Life Homes

Friday 29 August 2014

This one's not 'for the birds'

Published 11/04/2014 | 02:30

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The 'Birdsnest' at York Road.

It may seem surprising today that a relatively small town like Dun Laoghaire once required three orphanages.

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One was "The Bird's Nest" at York Road, opened around 1859 by a Mrs Smyley. Among its better known residents was the legendary Irish football international Paul McGrath and the independent councillor Victor Boyhan.

Usually home to 180 children from age five to 12, the orphanage trained girls for domestic service and the boys were passed on to other institutions in Dublin. Former residents have unhappy memories of their time there before it was closed in 1977.

Today, the granite and brick-fronted building is listed and a substantial centre chunk of the original has just been brought to market seeking €495,000.

Used variously for residential and office purposes, it is today listed as a Protected Structure. The selling agent is REA Ed Dempsey.

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