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Name
Corporate body County Dublin

Belvedere College SJ, Dublin, 1832-

  • IE IJA SC/BELV
  • Corporate body
  • 1832-

After the restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, a Jesuit community took over the vacant Poor Clare convent in Hardwicke Street, Dublin. The establishment of St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street in 1832 provided the Jesuits with the premises necessary to establish a school. St. Francis College was established at Hardwicke Street in 1832 however it proved to be too small for this emerging school. New premises were needed and Belvedere House, Great Denmark Street was bought in 1841. The Jesuits at Belvedere remained part of the Gardiner Street community until 1842, with total independence in 1847.

John Curtis, Superior (at Gardiner Street, 1841;
Charles Ferguson, Rector, 1845;
Patrick Meagher, Vice-Rector, 1 January 1846;
Patrick Meagher, Rector, 14 March 1847;
John Ffrench, Rector, 30 November 1855;
Francis Murphy, Rector, 24 June 1856;
Michael O'Ferrall, Rector, 31 July 1858;
Matthew Seaver, Rector, 10 October 1861;
Edward Kelly, Rector, 2 August 1864;
Joseph Lentaigne, Rector, 18 August 1872;
John Matthews, Rector, 7 August 1873;
James Dalton, Minister
Thomas Kelly, Minister, 28 February 1879;
Edmund Donovan, Vice-Rector, 5 October 1882;
Thomas Finlay, Rector, 23 June 1883
James Cullen, Vice-Rector, 14 July 1888;
Matthew Devitt, Vice-Rector, 31 July 1889;
Matthew Devitt, Rector, 8 September 1890;
Thomas Wheeler, Rector, 31 July 1891;
Henry William, Vice-Rector, 15 August 1894;
Henry William, Rector, 28 August 1895;
Nicholas Tomkin, Rector, 29 June 1900;
James Brennan, Rector, 21 August 1908;
John Fahy, Rector, 30 July 1913;
Charles Doyle, Rector, 27 July 1919;
Michael Quinlan, Rector, 30 July 1922;
John Coyne, Rector, 29 October 1928;
Patrick Morris, Rector, 14 February 1931;
John O'Connor, Rector, 16 June 1936;
James Gubbins, Rector, 29 July 1942;
Denis P Kennedy, Vice-Rector, 30 July 1945;
Denis P Kennedy, Rector, 2 June 1947;
Redmond Roche, Rector, 30 July 1953;
Francis McDonagh, Rector, 24 June 1959;
Henry Nolan, Rector, 2 August 1965;
John Kerr, Rector, 31 July 1968;

Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin, 1950-

  • IE IJA SC/GONZ
  • Corporate body
  • 1950-

In 1947, the decision to open a Jesuit school on the south side of Dublin was taken. The purchase in 1949 of Sandford Lodge and Sandford Hill belonging to the Bewley Estate consisted of 15 acres in Ranelagh, two miles south of Dublin city centre. The college opened on 8 September 1950, with 52 boys registering. The founding Jesuit Superior (and later first Rector) was Fr Charles O' Conor SJ (The O' Conor Don) (1906-1981) and the first Prefect of Studies was Fr Bill White SJ (1912-1988).

Hardwicke Street Chapel, 1821-1829

  • IE IJA CM/GARD
  • Corporate body
  • 1821-1841

The church in Hardwicke Street (where the Jesuits had been since the 1730s) had opened in 1821, but by 1829 had become too small for the congregation. Previously had be a nunnery for the order of St Clare, who moved to Harold' Cross. The Jesuits opened a school in the church in Hardwicke Street in 1832 and in 1841, they purchased Belvedere House (Belvedere College).

Irish Messenger Office, 1888-

  • IE IJA IMO
  • Corporate body
  • 1888-

Located originally at Belvedere College, Great Denmark Street, Dublin, the office moved to 37 Lower Leeson Street in 1963.

Killiney Castle, Dublin, 1873-1879

  • IE IJA CM/KILL
  • Corporate body
  • 1873-1879

In 1873 the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) purchased Killiney Castle to be used as a villa house (holiday). The events leading up to the purchase of this property were quite long and protracted. In a memorandum written by Fr William Delany SJ (1835-1924), CM/KILL/3, he describes how the Society came across Killiney Castle and the negotiations that took place to secure its purchase. After viewing the property the Jesuit Fathers were very inclined towards it and decided to make an offer of £11,000 for the Castle and its estate. However, before the deal was finally settled Fr Nicolas Walsh SJ (1826-1914) Provincial, insisted, despite grave objections by some of the other priests, on telling the Cardinal (Paul Cullen).

This action proved to be a mistake with the Cardinal reacting negatively to the property deal (permission from the Cardinal was necessary for the establishment of a new religious house but not for the purchase of a property). Fr Delany describes how it was now too late to back out of the deal and insisted on informing the owner of Killiney Castle (Mr. Warren) of the difficulty that had arisen. Fr Delany was also delegated to pay a visit to the Cardinal to plead the case on behalf of the Society and to outline their plans for the property. Again the Cardinal was not supportive, particularly when it was mentioned that the Society of Jesus were thinking of opening a school for boys. Eventually an agreement was reached that the property could be bought but that a decision as to how it would be utilised would have to be deferred. Because of the delay Fr Delany discovered, after his meeting with the Cardinal, that another offer had been made and accepted. This second obstacle made it necessary for Fr Delany to enter another set of negotiations to purchase the property from Mr. Richard Martin for the sum of £12,250.

Following the purchase of the property in 1873 by the Society of Jesus a good deal of structural and maintenance work was carried out e.g. CM/KILL/4 and CM/KILL/8 - CM/KILL/13. Despite the work carried out and the outlay of money on improving the Castle and grounds the Society made a decision to sell the property only six years later in 1879 to Mr. Chippindale Higgin CM/KILL/33. It would appear that the Castle and estate were sold at a loss to the Society. The collection does not reveal why the Society decided to sell Killiney Castle. However, the collection does reveal that a number of different parties were interested in purchasing the property e.g. the Brothers of St. John of God in France (CM/KILL/1, CM/KILL/35 and CM/KILL/37), an American gentleman (CM/KILL/36) and Mr. Chippendale Higgin (CM/KILL/33), the eventual purchaser.

It should be noted that the Society of Jesus had two residences in Killiney. In 1853 the Catalogue names the following as residing in Killiney; Robert St. Leger (1788-1856), John St. Leger (1798-1868), William Moloney (1796-1886) and James Reardon (1799-l.1856). This residence was known as Druid Lodge. The preceding Catalogue (1850) makes no mention of a Killiney residence and similarly the succeeding Catalogue (1855) does not refer to a residence in Killiney. It would appear that Druid Lodge was given up by the Society because the Archbishop opposed the construction of a church (CM/KILL/1). The second residence in Killiney was Killiney Castle (1873-1879), the papers of which are represented in this collection.

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

  • IE IJA CM/MAN
  • Corporate body
  • 1948-

The community house at Manresa was originally known as Granby Hall and then as Baymount Castle, being at one time the residence of Dr. Traill, a northern Church of Ireland Bishop. Renovated in 1838 by Robert Warren, it was later owned by the Irish Loreto Sisters who had a school there. Gutted by fire in 1851, the Sisters had it renovated again, sold it, and moved to Balbriggan.

In 1898 it became the property of Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family and owner of the adjoining St. Anne’s estate. About the beginning of the First World War, William Lucas Scott opened a preparatory school for boys which continued until 1936, when it was acquired by John T. Gwynn, of the well-known literary family (relative of Jesuit Aubrey Gwynn).

In 1948 the Archbishop of Dublin asked the Jesuits to establish a northside retreat house, and Baymount Castle, with its 17 acres, was bought by them.

Retreats began in 1949. Construction of a new retreat house began in 1966 to the design of architect Andrew Devane of the firm Robinson, Keefe and Devane; it was opened in 1967. In 1969, the Irish Jesuit novitiate moved from St Mary's, Emo Court, Laois to Manresa, where it was situated until 1991.

Milltown Park, Dublin, 1858-

  • IE IJA FM/MILL
  • Corporate body
  • 1858-

The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) approached Denis Redmond of Belmont Lodge in 1858 to act as their agent and trustee in purchasing Milltown Park from Mr Calvert Stronge, City Magistrate for £4,500. In 1860, the novitiate at Milltown Park was built and Fr Aloysius Sturzo SJ (1826-1908) arrived with sixteen Jesuits novices who had been expelled from Sicily by Garibaldi. Since that time, Milltown Park has operated as a novitiate (house of first formation), retreat house, house of philosophy and theology for the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

  • IE IJA FM/RATH
  • Corporate body
  • 1911-1986

In 1913, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) purchased the 16th century-built Rathfarnham Castle from a Dublin building company, Bailey and Gibson. Initially, the plan was for a noviciate for Jesuit novices and in time, for working men’s retreats to be established at the Castle. However, by September 1913, this had changed to a house of studies for those Jesuits attending university. This decision was made following the change of regulations to the National University requiring students to attend lectures whereas previously they could be prepared for examinations elsewhere. The Jesuit Juniors as they were known would live at the Castle and cycle to lectures at University College Dublin, then located at Earlsfort Terrace in the centre of Dublin.

The Jesuits engaged the architect, Charles B. Powell to modify the Castle in the summer of 1913. Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933) was Rector of Rathfarnham Castle for the years 1919-1924. Sullivan was a convert and the son of Sir Edward Sullivan, Lord Chancellor of Ireland (1883-1885). Sullivan’s rectorship was significant for the building of the retreat house in 1922, (working men’s retreats at the weekends and boy’s during the week). Some Jesuits on mission staff lived there. It became a home for tertian fathers (those Jesuits taking a renewal course following ordination) in 1940. The Castle continued to function as a Juniorate until 1975 and for retreats until 1986 when the Jesuits sold Rathfarnham Castle. The following year, it was purchased for the nation by the Office of Public Works.

St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1832-

  • IE IJA CM/GARD
  • Corporate body
  • 1832-

The Church of St Francis Xavier in Upper Gardiner Street was one of the first churches to be built in Dublin after Catholic Emancipation (Catholic Relief Act) in 1829. The Jesuits had a small church in Hardwicke St (1816), and with the building of the St Francis Xavier's, turned the Hardwicke St property into a school, later to be named Belvedere College SJ.

In 1 July 1829, the first stone was laid at Upper Gardiner Street by Fr Charles Aylmer SJ (1786-1847), and the first Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Murray on 2 May 1832. The church cost £18,000 to build and was designed by Fr Bartholomew Esmonde SJ (1789-1862) and John B Keane (died 1859).

Those associated with the church include Matt Talbot and John Henry Cardinal Newman. Gardiner Street Church is also the resting place of Blessed John Sullivan SJ.

In 1974, Gardiner Street Parish was established by Archbishop Dermot Ryan.

Other Jesuit associations in the parish include: Belvedere College SJ, Young Adult Ministry, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart, Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, The Peter McVerry Trust, St Joseph's Penny Dinners, Polish Ministry, Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Irish Jesuit Mission Office.

Edward Kelly
William Ronan
John Conmee, Vice-Superior
John Conmee, Superior
James Fottrell
Michael Weafer
Andrew Macardle
Francis M Browne
Fergal McGrath
Robert J Tyndall
Timothy Mulcahy
Matthew Meade
John McCarron
John Murphy

St Ignatius House of Writers, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, 1910-

  • IE IJA CM/LEES
  • Corporate body
  • 1910-

In 1883 the trustees of the Catholic University leased to the Society of Jesus the University buildings of 84, 85 and 86 St. Stephen’s Green which were given the new name of University College, Dublin. In 1908 the National University of Ireland came into existence and with that, the Jesuit community left St. Stephen’s Green for a new residence at Lower Leeson Street in 1909/10. Known as St Ignatius House of Writers since 1952, previously the house saw itself as a Collegiun Inchoatum, a burgeoning college of the National University. Many of the Jesuits who lived in the house taught at University College Dublin.

The Jesuit journal 'Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review', 'the devotional magazine 'The Sacred Heart Messenger' and the Irish language equivalent, 'An Timire', are published from Lower Leeson Street.

University Hall, also known as Hatch Hall, was a student hall of residence at Lower Hatch Street, Dublin. Founded by the Jesuits in 1913, for third level male students studying in Dublin, it was under the administration of the Superior of 35 Lower Leeson Street until 1975. It closed in 2004.

The Irish Jesuit Archives has been located at Lower Leeson Street since 1958 when it moved from Upper Gardiner Street.