Decline and resilience, 1898–1940
in The Protestant Orphan Society and its social significance in Ireland, 1828–1940
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This chapter examines the social service carried out by Protestant Orphan Society in Dublin (DPOS) committee members and Church of Ireland women and identifies distinguished figures from Douglas Hyde to Dr Ella Webb who lent the Society their support. Church of Ireland women contributed consistently, generously and unobtrusively to PO Societies in their vital roles as nurses and matrons, collectors and fundraisers. Despite Charles Stewart Parnell's and Isaac Butt's prominence in the Home Rule Movement in the nineteenth century, home rule was opposed by most members of the Church of Ireland. The dwindling Protestant population had many knock-on effects for a charity such as the DPOS, one of which was the decline in funding. The Protestant Orphan Society of Ireland was a symbol of Protestant vitality and resilience that bound together 'all sorts and conditions' with one common goal, preservation.

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