St Patrick's, Navan Road, Dublin 7, originally known as Pelletstown and later operated as Eglinton House was run by the Daughters of Charity who were employed by the relevant local authority at the time. 

A total of 15,382 women and 18,829 children were admitted to Pelletstown between 1920 and 1998 from the institutional records.

At first, mothers gave birth in the Dublin Union, St James St in Dublin City Centre before being transferred there, but a maternity unit was opened in Pelletstown in 1935. 

Part of the reason for this was concern for the women's morals in mixing with people in Dublin Union who according to the Commission on the Relief of the Sick and Destitute Poor were "not the most desirable class".

Conditions in Pelletstown were described as poor; there were 4 toilets for 140 residents in 1950 while dormitories housed up to 52 beds in 1960.

There were 3,615 deaths among infants and children associated with Pelletstown with the leading causes of death overall being non-specific at 19% of cases which included congenital debility and prematurity, respiratory infections were responsible for 19% of deaths and gastroenteritis 16%.

Most children, 59%, were alone at the time of their death.

Of the children admitted 5,888 or 31% were unaccompanied by a parent with some of these children recorded as 'foundlings’ or ‘abandoned’.

The highest infant mortality rate at Pelletstown was recorded in 1920, at 50%.

The Board of Guardians admitted to the Commission on the Relief of the Sick and Destitute Poor that the percentage of children dying in Pelletstown was ‘very heavy’ in the twelve months prior to June 1925. 

In response, members of the commission pointed out that this was to be expected when such a large number of infants were being housed together in the one building. Another reason given was the high number being admitted "from the street".

The mortality rate fluctuated during the 1920s between 23% and 36% before increasing to 41% in 1937 but later dropped to 2% by 1954.

The mortality rate was just under 15% in Pelletstown between 1943 and 1945 compared to 75% in Bessborough at the same time.

The leading cause of death of infants in the 1960s was spina bifida and the report points to a peak of unaccompanied children being admitted at this time after the government stopped housing children with disabilities in county homes, which were state run, for extended periods.

After adoption became legal in 1952 this became the most common pathway out for children with 42% going through legal adoption, almost 27% of children left the institution with their mother or returned to the family home while 24% went to another institution.

A total of 367 children were sent for foreign adoption from Pelletstown with 90% going to the United States and 7% in Great Britain. 

Of the children who had arrived unaccompanied, over a third returned to the family home suggesting that  they had been admitted to the institution for medical treatment rather than institutional care.

The 1970s were the busiest time in the home with admissions for mothers peaking at 415 in 1971 but it decreased afterwards with a dramatic fall in 1984 to 109 from 197 the previous year.

The average age was 23 years with nearly three quarters being a domestic servant or unskilled worker, but 14% were professional. Around 30% were on their second or third pregnancy.

Most women, 59%, left the institution and returned to the family home or other private address with 26% being "discharged to employment".


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