Dublin,Irish: Baile Átha Cliath, meaning "town of the hurdled ford", is the capital and most populous city of Ireland. The English name for the city is derived from the Irish name Dubhlinn, meaning "black pool". Dublin is situated near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century; it was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe. Dublin entered a period of stagnation following the Act of Union of 1800, but it remained the economic centre for most of the island. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, the new parliament, the Oireachtas, was located in Leinster House. Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland. Similar to the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford—Dublin is administered separately from its respective County with its own City Council. It is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the country, as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administration, economy, and industry.
The Ha'penny Bridge, known later for a time as the Penny Ha'penny Bridge, and officially the Liffey Bridge, is a pedestrian bridge built in 1816 over the River Liffey in Dublin, Ireland. Made of cast iron, the bridge was cast at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, England. Before the Ha'penny Bridge was built there were seven ferries, operated by a William Walsh, across the Liffey. The ferries were in a bad condition and Walsh was informed that he had to either fix them or build a bridge. Walsh chose the latter option and was granted the right to extract a ha'penny toll from anyone crossing it for 100 years. Initially the toll charge was based, not on the cost of construction, but to match the charges levied by the ferries it replaced. A further condition of construction was that, if the citizens of Dublin found the bridge and toll to be "objectionable" within its ﬁrst year of operation, it was to be removed at no cost to the city. The toll was increased for a time to a Penny Ha'penny (one and a half pence), but was eventually dropped in 1919. While the toll was in operation, there were turnstiles at either end the bridge.
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