Family History Enquiries

The society does not maintain genealogical records and does not have facilities for dealing with family history enquiries.

The links page offers some pointers that may be of help.












Museum Opening Hours

The museum is closed for the Winter but will open again for the start of the tourist season.



A large selection of cigarette cards is currently on display.

Topics covered include Wild Flowers, Garden Flowers, Plants of Commercial Value, Irish Scenery Views, Dogs, Famous Irish Greyhounds.

Other attractions include detailed models of a WWI airship or blimp of the type based at the Castle, Malahide Castle, St. Sylvester's Church and a Viking longship.

Currently there is be a special exhibition of Match Boxes from around the world.



There are four main types of match boxes:

  • Book matches usually produced for promotional purposes and containing two layers of card matchsticks

  • Standard sized wood or card boxes containing 40 – 50 wooden matchsticks. Some with stuck-on promotional labels

  • Oversize variously shaped boxes containing numerous extra long wood matchsticks

  • Undersize variously shaped boxes, usually produced for promotional purposes, and containing a small number of wood matchsticks.



The matches themselves come in three main types:


  • Tear out impregnated card matchsticks produced in book match form

  • ‘Friendly’ or ‘strike anywhere’ wood matchsticks tipped with a chemical mix that will light when rubbed vigorously against a slightly abrasive surface

  • ‘Safety’ wood matchsticks tipped with a chemical mix that will light when rubbed against a special chemically coated surface



Numerous more or less successful chemical mixtures were invented for matches from about 1830. They were often hazardous, unreliable and unpredictable in performance. Workers in match factories suffered severe health problems arising from exposure to the chemicals used in manufacture.

It was not until the first decade of the 20th century that the match, as we know it today, became ubiquitous.


Sales of matches have plummeted with the decline in pipe, cigar and cigarette smoking.


Maguire and Paterson of Smithfield in Dublin had a virtual monopoly of the Irish match market for most of the 20th century. The design on their ‘safety’ and ‘friendly’ matchboxes changed little over most of that century.


Most other countries also had a dominant manufacturer. They tended to promote their products with a brand icon such as a star (estrella) or a sailing vessel or in sets depicting a particular theme such as steam engines, local costumes, nature, etc.

Want to learn lots more about Malahide ?

'Old Malahide' 

Available from: Manor Books,Church Road, Malahide

and at this society's museum at Malahide Castle.  

200 pages


If you have roots in Malahide -

'Malahide Snapshot 1901'

An analysis of the people, society and economy of central Malahide as revealed in the 1901 census.

The book also has a template for doing a similar detailed analysis of any other district.

Available from Manor Books,Church Road, Malahide

263 pages


'Portmarnock- it's People and Townlands-A History'

Local features, land ownership and salient historical events in the ten townlands comprising Portmarnock. 309 pages.

Available from Spar and Lidl in Portmarnock; also Hodges Figgis, Dublin.
 (Mail Order from

Further  reading about Malahide and Portmarnock history

Malahide Historical Society

welcomes new members.

Joining is easy - just send an email to us at the address below and we will send you an application form:

The  annual subscription is just €15 but do not send any money at this stage.

​ Alternatively write to: 

  Roger Greene,

  Hon Treasurer

  121 Millview Lawns,


  Co. Dublin


  make yourself known at the door at one of our talks or at the museum.

Monthly  talks

All talks take place in Presbyterian Church Hall, Dublin Road at 8pm on 2nd Wednesday of the month

Free parking in public car park opposite.
Admission: Members €3.      Non-members €5

All welcome, no booking required.

Speaker programme Spring 2020 seaons:

January; A. Herron on the Development of Ardgillan House

February: S. Boyne on Emmet Dalton 1916 and the Free State Army.

March: Garry Ahern: The Southern Cross Flight from Portmarnock, 1930 and its Global Circumnavigation.

April: R. Goodbody on The Creation of Howth Harbour .

May: Recent MHS photographic acquisitions.


We welcome suggestions re possible speakers or topics, preferably with a local relevance. Ideas to:




Our next talk on Wednesday March 11 will be given by MHS member Garry Ahern.

Previous  talks by Garry have proved very popular so ensure you arrive early to secure a seat.

A Global Circumnavigation-

The ‘Southern Cross ‘Flight from Portmarnock, 1930.

The flight of the Southern Cross from Portmarnock beach to Newfoundland in June, 1930, made world headlines. This was the second ever non-stop east-west trans-Atlantic flight. The, internationally-renowned Australian aviator, pilot Charles Kingsford Smith, (but not Capt. Paddy Saul,) would afterwards argue that this was the first ever successful such flight, as the Bremen, which had made a similar flight from Baldonnel in1928, had crash-landed in Newfoundland and was unable to continue to New York. Continuing onto New York was something which the Southern Cross did achieve, and, in addition, it flew on to California, from where Kingsford Smith had set out westward across the Pacific two years earlier.


'Southern Cross' monument with Portmarnock strand in background

Site updated 13 Feb., 2020
​All content © Malahide Historical Society. All rights reserved.


Updated 27 January 2018

We Are


This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now