Introduction
in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book examines the pioneering work and social service legacy of the Protestant Orphan Society in Dublin (DPOS). It examines the legacy of DPOS against the background of over a century of political, religious and social upheaval from Catholic emancipation, the Great Famine, and social reforms to Independence. The book identifies the founders and supporters of the DPOS and their motivation for doing so. It also examines the child welfare system implemented by the DPOS and the extent to which its policies were forward thinking and child and family centred. The book highlights the opposing views of the extensive social service carried out by Protestant Orphan (PO) Societies and the meaning of the charity for the Church of Ireland laity, particularly women.

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