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About Us

History of Stewarts

Stewarts was established in 1869 in Dublin, as an institution to provide for the Education, Training and Maintenance of children with a mental handicap from throughout the island of Ireland. 

It derives its name from its founder, Dr. Henry Hutchinson Stewart, who was born in Dublin in June 1798. He was the son of a Rector of Donabate Parish, North Co. Dublin. Henry came late to medicine - he took his M.D. when he was 31 years of age. One year later, he married Eliza Going, a clergyman's daughter. The couple had no children. 

Dr. Stewart held several medical positions amongst them that of local Dispensary Doctor in Co. Westmeath. Stewart also worked as a Medical Consultant in a hospital in North Brunswick Street that would re-emerge in the 20th century as the Beaumont Hospital. Among the patients in the hospital, there were many elderly mentally handicapped people. 

Henry was sensitive to their situation and over the next ten years worked vigorously to assemble a committee of highly motivated and influential medical and business professionals. The ultimate result was that, in 1869, the first 12 residents came to "Stewarts" in Palmerstown, Co. Dublin.  

Henry relinquished official responsibility for "Stewarts Institute" at the age of 71, but he continued his benevolent interest in its progress. 

He died in 1879 aged 81 at his home in Eccles Street, Dublin - followed 2 months later by his widow Eliza. They are buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery. 

Stewarts, more than 140 years later, remains a tribute to a man of vision, of generosity, and humanity. 

Founded on egalitarian principles, Stewarts has always been committed to an ethos "of the broadest and most unsectarian character." 

Stewarts has a proud history of providing a nurturing, caring environment for all of our service users. 

In our long history since then, we have worked with our residents and our day students to provide the optimum of services, promoting their individual education, well-being, dignity, good health and happiness.