Who we are

History / Our Beginnings

The Daughters of Charity are an International Community of Apostolic Life within the Catholic Church. Founded by St Vincent de Paul and St Louise de Marillac in 1633 in France they first came to Ireland in 1855 when the country was still recovering from the effects of the Famine and great poverty abounded.

The initial invitation led the sisters to Drogheda where they cared for people in need in their own homes and opened a night school for young girls working in the factories.

Two years later, in 1857 two houses were opened in Dublin. Since then the sisters have expanded and diversified their services and over the years have withdrawn from some services and have undertaken new ones in response to changing needs. Today the Irish Province of the Daughters of Charity comprises 16 houses across the country and 7 in Kenya.

The Irish Province also fostered the growth of the now thriving Province of Nigeria.

Worldwide there are about 11,937 Daughters of Charity in some 96 countries in all five continents.  For further information on the Daughters of Charity see www.filles-de-la-charite.org

A special relationship exists between us and the other Vincentian organisations, whose members live their commitment in the tradition of St Vincent de Paul and St Louise de Marillac. For further information on the International Vincentian Family see www.famvin.org.