594, -5.813

Dundonald (from the Irish: Dún Dónaill meaning "Dónall's fort") is a town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies in the outermost suburbs of east Belfast.

Dundonald's population stands at approximately 20,000, with the majority of residents coming from the unionist community. It falls in the Parliamentary constituency of East Belfast, and the borough council of Castlereagh. Its current Member of Parliament is Peter Robinson of Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party.

Dundonald contains a large working-class housing estate, Ballybeen.


[edit] History

Dundonald refers to a 12th century Norman fort, or Dún, Dún Dónaill, that stood in the town. One of the largest in Ireland, the man-made hill that the fort stood on is still in existence.

Although the mound is commonly referred to as 'the moat' this is, in fact, a corruption of the word 'motte' and refers to the fact that this defensive structure was built in the style of a motte and bailey. The moat, of course, would have been the ditch around the bottom of the mound, if, indeed, one existed. St. Elizabeth's Church is located beside the moat, with the Cleland Mausoleum in the adjacent graveyard.

Dundonald acquired rail links to Belfast and Newtownards in 1850, Downpatrick in 1859 and Newcastle in 1869. The rail link with Belfast encouraged Dundonald to expand as a commuter town, but in 1950 the railway line running through Dundonald was closed. Dundonald station was opened on 6 May 1850, but finally closed on 24 April 1950.[1]

Until the 1960s Dundonald was a small village. A number of property developments, most notably the housing estate Ballybeen, were then built and Dundonald's population rapidly grew.

[edit] Places of interest

A 300 year old watermill is located on the Belfast Road in the town. The sandstone building has been extensively restored and includes a brasserie, gift shop and a 35 foot waterwheel, the largest in Ireland.

In 1986 The Dundonald International Ice Bowl was opened in the town. This originally comprised an Olympic sized ice rink and a 20 lane AMF ten pin bowling alley. In later years "Indianaland", a children's indoor adventure playground was added along with Laser Quest, a simulated combat arena using laser tag equipment. The bowling alley was upgraded to 30 lanes in the 1990s and an extensive miniature golf course has recently been built. The site also contains a David Lloyd fitness centre. In 2006 the area was designated as the Dundonald Leisure Park, as part of the Draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan 2015. In 2007 a site was sold for the development of a hotel in front of the David Lloyd centre, and work began on a multiplex cinema on the opposite side of the Old Dundonald Road.[2]

Located in Dundonald is the Ulster Hospital, known colloquially as "the Ulster".

[edit] Sport

From 1928 to 1936, the Tourist Trophy (TT) motorcar Races took place on a road circuit encompassing Newtownards, Comber and Dundonald in County Down. The course was roughly triangular and the start was at Quarry Corner and the route raced clockwise. The pits were still visible up until the 1960s. A popular viewing point was the hairpin bend at the Central Bar in Dundonald.

At the time it was Northern Ireland’s premier sporting event, regularly attracting crowds in excess of a quarter of a million people. The first driver to complete 30 laps of the circuit was the winner. On September 5, 1936, in wet conditions, one driver lost control of his car and crashed into the crowd, killing eight spectators. This tragedy brought an end to nine years of racing over the Ards road circuit. Industrialist and pioneer of the modern agricultural tractor, Harry Ferguson, was instrumental in setting up the race.

In the late 1990s Glentoran were reported to be considering relocating from their east Belfast home at The Oval to Dundonald, but this move did not occur and was denied by the club. The intended site was close to the Dundonald Ice Bowl.

[edit] People

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. , Dundonald station. Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  2. , Castlereagh Borough Council

(Source: Wikipedia)
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