Ancestry UK

Protestant Reformatory for Girls, Dublin, Ireland

On 12 April 1859, a Reformatory for Protestant Girls was certified to begin operation at 103 Cork Street, Dublin. The premises could accommodate up to 25 girls aged up to 16 years at their date of admission.

An inspection in 1861 recorded 12 inmates in residence. School instruction was rated as very good and the industrial training consisted of washing, dress-making, shirt-making for the Protestant Boys' Reformatory, and household work. A mark system was in operation whereby good conduct was rewarded by privileges. The matron was Miss M.J. Cooke, with Miss Sharpe as her assistant.

In 1875, it was reported that the average daily number of inmates was 20. Some improvements had been made in the buildings. It was noted that the girls were trained for work as domestic servants. They made up fine linen in the laundry, cut out and made their own dresses, and were taught the use of the sewing machine. They also knitted socks, with the surplus production being sold. The large profits (£3 16s. 5d. per head) in 1875 were the highest in any of the girls' schools in Ireland. The Miss Cooke was now assisted by Miss Fitzgerald, who had charge of the secular instruction of the children. An hour each day was devoted to the girls' moral and religious instruction.

By 1895, the number of inmates at the reformatory had fallen to eight and it was decided to close the establishment. Its certificate was formally withdrawn on 16 July 1895. Cork Street had been the only remaining female Protestant Reforomatory in Ireland.

The building occupied by the Cork Street Reformatory no longer survive.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.