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Tolka Park | Shelbourne football ground guide

Tolka Park guide

Tolka Park is an Irish football ground located in the north Dublin suburb of Drumcondra, on the northern banks of the River Tolka. It is currently the home ground of League of Ireland club Shelbourne. The stadium formerly held 9,680 people, but this has been scaled down in recent times due to health and safety regulations in the venue, mainly concerning the ‘New’ and Ballybough stands.

Tolka Park was originally home to Drumcondra, who in the 1950s, and 1960s were one of the most popular teams in Dublin. In 1929, over 30 people were injured at the ground when a hoarding collapsed at a Drumcondra vs Shelbourne cup-tie. The ground hosted its first floodlit game on 30 March 1953. However “Drums” merged with local team Home Farm in 1972, and after the demise of Drumcondra, Home Farm moved into the ground. However, Home Farm never drew large crowds and Tolka fell into disrepair (though it did host the replay of the 1984 FAI Cup final).

Shelbourne moved into Tolka Park in 1987, and the stadium has been their home ever since. The club has enjoyed some success at Tolka Park, winning the League of Ireland title on four occasions and the FAI Cup on seven occasions. The stadium has also hosted a number of international matches, including Republic of Ireland B team games and a friendly between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in 1993.

In recent years, Tolka Park has undergone a number of renovations, including the installation of a new pitch and the construction of a new stand. However, the stadium’s capacity has been reduced due to health and safety concerns. As a result, Shelbourne are currently looking for a new home ground.

The name Tolka Park comes from the nearby River Tolka, which flows through the suburb of Drumcondra. The Irish name for the stadium is Páirc na Tulcha.

Pubs near Tolka Park, home of Shelbourne FC

  • The Tolka House is a traditional Irish pub with a warm and friendly atmosphere. It has a wide selection of beers on tap, as well as a good food menu. Address: 9a Glasnevin Hill, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, D09 VH02, Ireland. Phone: +353 1 837 1082.
  • Fagans Bar and Restaurant is a popular pub with a large beer garden. It also has a good menu of pub food and more substantial dishes. Address: 146 Drumcondra Rd Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, D09 YR83, Ireland. Phone: +353 1 837 5309
  • The Ivy House is a gastropub with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. It has a modern interior and a relaxed atmosphere. Address: 114 Drumcondra Rd Upper, Drumcondra, Dublin, D09 CX74, Ireland. Phone: +353 1 837 5385.
  • The Bar @ Tolka is a small, independent pub with a friendly atmosphere. It has a good selection of beers on tap and a pool table. Address: 108 Richmond Rd, Fairview, Dublin 3, D03 XC85, Ireland.
  • Kennedy’s is a traditional Irish pub with a lively atmosphere. It is a popular spot for pre-match drinks before Shelbourne FC games. Address: 132-134 Drumcondra Rd Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, D09 A4P8, Ireland. Phone: +353 1 837 1080.

Hotels near Tolka Park, Dublin

  • Dublin Skylon Hotel. Modern rooms, some with Nespresso machines, in a relaxed hotel featuring a casual bar & grill.
  • Bonnington Dublin – 4 Star Hotel. Traditional hotel with a conference centre and a restaurant, plus a spa, a pool and a gym.
  • Dublin One Hotel. Warm quarters in a casual hotel offering a contemporary restaurant/bar & a cafe.
  • Maples House Hotel. Cosy rooms in a relaxed family-run hotel offering a refined restaurant/bar & free Wi-Fi.

How to get to Tolka Park, Shelbourne football ground

  • By car: Tolka Park is located at Richmond Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 17. If you’re coming from the city center, you can take the M1 or the N11. Once you’re in Drumcondra, follow the signs for Richmond Road. There is a car park at Tolka Park, but it can get busy on match days.
  • By bus: There are several bus routes that stop near Tolka Park. The 1, 11, 16, 33, and 41 all stop at Drumcondra Road, which is a short walk from the stadium.
  • By train: The nearest train station to Tolka Park is Drumcondra Station. It’s a short walk from the stadium, and there are regular services from Dublin Connolly and Pearse Stations.
  • By bike: Tolka Park is a relatively flat walk from the city centre, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for a more active way to get there. There are also bike racks at the stadium.

Here are some additional tips for getting to Tolka Park:

  • If you’re coming from the city centre, it’s best to avoid driving as traffic can be heavy on match days.
  • If you’re taking the bus, make sure to check the timetable in advance as services can be infrequent on weekends.
  • If you’re taking the train, allow plenty of time to get to the stadium as it can be busy on match days.
  • If you’re walking or cycling, be aware that there are a few steep hills on the way to Tolka Park.

Things to do near Tolka Park, Dublin

  • GAA Museum & Tours. Learn about the history and culture of Gaelic games, such as Gaelic football, hurling, handball, and camogie.
  • National Botanic Gardens. Explore over 200 acres of gardens, including a Victorian glasshouse, an arboretum, and a walled garden.
  • Phoenix Park. The largest enclosed city park in Europe, with a petting zoo, a Japanese garden, and a herd of wild deer.
  • Kellogg’s Skyline Croke Park. Take a 360-degree tour of Croke Park, the home of Gaelic games in Ireland.
  • Drumcondra Library. This library has a wide selection of books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as a number of computers for public use.
  • The Bernard Shaw Pub. This traditional Irish pub is a great place to go for a pint of Guinness and some live music.
  • Nelly’s. This pub is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, and it’s known for its friendly atmosphere and delicious food.