Apr 24, 1916 - May 14, 1916

Loreto the Green, and 1916

The Library of University College Dublin

An exhibition showcasing items from Convent Collections, UCD  Digital Library.The Annals from Loreto Convent, St Stephen’s Green, record events unfolding during Easter Week, 1916

Deirdre Raftery, Assoc. Professor, UCD School of Education talks about how the project came about.

Loreto and Ireland
The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) was founded by Mary Ward in England, in 1686. The Sisters educated Catholic girls. The first IBVM convent in Ireland was Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, established by Irish-born Mother Teresa Ball.

While informal photographs of communities of nuns are rare, the Superior, Mother Michael Corcoran, was an avid photographer and took this image.

Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green
In 1833, Mother Teresa Ball founded a convent and school  on St Stephen’s Green. Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, was known in Dublin as ‘Loreto, the Green’.

Loreto College followed the academic curriculum of the Intermediate Education Board, which included modern and classical languages, mathematics and history.

By 1916, there were over 200 girls following the Intermediate curriculum at the college, and 27 Sisters provided almost all of the instruction.

Loreto and the Easter Rising, 1916
On 24th April, a group of pupils from Loreto College hastily returned from a walk near St Stephen’s Green, having heard shots. Inside the convent, the nuns watched activity in St Stephen’s Green, and saw men and women block the park gates and start to dig trenches.

Meanwhile, at Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, farm workers Thomas Corbally and James Waddock suddenly abandoned work. They were following an order issued by Padraig Pearse to collect at Rathfarnham Church, with the Rathfarnham Company of Irish Volunteers, and proceed to Dublin city.

.."the GPO had been seized by the Sinn Feiners"...

.."the GPO had been seized by the Sinn Feiners"...

.."In order to avoid stray bullets all removed to the back of the house."..

.."In order to avoid stray bullets all removed to the back of the house."..

.."the dead bodies of Sinn Feiners lay in the trenches."..

Although Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham, was approximately 8km from the city centre, the Sisters could see and hear the effects of the rebellion from their convent.

By Thursday, April 27th the nuns could see the fires from the burning buildings light up the night sky.

.."A German ship carrying ammunition to the insurgents had been seized"..

.."One stray bullet shot through the window of Mother Francis Jerome's cell, passed through the glass and shutter and then struck the opposite wall, then fell on her bed awakening her"..

.."In the afternoon so scarce was bread that a lady from Merrion Square sent up her chauffeur to ask if we could spare a few loaves. We were glad to be able to oblige her"..

.."We were all advised to keep indoors not even to go into our grounds"..

.."the crash of a bullet through her window pane"..

Dr John B. Howard, UCD University Librarian; Kathleen Fitzgerald, IBVM; Áine McHugh, Archivist, IBVM; Assoc. Professor Deirdre Raftery, UCD, Project Director, Convent Collections.

Collection held by IBVM (Loreto) Institute and Provincial Archives, Dublin.
Credits: Story

Collection held by IBVM (Loreto) Institute and Provincial Archives, Dublin.

Images © IBVM (Loreto) Institute and Provincial Archives, Dublin.
Text © Convent Collections, UCD Digital Library.

Published by UCD Digital Library.

© All rights reserved. Material published here may not be reproduced without permission from University College Dublin and the IBVM (Loreto) Institute and Provincial Archives, Dublin.


Irish Research Council
(Decade of Centenaries Award)
Assoc. Professor Deirdre Raftery, UCD
(Project Director, Convent Collections)
Jane Burns, Ellen Regan
(Project Researchers, UCD School of Education)
IBVM (Loreto) Institute and Provincial Archives, Dublin:
Áine McHugh (Archivist); Kathleen Fitzgerald IBVM.
UCD Digital Library:
Dr John B. Howard, Julia Barrett, Audrey Drohan, Peter Clarke, Órna Roche, Dani Montes
UCD Library Outreach:
Ros Pan
Media Services:
Brian Kelly

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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