The Greater Dubin Area:
A core region of Ireland
Regional Geography
• It is a focal point/nodal point of the main road and rail networks
(with two sea ports and an international port)
• It is the financial and administrative capital (with the seat of
• Well-drained lowland area with fertile soils and sheltered
• High population density and in-migration
• Attracts industry due to young, educated workforce.
• It is a fast growing region.
Primary Economic Activities: Farming (fishing,
forestry and mining)
Secondary Economic Activities: Industry
Tertiary Economic Activities: Tourism (transport)
The Cool Temperate Oceanic climate dominates Ireland. In this
eastern region it brings the following conditions:
Rainfall: approx. 750mm per year (higher in the Wicklow
mountains=relief rain)
Temperatures: 5 – 15 ◦C on average.
The land of this region is mostly low lying and gently sloping especially
throughout much of Meath, Kildare and Dublin. However, the
Dublin/Wicklow mountains hinder development further south in these
The Liffey dominates much of Dublin and Kildare with other rivers in
the region including the Boyne, Nanny, Blackwater and Dargle.
The Liffey dominates much of Dublin and Kildare with other rivers in
the region including the Boyne, Nanny, Blackwater and Dargle.
The GDA is mostly covered in a fertile layer of Brown Earth Soils. This
soil is mixed with glacial boulder clay dropped thousands of years ago
and irrigated by the rivers of the region. Also these rivers provide rich
alluvium each year making the area ideal for agriculture.
Peaty soil is found in the mountainous areas.
The climate and the soil of this region helps agriculture in
this region. The low rainfall amount (750mm), rare frosts
and the gently sloping landscape (covered in brown earth
soils and loam soils) sees ideal conditions for profitable
Cereals are grown in Meath and Kildare with immigrant
workers needed for the barley and maize crops. Wheat is
also produced in these counties.
Agriculture in the GDA is intensive.
This means that crops are grown
quickly and efficiently for the large
local market of the region.
Horticulture and tillage farming are
the main types of farming and are
profitable as the produce is locally
transported and sold.
The north of County Dublin is the
location of over half of all green
houses in Ireland. Here fruit and
vegetables are grown. Cabbages,
tomatoes and onions are some of the
main produces of this region.
Cattle farming takes place in most of County Meath. In fact
many farmers in the West of Ireland send their cattle to this
region for fattening prior to selling them on the market.
Kildare specialises in the bloodstock industry (horses) with
the Curragh nearby. In County Wicklow sheep rearing is
practiced on the sloping low hills of the Wicklow Mountains
as soil cover is thinner and unsuitable to crops.
The greatest challenge facing agriculture in this region is
the growth of Dublin city and all the main towns of this
region. The demand for land and crops conflict each other.
Wicklow has more land under forestry than
Kildare, Meath and Dublin combined. This is
because this county is home to the Wicklow
mountains which have thin, acidic soils unsuitable
for most crops and farming practices.
Instead the land is used to grow trees. The northfacing slopes are solely used for tree growth as
these slopes are colder, wetter and farming is
extremely difficult on the steep slopes.
Howth in North County Dublin is home to the fishing
industry in this core region. This fishing port and town
ranks at number three in Ireland for fish landed and for
the employment of people in fish processing.
Dublin Bay Prawns are one of Irelands premier shellfish
exports. 40% of all exports from Ireland in 2005 were
prawns from this region. Oysters and shrimps are also
caught and exported.
The GDA has many advantages for attracting industries:
Transport Network
Raw materials
Standards of living
Service centre
Manufacturing is the main type of industry in this region. Due to the
strong agriculture base in these counties there is a wide variety of
food processing, clothing and textiles and electronics.
Dublin county makes up 32% of employment in manufacturing alone.
The main companies in this region are:
Dell Computers in Cherrywood, Dublin. Despite the downturn in the
economy over 1000 people are still employed in this location. They
are responsible for making, servicing and tele-sales computers and
other machinery.
Other IT companies include Hewlett Packard
and Intel in Leixlip in Kildare and Skillsoft
Games in the Tallaght industrial centre. In fact
the GDA is now home to some of the worlds
leading IT companies such as Google, , Paypal
and Ebay.
Apart from IT, food processing is an important part of the
secondary activities in this core region. Cadburys
chocolate and biscuits is the leading producer of
confectionary in Ireland. Tayto in Ashbourne, Co. Meath
own several well-known brands (Hunky Dory’s etc) and
Jacobs recently closed its plant in Tallaght.
Finally, the newspaper industry has mostly moved from the
city centre to a new state-of-the-art centre in City West in
Dublin. This is home to the leading three newspapers
including the Irish Times and the Independent.
Transport links in the GDA have been invested
in and improved in recent years due to the growth of this
region as the Core region of Ireland.
In Dublin the DART rail system links the north and south side
of the eastern coastline running from Greystones in
Wicklow to Rush and Lusk in North Dublin.
The M50 has been widened and extended to loop around the
west of the capital and links the port tunnel in north Dublin
to the southern port of Dun Laoghaire and (via the N11) to
Rosslare in Wexford. In addition the M50 links rural
motorways such as the M8 to Galway, M5 to Cork and also
linking Sligo, Limerick, Waterford and the North via the M1.
The Dublin Bus service has been improved with quality bus
corridors and lanes throughout the city.
The LUAS (green and red lines) will soon link the east and
west of Dublin. This system connects suburban villages
within Dublin.
Dublin Airport recently opened Terminal Two (T2) to
enable the greater volume of tourists visiting Ireland each
The Grand Canal and Royal Canal are navigable links
between Dublin and neighbouring counties. Though not as
widely used for industrial purposes, they are used for
recreational activities in recent times.
Finally, Dublin port and Dun Laoghaire ports are
responsible for the majority of RO-RO freight in and out of
the country.
There is a wide variety of tourist attractions in this core
region. Attractions range from sport to music, culture and
history to fashion. While these attractions are spread
throughout the region it must be noted that the majority are
located in the county of Dublin.
The largest shopping centres are found in Dublin and
Kildare. In the capital shopping centres tend to be located
on or near the M50. These include Liffey Valley, Dundrum
and Blanchardstown in Dublin and Kildare Retail Park
(village) outside of Naas in Kildare.
Historically this region shows evidence from the burial site
of Newgrange in Co. Meath (c.5000 years old) to the Easter
Rising museum in Kilmainham jail to the public museum in
Wicklow Gaol. Also buildings like the GPO, Four Courts,
Trinity College and Custom House Quay (Dublin) tell of the
history of the region.
Sporting wise this core region boasts golf clubs like the KClub in Kildare (host to the Rydar Cup in 2006) and
Portmarnock Golf Club (host to the Irish Open).
Croke Park in North Dublin is the home of the
GAA and huge source of tourism to the capital
as it also includes a convention centre and sporting
museum. Just south of the river is the Aviva Stadium (the
base of the IRFU and FAI) which hosted the 2011 Europa
Cup Final.
The recently completed National Aquatics
Centre in west Dublin is another example of a
sporting venue of touristic interest.
While sport or history might not appeal to all tourists, the
landscape of this region might. Wicklow boasts the
moutains with peaks like the Sugar Loaf. These mountains
include numerous hiking trails of all difficulties. Nearby the
scenic site of Glendalough is found with St. Kevins round
tower. This small area includes a hotel, hostel, visitor
centre and marked walkways. Also in Wicklow you can find
the Powerscourt waterfall and gardens with cafes and
visitor centres in the area. In Meath the historic battle site
of the Boyne river is a tourist attraction with river walks
and tours available.
Finally, the GDA region also includes numerous sites of
cultural attraction from festivals like Slane Castle (Meath),
The O2 arena (Dublin), Bloomsday festival, The Jameson
Factory tours, Temple Bar and the Smithfield horse sales.
The Greater Dublin Area IS the Core Economic Region of
It IS an example of a developed region full of positives
when you discuss:
• Primary Activities:
Agriculture, Fishing and
• Secondary Activities:
• Tertiary Activities:
Transport and Tourism

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