Carriglea Park Industrial School, Dun Laoghaire (‘Carriglea’) was first certified as an industrial school in 1894. It began operating in 1896 and continued until its closure in 1954. Carriglea Park Industrial School, Dun Laoghaire (‘Carriglea’) was first certified as an industrial school in 1894. It began operating in 1896 and continued until its closure in 1954.
It was originally intended to operate as a junior industrial school for boys under 12 years of age. However, when it was certified it was on the basis that it would function as a full-scale industrial school, catering for boys up to 16 years of age from the south Dublin and County Wicklow areas. Source: The Stolen Child: A Memoir by Joe Dunne (Marino Books 2003) Source: Bartholomew Street Map of Dublin, undated.
The rationale behind the purchase of Carriglea was to replicate the success of Artane Industrial School and its rapidly increasing numbers. Artane had been in operation since 1870 and had its own junior school by 1883. The idea of setting up a similar institution on the south side of Dublin was mooted and, with the approval of the Chief Inspector of Industrial Schools, Carriglea was purchased in 1893 by the Christian Brothers to fulfil this need. It was expected to be ‘Artane on a small scale’.
The school was situated about 1½ miles south west of Dun Laoghaire at Kill of the Grange. The property was bordered by what is now Kill Avenue, Rochestown Avenue and the former site of Dun Laoghaire Golf Course.
When the Christian Brothers purchased the property, it comprised a mansion house and 40 acres of land. By 1896 the purchase of a nearby farm increased the lands to 60 acres. In 1946 the property was extended further with the purchase of land originally intended for the construction of a secondary school, the building of which did not commence until the late 1950s. This additional land was utilised to extend the farm, thereby increasing the acreage to 115.
The mansion was used as the Brothers’ residence, and an L-shaped, two-storey building was erected to the rear to accommodate the boys. This building consisted of a dining room, kitchen and classrooms on the ground floor, and two dormitories above that accommodated approximately 130 to 140 beds each.
The Rules and Regulations for the Certified Industrial Schools in Saorstát Éireann, which were approved by the Minister for Education, were signed by the Resident Manager of Carriglea on 23rd January 1933.
Initially, Carriglea was certified for 260 pupils, later reduced to 150, a figure lower than anticipated by the Christian Brothers. Over subsequent years, they sought to increase the certification limit and, by 1925, they had succeeded in increasing this figure to 250, with a further increase of 10 places in 1944 bringing the final certification limit to 260.
The average number of pupils in the School over the period of this investigation was 225, and ranged from a high of 260, in 1939 and 1945, to a low of 180 in 1952. Carriglea was a large institution, comparable with Letterfrack and bigger than Tralee, Salthill or Glin. The large numbers led to problems of overcrowding in the School during the 1930s.
As stated above, Carriglea was envisaged as being ‘Artane on a small scale’. However, for much of the period under review, it was a far cry from its highly regimented and disciplined sister school on the north side of the city.
The documents show Carriglea to have been an unruly, chaotic and disorganised place from 1936 until 1945. Discipline was lacking, and sexual activity among the boys was widespread. The Visitation Reports for those years corroborate this fact. The conditions that led to such indiscipline and unruliness,were mainly attributable to weak, uninterested staff, poor control of the boys, and a lack of recreational or occupational activities for them. Few boys were engaged in any trades training, which left over 200 of them unoccupied for large parts of the afternoon. The situation was addressed to some extent in 1945, with the assignment of new Brothers to the School, but the regime introduced by these Brothers created its own problems.
The chronic mismanagement was exemplified by the number of Brothers who passed through Carriglea from 1935 until 1954. This 19-year period saw 65 different Brothers pass through the Institution. A boy arriving in Carriglea in 1945 at seven years of age, and leaving in 1954 at the age of 16, would have had 40 different Brothers caring for him during that time, most of whom stayed for two years or less. It would have been impossible for these boys to form any lasting bond with Brothers who came and went so frequently, and this would have had a serious impact on their sense of security and safety. The Brothers who stayed longer than two years were there in the post-1945 period, when discipline and management had improved.
Carriglea officially closed on 30th June 1954. Numbers in all of the industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers were steadily declining, a fact which had a corresponding impact on the income of the schools. The Provincial Council decided to close one of its industrial schools, and at the same time implement a policy of segregation, whereby delinquent boys would be segregated from non-delinquents. It was decided to close Carriglea and use the building as a juniorate for the training of Christian Brothers. June 1954. Numbers in all of the industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers were steadily declining, a fact which had a corresponding impact on the income of the schools. The Provincial Council decided to close one of its industrial schools, and at the same time implement a policy of segregation, whereby delinquent boys would be segregated from non-delinquents. It was decided to close Carriglea and use the building as a juniorate for the training of Christian Brothers.
In 1954, there were 176 boys resident in Carriglea. They were transferred to other industrial schools as follows: 122 boys were transferred to Artane, eight went to Upton, seven to Greenmount, 20 to Tralee, and 19 to Glin. These transfers took place on 21st June 1954.1
At the same time as the decision to close Carriglea was made, the decision was also made to confine admissions to Letterfrack to boys convicted of offences that would incur imprisonment if committed by an adult. This decision is discussed in full in the Letterfrack chapter. It met with strong opposition from the Department of Education, the Department of Justice and members of the Judiciary. The objections all focused on the unsuitability of Letterfrack because of its isolation and distance from Dublin, from where most of these children came. The Christian Brothers were adamant, however, and Letterfrack was designated in 1954 as the Christian Brothers’ industrial school for all convicted children under 14.