Our History

Our History

Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green is a Catholic school in the Loreto tradition.  It is, therefore, part of a worldwide network of schools run by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (known to us as Loreto).

  • Founded by Mary Ward (1585-1645)
  • Pioneered a new type of religious life for women adapted from the way of life which St. Ignatius of Loyola gave to the Society of Jesus.
  • Found apostolic expression in Catholic education.
  • Was introduced to Ireland by a Dublin woman, Frances Teresa Ball, who made her novitiate in the Bar Convent, York (IBVM).
  • Established the first house of the Irish Branch in Rathfarnham in 1821.
  • Called Loreto – the name by which all subsequent foundations made from Rathfarnham are still known.

The Loreto College’s philosophy of education is:

  • Centred in God.
  • Rooted in Gospel values.
  • Derives its objectives and specific expression from the insights and vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola and Mary Ward.

The school, located in three adjoining buildings at 53-55 St. Stephen’s Green, has a city centre location. However, the majority of its students, drawn from a wide geographical area, largely come from the north and south Dublin suburbs, north County Dublin and Counties Meath and Kildare. These have been the traditional catchment areas for the school over many years.

Each year, approximately thirty students from the Loreto Junior School (on the same site) enter first year, making up about one-third of the annual intake. There is a small intake of students  into other classes, when vacancies arise. Loreto College is a traditional school in that families, over generations, have tended to send their daughters there.

Ninety-six girls are admitted to the new first year each autumn. They are divided into four mixed ability  class groups and this remains the pattern for the school.