St Maelruan’s Church located in the most historic part of Tallaght was designed by the famous Dublin architect, John Semple. Christian worship has continued on this site for over 1200 years since St Maelruan founded a monastery here in the 8th century. The belfry tower dates from the 15th or 16th century and the church was built beside it in 1829 using existing materials found on site. During the 15th century this area was often raided by the O’Toole and the O’Byrne clans from the Wicklow Mountains and so the tower served as a look-out and to give fore-warning. This period was a time when most of Ireland was being ‘re-claimed’ by the Gaelic clans (or ‘wild Irish’!) and the defensive ring of towers that protected Dublin became known as ‘The Pale’.