Site search

Site menu:

F-M is ... and we have a mission. We want to create a total online presence for the Fairview and Marino areas in Dublin 3.

F-M categories


Contact F-M

You can contact F-M by phoning Pádraig on (085) 7855600 or e-mailing


RSS Dublin News


February 2015
« Oct    

Latest additions



F-M Gallery

Marino 20130311_007.jpg untitled_156.jpg tolka untitled_45.jpg fp-playground-house.jpg

O’Brien Institute - OBI

O\'Brien InstituteThe O’Brien Institute (or OBI) is a building complex in Marino,  Dublin, Ireland. It was built in 1880 – 1883. The purpose of the building was to serve as an orphan home and school, financed by a trust that was founded by Bridget O’Brien in 1876. The architect was John Joseph O’Callaghan (+ 1905). The original buildings of the Institution are listed as Protected Structure, number 4940 in the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011.

Today, since 1982, the buildings are used as a training centre for the Dublin Fire Brigade. It is is the largest fire training facility in Ireland. The main building houses the lecture / classrooms. A large 3 storey breathing apparatus complex has numerous rooms, cages, pipes etc. to simulate many different fire scenarios.

Jim Cantwell is currently researching the history of the OBI. He would appreciate any help in this regard. If you were an OBI student or teacher there or have any information or stories about the OBI, please contact Jim by e-mail


Building phase

The Building was commenced in 1880. The contractors were Messrs. Hammond and Co., based in Dublin and Drogheda, J.J. O’Callaghan carried out the superintendence himself.



Three years later, in August 1883 the works were nearly finished. The Irish builder described the chapel like this: “The chapel consists of chancel, choir, seculars’ chapel, sacristy, and belfry. A large organ gallery is situated at the west end [Note: in fact it is the south-east – end], and is approached by circular stairs, making a bold feature in connection with the west [south-east] gable. The chapel is connected with the main building by a cloister corridor about 30ft in length. The belfry is situated at the north-west end [in fact south-west], and forms a porch to secular chapel, and is surmounted by an octagon spire, which, like the rest of the building, is built in brick. The dressings generally are in Drogheda limestone, while the walls throughout are built of brick from Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. The roof is open timbered to the curved ribs, and is paneled; the windows are glazed in lead lights. The woodwork is painted two shades, plain colour.”

The Dublin newspapers wrote: “[..] The chapel, detached from the main building by a corridor, adds much to the general architectural effect. [..] The chapel has an apsidal end nave, and contains a handsomely-designed organ gallery and Communion rails, seats of pitch pine, and an extremely effective Portland stone altar. The large wheel window in the east gable adding much to the appearance of the elevation. A belfry of brick, with stone dressing, completes the design of the S.E. angle.”

UPDATE: Click here for more information about the architecture of the OBI.

Next to the Institute is the Casino at Marino.

(Thanks to Wikipedia for much of this information.)

OBI location

  • Share/Bookmark


Comment from Robbie
Time Thursday February 12th, 2009 at 04:19 PM

Hi i was a boarder in OBI for 4 yrs 59 to 63 very in yr project Ribbie

Pingback from » The O’Brien Institute designs
Time Wednesday March 30th, 2011 at 06:00 PM

[...] Click here for more information about the OBI. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname=”The O’Brien Institute designs”; a2a_config.linkurl=””; a2a_config.show_title=1; [...]

Comment from stacey brown
Time Wednesday April 6th, 2011 at 12:13 PM

hi i am really interested in studying paramedics and i am wondering where i get a application for the o brien institutes

Thank you

Comment from Hugh Beere
Time Saturday June 25th, 2011 at 10:47 PM

I was a 52 week border at OBI from approx 1969 to 1974

Pingback from » Talk on the history of the OBI
Time Sunday September 18th, 2011 at 05:40 PM

[...] of the O’Brien Institute, [...]

Pingback from » Talk on the history of the OBI
Time Monday September 19th, 2011 at 05:46 PM

[...] of the O’Brien Institute, [...]

Comment from John Naughten
Time Thursday November 10th, 2011 at 04:34 PM

Hugh”ie” Beere I remember you and your brother Fergus…

Comment from Declan O’Donnell
Time Saturday June 9th, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I was a boarder from 1960-1965 then moved to Joeys in Fairview.

Comment from Hugh Beere
Time Saturday October 13th, 2012 at 05:02 PM

John Naughten, did you have a brother there too? Seem to remember there was 2 Naughten’s,

Comment from Ronan Boyle
Time Tuesday February 5th, 2013 at 02:32 PM

It’s ironic that I should find this site on the day that the Magdalen report is due for publication …..
I was a boarder from ‘65 to ‘70 as were three of my brothers,Damien,Kealan & Ken between ‘62 and ‘71.
Dermot Naughton was there during my time
and his brothers Fergus & Pat possibly before him.
I keep in touch with Terry Brennan & Niall Pembroke and my brothers meet up with Martin Milne & John McDonnell.

Comment from Ronan Boyle
Time Tuesday February 5th, 2013 at 02:36 PM

Forgot to mention that yet another brother,Grellan boarded there for 1 year in ‘70/71

Comment from Desmond Anderson Jnr.
Time Thursday February 21st, 2013 at 07:06 PM

My father was orphened in or about 1916 and I understand he was there for many years. He was called Smiller. Where are the Records Kept ? and who ran rhe Institution at that time ?
Perhaps someone will get back to me.

Comment from Neil Munro
Time Saturday October 5th, 2013 at 05:04 PM

My father was there in 37-38. Hugh Joseph Munro. Is there a group of former residents?

Comment from David Owens
Time Monday November 4th, 2013 at 01:47 AM

I was a boarder from 1955 until 1961. David Owens (0BI 30)

Comment from Stephen Hegarty
Time Thursday November 14th, 2013 at 02:11 AM

i was a boarder at OBI after st. vincent;s in glasnevin closed, i was there from 73 to 76 when it closed for good,there were 4 boarders left the last year that it was the time i was a kid and felt like it was prison, but now that I’m older I look back and i realize the value of this experience and how it contributed to the person (with good values,manners,religion and work ethic) that i am today.

Comment from John Gillespie
Time Wednesday June 18th, 2014 at 03:22 PM

Ronan Boyle, I remember you and your brothers well, I was there from 1963-1967. I remember Niall and Martin very well also. You lived near me, I was on Beaumont Road. Strange days. Also, wasn’t there an Enda Naughton?

Write a comment