SKERRIES, a maritime town in Holmpatrick parish, Balrothery east barony county of Dublin,
18 miles N. by E. from Dublin, comprising an area of 81 acres ; population 2,4 17, inhabiting 498 houses. It is situated upon the eastern coast, close to the Drogheda line of railway, of which it is the 10th station
from Dublin, and is chiefly occupied by fishermen and their families.
The only historical circumstance connected with the place is the landing of Sir Henry Sidney in 1575,
on being appointed Lord Deputy of' Ireland by Queen Elizabeth. Its public buildings are, the Parish Church,
with a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, and a spacious and handsome Roman Catholic Chapel.
It has a Dispensary, Parochial School, National School., and connected with both church and chapel there
are circulating libraries. It is a Constabulary Police and Coast Guard station, and two fairs for cattle
and pigs are held on April 28 and August 10 There is a Barm Brewery, Malting Kilns, and Corn Mills, and
a coasting trade is carried on in potatoes, limestone, and coal.
Prior to the withdrawal of the fishery bounties the trade of this place was very considerable. In
1846 there were 2 vessels of 60 tons, and 40 vessels of from 30 to 50 tools, each carrying 7 men
and 70 yawls, with from 4 to 6 hands in each, employed in the fishery. The embroidering of muslin
is carried on here extensively it was introduced by Messrs. Robert and Samuel Cochran in 1812, and
in 1819 they had upwards of 1,300 hands engaged thereon ; since then from the increased number of
employers, it affords employment to a great number of females throughout the year, for Belfast and
Glasgow agencies. In 1755 a grant of £2,000 was made by the Irish Parliament for the
construction of a pier, and in 1767 a further grant of £1,500 was made for that purpose ;
but in subsequent years, having become damaged by storm, it was neglected and fell to decay, when
the proprietor of the town, Hans Hamilton, esq., repaired it at his own expense. The harbour is
well situated, and the best, on this part of the coast, having excellent holding ground, and
good shelter in S. W. gales, but it is inadequate to accommodate the vessels that resort here,
and requires to be considerably enlarged.
Off the port we the four Skerry islands, Shenex or Shenicks, the largest contains 15 acres ;
on it there is a Martello tower; that nearest Skerries is Red Island, on which also is a Martello
tower ; the next is Colt Island, and the farthest off about a mile from the shore, is Innispatrick
or St. Patrick's Island, so named, it is said, from being the first spot of Irish ground
St. Patrick set his foot on, and where MacMurchard, at the close of the 9th century, founded a
monastery, in which Moel Finian, Prince of the Bregii, was monk, and subsequently abbot.
The railway trains from Dublin to Drogheda stop at 41 min, past 8, and 48 min. past 11 A.M.,
30 min. past 3, 18 min. past 4, 10 min. past 6, and 55 min. past 7, p.m. The up trains to Dublin
stop at 16 min. past 4, 16 min. past 8, and 10 min. past 11, A.M., 16 min. past 2, 40 min. past 6,
and 37 min. past 9, p.m. The fares are – first class carriages, 2s. 6d. ; second class, 1s. 6d.;
third class, 10d. The mail from Dublin arrives at 45 min. past 9, A.M., and is despatched at 25 min.
past 5, p.m.