Whitehall is on the northern outskirts of Dublin's inner city, located on the N1 road leading to Dublin Airport, Swords and Belfast, between Santry and Drumcondra. North of Whitehall, the N1 becomes a motorway, the M1. The area is adjacent to the major public Beaumont Hospital and to Dublin City University on Collins Avenue.
Whitehall takes its name from a house named White Hall, formerly located to the south of the village on Drumcondra Road Upper. The area commonly known as Whitehall Cross, at the intersection of the Swords Road (N1) (north-south) and Collins Avenue (east-west), is in the townland of Clonturk, and was formerly the site of a public house called The Thatch, whose memory is preserved in the name of a nearby road.