Bull Island

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 Map of Bull Island

Image of North Bull Island Site Guide

 North Bull Island Site Guide

Dublin City Council, in partnership with Dublin Port Company are considering the feasibility of the Bull Island and its Interpretative Centre as an international visitor experience for Dublin and the Dublin Bay Region.  A study is being prepared to plan how to improve the Centre and to tell the story of the Island, its ecology and the Bay.  This will contribute towards the preparation of a master plan for Bull Island.

The study will work to sustainably develop the potential for the Centre to support the economy, tourism, recreation and the environment of the Dublin Bay region.  This will ensure the continued importance of the Biosphere into the future.

Facts About North Bull Island

  • There is an extraordinary wealth of wildlife including mammals, birds, fish, insects, plants etc. that live, breed and eat within the many different coastal habitats found here. We have some of the biggest numbers of rare plants and animals (flora and fauna) in the Republic of Ireland.  You can see some of these on our Gallery page and watch a video on wildlife Overlooking Dublin Bay by Ferne Corrigan to learn more.
  • Over 300 species of plants also have been recorded including some rare and officially protected species. These in turn provide food and shelter for rare insects (such as butterflies and bees) and birds.
  • We even get birds migrating every year from as far away as Canada and Africa. 
  • The Island is home at various times to 8,000 wild fowl and 26,000 waders with up to 180 different bird species being recorded here!
  • The ‘core zone’ is an area a dune slack area known locally as the ‘Alder Marsh’ on the north eastern part of the island – this the most important of all of the protected habitats.
  • It is important for wildlife, but people can visit and enjoy for recreation, like walking, boating and golfing. 
  • Dollymount beach appears in many films, you may recognise it!  It is also popular with artists for painting and photography because of its unusual light, views and wildlife.
  • The Island is man-made.  In 1821, the 1 kilometre-long North Bull Wall was constructed and gradually sand accumulated behind the wall leading to the formation of Bull Island which means that it is younger than City Hall.
  • It is now 5 km in length and 1 km wide, and covers an area nearly 15km² in size, including both land and seashore, in North Dublin Bay.
  • It was the first Bird Sanctuary in Ireland (1931) for its important species of birds.
  • The Causeway to the Island was built in 1962-1964 as people started arriving more by car.  Earlier, the Howth tramline used to bring Dubliners to Dollymount beach.
  • The North Bull Island Visitor Centre opened in 1986 and was built with community support, including Dublin Rotary Club
  • It was the first National Special Amenity Area in Ireland (1995) for its beauty and recreation