Blackrock, is a seaside village just to the south of Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. The village is in the townland of Haggardstown. The current population of the village is about 3,000.
In the 1950s and 60s, Blackrock was a holiday destination for people in landlocked Monaghan and Cavan. The beach that is pictured in the colourised postcards of that era (still on sale) was created with sand imported from beaches further down the coast, as the sand was continually washed away to contribute to the buildup of silt in Dundalk Bay. Although it is no longer considered a tourist resort, there remains a tradition of visiting Blackrock on the 15th of August (vide the Celtic feast of Lúnasa).
Since the late 1960s, Blackrock has expanded significantly and has become more of a suburb to Dundalk. With the opening of the M1 motorway to Dublin, there has been another wave of expansion and it is also becoming a commuter town with access to North Dublin.
Blackrock beach and its promenade (incorporating Blackrock's Millennium project - a sundial which is claimed to be the largest in a public area in Ireland) is still the focal point of the village and the site of Christmas Day fundraising events organised by Conor Hughes, an annual Raft Race, as well as several other events throughout the year. The promenade area includes a number of restaurants and public houses.
The view looking North over Dundalk Bay from the promenade toward the Cooley Mountains is impressive.
In common with a number of east coast locations, the beach has a very gentle gradient and the sea retreats about 5 km at low tide. The exposed seabed is a mixture of sand and mud flats. It is a suitable and fertile habitat for a variety of wader birds, including Brent geese and dunlins. The River Fane (to the south of Blackrock) enters the sea as a channel crossing from south to north in front of the promenade. Even at high tide, the water level is only about 1m out to the channel, and the front is becoming popular as a safe sailboarding venue.
More recently kitesurfing is becoming more and more popular in the area. Its an ideal location for learning when the tide is out and when the tide is in because of the shallow depths and more often than not, flat water.
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