The curiously named Protestant Row is a tiny little lane of Wexford St. What it lacks in stature, it makes up for in longevity—it is recorded on Rocque’s map of the city in 1757. It was shown but not named on the first Ordnance Survey map and its name was included on the later OSi 25″ map.
According to Kenneth Ferguson in his wonderful essay, the name of the street likely derives from the character of the district. Nearby there was a Morovian Church on Bishop St (which we shall return to when revisiting Kevin St), a Presbyterian hall on Wood Street, the Methodist house on Whitefriar Street and the Huguenots at Peter Street.
In 1911, there were ten houses on the street, although six were listed as ruins. The four families that lived there made up a total of 22 residents, and there wasn’t a Protestant among them. Typical trades included Patrick Byrne, Hotel Porter (19), who lived in No. 1; John Keenan (3) in No 2, who was a Corporation Labourer; Thomas McKeever (33) in No.3 who was a Painter and Thomas Honer (58), an unemployed wine porter who lived in No. 6.
The Irish translation according to the street sign shown is the rather awkward-sounding Rae na bProtastúnach, although this may be recent. Writing in 1979, Kevin Brennan bemoaned the fact that
Protestant Row becomes Rae na Sasanagh, despite Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward, and others.
I wonder when the Irish Englishman’s Lane converted to Protestant Lane.
Kenneth Ferguson (2005) Rocque’s Map and the History of Nonconformity in Dublin: A search for meeting houses, Dublin Historical Record, 58(2), 129-165.