The Northside (Taobh Ó Thuaidh in Irish) is the area in County Dublin, Ireland bounded to the south by the River Liffey to the east by Dublin Bay, to the north and west by the boundaries of County Dublin.
The Northside is not an official administrative area but rather a colloquial geographical expression. The Northside is traditionally viewed as being more working-class in character than its counterpart across the river, the Southside, and there is something of a rivalry between the two. This was not always the case - for much of the 18th century the wealthiest part of the city was to be found around Parnell Square and Bolton Street.
Several of the books written by the Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle, are set in the fictional Northside area of Barrytown, (which is believed to be a thinly disguised Kilbarrack, where he worked as a school teacher). Popular RTÉ television soap opera, Fair City, is set in the fictional northside suburb of Carrickstown.
The Northside includes Dublin city centre north of the Liffey, of whose many streets some are noted below, and districts such as Smithfield and Summerhill. Some older districts, such as Oxmantown, no longer exist. Beyond the centre, areas of the Northside include the below, most of the names being of long heritage (at least two names were invented in the 1960s), though until recently many were rural townlands. Some are independent suburbs or villages, others are parts of larger areas:
The 'area' is administered both by Dublin City Council (formerly Dublin Corporation) and Fingal County Council, responsible for 84% and 16% of the land area which lies inside the M50 motorway and north of the river Liffey respectively (excluding the Howth peninsula). The Fingal/Dublin city boundary, when drawn up in 1985, was viewed as the edge of all Northside development from Dublin City at that time. Of course this boundary has moved significantly with the housing boom of the 1990s with large tracts of formerly rural land being swallowed up by the city in areas such as Balgriffin, north of Coolock, Donaghmede and Baldoyle, and Ashtown, beyond Finglas. Also, the Swords area (disconnected from the city limits by the green belt and aviation safety zone around Dublin Airport) would be considered to be a Northside area because the majority of residents would be of a working-class Northside background i.e. from areas such as Coolock or Ballymun, yet neighbouring Malahide, although closer to the city than Swords, might be thought of as more a County Dublin "seaside town", owing to its more middle-class population.
Many state bodies such as the national meteorological office, Met Éireann, the Central Fisheries Board, the national enterprise and trade board, Enterprise Ireland, the National Standards Authority of Ireland, Sustainable Energy Ireland, the Department of Education, the Department of the Environment, the National Food Centre, the Irish Marine Institute in Corduff and the Department of Defence are based on the Northside.
The main shopping area in the north inner city, and busiest shopping street in Ireland, is Henry Street/Mary Street, just off O'Connell street. Four of the six city centre shopping centres are located on the Northside, these are the Jervis Centre, the Ilac Shopping Centre, Irish Life Shopping Mall and the Moore Street Mall, along with the large out-of-town centre at Blanchardstown and others at Swords, Coolock and Donaghmede.
The Cineworld (UGC) cinema on Parnell Street is the largest cinema in Ireland with seventeen screens, the other notable north inner city cinema, the Savoy, is located on O'Connell Street and is one of Ireland's oldest cinemas.
Dublin City University, Dublin's newest university, is located between Glasnevin, Whitehall and Ballymun.
Two Taoisigh, Bertie Ahern and the late Charles Haughey, are from the Northside - Ahern from Drumcondra and Haughey from Donnycarney. Perhaps the most famous Northsiders are the members of the rock group U2, which formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School. Actor Colin Farrell is from Castleknock.