No.1 Website


Baile Brigín - the Town of the Small Hills. Beautiful Balbriggan has expanded over the last decade almost beyond belief, thanks to the 'Celtic Tiger' economy. The mission of is to inform and to engender an increasing sense of Community. Initially, this may seem to benefit and interest just local people. However, over past years and decades Balbrigganers have spread far and wide across the globe and now, through this site, have the means to retain and reaffirm their links with home. is very definitely NOT a commercial site - we strenuously avoid controversial issues, be they local or national - these needs are well served by newspapers such as the Fingal Independent locally, the Irish Independent nationally and, of course, by RTE.

About us.
September 2003, just ten short years ago, saw professional photographer Tony Healy with a plethora of local photographs and no means to share them. The Harbour, our Martello Tower, the Viaduct which features so large in the environment - all part of our Heritage, part of our town and the very essence of Balbriggan. Plenty of photographs but no outlet for them.

A chance meeting with Jack Benton and Joe Curtis, at a local Photographic Exhibition, further highlighted the need for some more accessible way of sharing the joys of our small town with a wider audience. Jack and Joe had, and have, a huge collection of historic images but again, no outlet for them.

Click thumbnail to enlarge.

Having declined a kind invitation to register the name '' ( it could just have been the $10,000 fee required! ), Tony registered as an Internet domain.

Balbriggan grows - and the web site grows with it.
From modest beginnings, has grown apace with the development of the town. Our very first images concerned the development of The Square, in the very heart of the Community. 'Candons', with owners Dave, Bernie and Miriam on their very last day of business before demolition to make way for the new Civic Offices - were there. We have continued to feature the expansion of this small and friendly little town on the northernmost tip of County Dublin into the thriving community it has become.

In a very few short years, has grown exponentially. From that very modest beginning at a Photographic Exhibition, we have grown to become recognised as the Number One Community Website throughout Ireland ( source: Google - the World's Number One internet search engine ). On average, we receive 500 visitors a day to the site, 5000 pages viewed every day- figures which many a large commercial website view with envy. Almost a quarter of a million 'hits' in a whisker under 4 years. To explain the reason for this phenomenal growth, we need to look at the way the site is organised. features:-

The 'Home' page - you're reading it! Every web site's portal to the Internet.

The 'News' page - where everything happens. Any changes to the site, any updates, any news and it's here. This is the heart and soul of the site.

The 'History' page - each moment in time is a tiny slice of history in the making. What we each do today is tomorrow's history. We are fortunate in having a large collection of historical photographs and ephemera recording the growth of our Town from the 'Town of the Small Hills' to today's vibrant and thriving Community. Here you will find information about the rise to prominence of Smyth & Co (Smyco) and their part in clothing Royalty ( before Partition, 'Balbriggans' was a definitive word much as 'Hoover', 'Biro' and 'Diesel' are today ). Here too is information about the sacking of Balbriggan by the notorious 'Black & Tans' from Gormanston Barracks. Need to know the background to that Plaque in Bridge Street? It's here on the History page.

The 'Links' page - what else but links to sites, both commercial and private, of relevance to the locale.

The 'Maps' page - guess what? Maps! We now use Google Maps so you can locate any road or street in Balbriggan. If it's got a name, it's there!

The 'Directory' page - need a B & B for friends? Pension advice? The phone number of a Balbriggan business / employer / club - we are growing this Directory apace to include all this invaluable information. It's online, it's instant, and it's FREE to use.

The 'Guest Book' - once upon a time, this too was a 'page'. So popular has it proved - with entries not just from Balbriggan itself but from far-flung places like Balrothery, Naul and Skerries (!) - that this has now had to be organised by date into a book. So local entries mingle with those from Canada, Australia and the wide, wide world beyond our shores. Updated weekly, the Guest Book brings topical comments from far and wide; contact old neighbours, first boy/girl friends, distant relatives through our Guest Book.

We have many contributors who foster our Community spirit with their insightful features. Minister Trevor Sargent TD proffers a detailled description of St. George's Church and School. Joe Curtis and Jack Benton contribute an account of Smyco with many, many pictures of old Balbriggan. Your contribution would be as gratefully received!

About photographs
Much of our site relies on photographs to inform viewers. We aim to bring you our photographs as big as possible ( for the technical, 750 pixels wide to fit most monitors ). So popular have the photographs proven that we have, on occasion, had the misfortune to have them stolen or misused. They have appeared, without permission, on other sites and even in print. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery we feel that, to continue to bring you images, we must now watermark all our images. The originals are not damaged in any way, only those which appear here bear our watermark.

Pictures from the Curtis/Benton Collection and the Brangan Collection of Smyco photographs featuring famed hosier, Thomas Mangan, are not for commercial use and appear here by consent.

We are ALWAYS on the lookout for new (to us) pictures. If you have any at all, irrespective of condition, which you would like to share with your Community, contact Tony Healy on 086-805 4275. Call into us at 10 Hampton Green, (Murphys Yard) Balbriggan or you can leave the photographs in McGovern's Gift Shop

Previous count was 13647 plus

Hits since 13th August 2004

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