The Irish Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1821 by Mother Teresa Ball, in Dublin, on completion of her religious training at the Bar convent in Dublin, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, York, England. She gave the name ‘Loreto’ to the first convent of this new branch at Rathfarnham, Dublin, as it was her wish and prayer that the life of the Holy Family might always be an inspiration and an example to the members of the institute.