Beautiful beach makes Martello great, say locals
PORTMARNOCK’S Martello area takes in several different roads and estates but ask any of the residents about life by the sea and you’ll get the same answer.
With a beautiful beach, stunning views, amenities close at hand and an array of activities, the area is a resident’s dream.
Pauline Rooney moved to Portmarnock in 1976 and her Wendell Avenue home was her ‘first house’.
‘The keys came when we were on honeymoon,’ Pauline said.
‘I’m originally from the northside and wanted to stay here. I just fell in love with the place.’
Understandably, Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand was one of the main reasons why Pauline moved to the area, though the later addition of the shopping centre wasn’t on the cards back then.
‘The biggest attraction has to be the beach. There was originally supposed to be a church and a school where the shops are now. But it’s very convenient.
‘We don’t have to drive to do our shopping and a new coffee shop has just opened there too.’
Pauline is also a member of the nearby sports and leisure centre, as well as the GAA club she recommends the Monday night entertainment and had nothing but positive thoughts on Portmarnock.
‘All my children went to the schools locally, and they were brilliant. It’s good to be able to say that.’
Martha Walsh is another long term resident in the area. ‘We’ve been here for 33 years,’ she said.
‘We originally looked at the houses when we got engaged and I’ve always liked Portmarnock. It’s really come on.’
Aside from the easy access to the beach, is it the residents themselves that Martha is thankful for.
‘The people on the who are very supportive and they are always willing to dig in.’
What started off as a small community is ‘getting bigger’ and with that growth comes familiar problems. ‘The station car park is always full,’ Martha continued. There are people coming from Malahide, Swords and locally to park there and there aren’t enough spaces.’ That said, Martha couldn’t be happier.
‘Most of my kids are now living in and around Portmarnock. I’m very happy I wouldn’t leave in a million years.’
Vernonica O’Rourke echoed those sentiments, particularly regarding the beach. After 27 years in the area, she still can’t get enough of the sandy shore.
‘We love the beach and we’d walk our dog, Brandy, three or four times a day there,’ Veronica said.
‘All of my children also went to school locally and there’s a lot to do.
‘I certainly have no intentions of moving from here.’ Veronica has noticed many changes over nearly three decades.
‘I remember when there was only one street light down the village and people had to queue to use the
The downsides seem to be few and far between. ‘I’ve noticed a lot of broken glass around the paths,’ she added
. ‘Also, I don’t see why they can’t time the bus service to run with the trains.’
Transport is an issue Bernadette Ruth would like to see tackled too, though again she had few complaints about the area.
‘I’ve been here for 25 years,’ Bernadette said, noting the changes. ‘We have a good transport system with a link to DCU and also a nightlink service, which is handy for younger people.
‘But they’re supposed to be amalgamating the 102 and 230 services, which hasn’t happened yet. We also had a problem with boy racers, but the ramps have helped with that.’
The shopping centre appears to bring some problems too, with litter and parking causing hassle occasionally.
‘The car park at the shopping centre is full at around 9am each morning,’ resident Frances Tobin noted. She put it down to people parking and then commuting on buses. ‘It’s unfair on the customers.’
The ‘helpfulness and friendliness’ of the people of Portmarnock are one of its biggest assets, according to Frances.
‘There is a great community spirit; people gather together and help each other.
‘There are an awful lot of advantages in Portmarnock. I’ve been here for 33 years and I used to come here as a child.’
The easy access to the city meant that Frances ‘never had any reason to leave’. Again, she witnessed
the development over the years.‘The amount of housing had been a big change, but it has changed for the better with so many facilities.’
Despite living in the area for 15 years, Veronica Kavanagh still jokingly referred to herself as a ‘blow-in’.
‘Pauline is my sister in law and anytime I used to visit her, I always wished that I lived here too,’
Veronica said. ‘I’ve never regretted moving here.’Amenities such as Malahide Castle and of course the beach are both aspects of life in the area that Veronica has cherished, along with other facilities.One thing Veronica, and indeed her neighbours, would like to see, is an improved feeder bus to Swords. ‘It can seem so near yet so far,’ the ladies added.
‘The bus service had definitely improved recently,’ Veronica added. ‘There is a good public transport system and the schools are all excellent. They all have really good reputations.’
Fingal Independent 21/03/2007