The town’s name in the Irish language is Leim a Bhradain, which means ‘Leap of the Salmon’.
When the Vikings settled here in the 9th. Century, they used the same name in their Norse Language: Lax Hlaup, or salmon leap.
After the Vikings the Normans arrived, in force, & built a Castle overlooking the two rivers in 1132 known as Leixlip Castle.In 1732, the nephew of Speaker Connolly, William Connolly, bought the castle, and in the same year, Arthur Guinness began a small brewery on the banks of the Liffey beside the Main Street. The brewery moved to St. James’s Gate, Dublin in 1759 and has become one of the best- known global brands.
The Connolly family, in particular, Connolly’s wife Lady Louise were responsible for the building of The Obelisk between Leixlip & Celbridge known as Connolly’s Folly, in 1740 and the Wonderful Barn, built in 1743.
William Francis Roantree (1829-1918)
The Forgotten Fenian from Leixlip
Bráithreachas Poblachtach na hÉireann, The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), was founded in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day 1858. The founder and chief driving force was James Stephens. At the same time his colleague John O’Mahony set up a sister organisation, the Fenian Brotherhood, in New York, which provided military and financial support to the home organisation.
Some of the principal personalities have been largely forgotten, however, due to accident of history, lack of information or even lack of local interest. One such example is William Francis Roantree of Leixlip, regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best organisers and finest figures in the movement. The destruction by fire of the house in which he was born is particularly saddening as it provided a historical link with one of the most interesting and most colourful of the Fenian leaders. Find out more about William Francis Roantree
In 1948, a hydro- electric power station was built on the Liffey above the Castle. This submerged the famous waterfalls that gave the town its name, and created a large lake which is used regularly by local canoe and anglers alike.
In recent years Leixlip has become the home to Intel (1989) & Hewlett Packard (1995).
Location: Leixlip Town is approximately 18km west from Dublin centre and just off the M4 motorway at junction five. 2km from Carton House.
Bus Routes: 66/66A/66B from Pearse Street.
Train: Connolly Station to Louisa Bridge and Confey stations.