Skerries(Irish: Na Sceirí, meaning “The Rocks”) is a seaside town in Fingal, Ireland. The name comes from the Norse word skere which has descended into the Irish word na sceirí which means the rocks.
Skerries has five islands off its coast. These are Shenick Island, St. Patrick’s, Colt and Rockabill. Rockabill is in fact two islands, “The Cow” and “The Calf”, separated by a narrow channel. There is also Red Island, which is a tied island. The town itself is built around two long streets – Strand Street and Church Street and between the surrounding hills of North Fingal and low-lying beaches. Red Island, Mill Hill, Hillside, the public Ardgillan Park and Demesne, Barnageera and to a lesser extent Baldungan Castle are high points on which you can look over the town.
Rockabill has the largest numbers of breeding Roseate Terns in Europe. It is also the farthest away from the town and has a lighthouse. There is a Martello Tower on Shenick Island, one of a number of defensive towers erected during the Napoleonic era along the Irish coast by the British. Shenick is accessible on foot at the lowest tides, but this is inadvisable, due to the relatively rapid fill caused by the turning tide. The other islands can be reached by boat. Red Island also has a Martello Tower. St Patrick’s Island is so called because this is where the Irish patron saint is reputed to have landed and begun his mission to convert the country to Christianity.
Historically, Skerries has been a thriving fishing port and a major centre of hand embroidery. In the late 20th century, it became a resort town (golf, sailing, motorcycling, etc.), and a dormitory town for commuters to the city of Dublin. Recently the Skerries Mills were restored by Fingal County Council as a local amenity and tourist attraction. There are two fully restored and working windmills, a watermill and a museum and coffee shop. Red Island is an amenity area for the local community, with a playground, and swimming areas.