top of page

Balbriggan a History in Maps 1655-1900 by Peter (Frank) Whearity, launched by Mayor of Fingal Cllr D

Balbriggan a History in Maps 1655-1900" by Peter (Frank) Whearity, published by Balbriggan & District Historical Society, was launched by Mayor of Fingal Cllr Darragh Butler on the 9th of November in the Town Hall, Balbriggan. The book, which charts the development of Balbriggan from a population of only 30 in 1659 to the beginning of the 20th century, was enthusiastically received by the large crowd in attendance.

Fingal County Libraries sponsored the publication and County Librarian Betty Boardman spoke at the launch saying "I want to compliment Frank on this excellent book which will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of Fingal. Frank's research on the 1916 era and the talks he has given on the subject, contributed greatly to the Fingal Centenary Programme." She praised the work done by historical societies such as Balbriggan and local historians in recording the story of people of Fingal for future generations.

Among the attendance on the evening, along with Frank's wife Valerie and many of his family, were Chief Executive of Fingal County Council Paul Reid, Cllrs David O'Connor, Grainne Maguire, Malachy Quinn and Tony Murphy, local historians and the proud members and committee of Balbriggan and District Historical Society.

Peter (Frank) Whearity is a native of Balbriggan and he holds a BA (Hons) in Local

Studies, and an MA in Local History from Maynooth University. This book is the result of his many years research into the maps (beautifully reproduced in this publication) and in it, using information from other sources, Frank brings to life the history of Balbriggan and it's hinterland encapsulating themes such as religion, architecture, education, legal, proprietorial status, and the rich industrial & maritime heritage. In his speech on the night he outlined some of the milestones in the town's history featured in the book, including the coming of the railway, the world famous "Balbrigganers" produced by Smyth & Co and the dire poverty of the tenant farmers in the 1840's. He thanked those who encouraged and helped him in the project including his lecturers in Maynooth, the Library service. Ordinance Survey Ireland but especially his parents Molly and the late Jim (Jazzer) from whom his interest in history originated and he praised the editorial work of the Historical Society in transforming his research into this beautiful publication that he is very proud of.

Jim Walsh Chairman of Balbriggan & District Historical Society said "We are privileged to publish this remarkable work of prodigious research with not just an array of maps but also relevant textual narrative which will become a standard work in years to come for anyone who wants to learn about the history of our town. Anyone wishing to acquire a copy can contact any member of the committee or email

bottom of page