About Portobello Institute

Delia Lyons founded Portobello Institute in 1981 as The Portobello School of Childcare. Delia operated a small nursery for babies and children before recognizing the need for qualified and skilled staff in the nursery sector.

Her school originally opened in South Richmond St, beside Portobello Bridge on the south side of Dublin. It was the first childcare training school in Ireland and one of a small handful of private providers of further education at the time. Delia aimed to make education accessible for everyone who wanted to develop further in their careers.

Since then, Portobello Institute has expanded so that we no longer solely focus on childcare. Our Early Years department remains buoyant but it is one of six departments that make up the college:

·      Early Years

·      Sports

·      Facilities Management

·      Special Needs Assisting

·      Business of Fashion

·      Travel and Tourism

Developing into an institute of further and higher education in different sectors has made Portobello institute larger but it hasn’t changed the ethos that Delia found the college on.

Today, Delia’s daughter Rebekah Lyons continues to make education accessible and ensures that Portobello remains true to Delia’s vision.

Each student is an individual with dreams and aspirations of a future career. Our role is to support that individual to achieve their career objectives. No matter how large our student base grows to, we will continue to keep classes small so that our tutors know your name when you enroll and when you graduate. A personal level of support continually exists for every student regardless of what they study. By taking this approach we are aiming to assist students as they reach their personal best in education.

Education isn’t just about upskilling or chasing a promotion. Building a career means building a life. Delia believed that achieving or changing your career path meant gaining greater fulfillment in all areas of life as a result. By relying on our regional network, varying the methods of delivery, widening the entry criteria and offering easy payment plans to our students, we are following the direction Delia laid out decades ago.

It’s important that people in this country understand we’ve a lot of great colleges, we’ve a lot of great systems…It’s a great degree programme, it just gives people a chance which is all you can ask for.”

– EOIN BYRNE,  Portobello Institute Graduate

Open days at Portobello Institute

Making education accessible doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality of your education.

To combine accessibility with quality, we have sought out the highest standards of recognition for our programmes. The bodies that recognize our standards include the national awarding body of the Quality and Qualifications of Ireland (QQI), the renowned London Metropolitan University (LMU) and the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM).

We offer students flexible modes of delivery with many of our programmes available to study in-person weekdays, part time, blended or by distance learning. Our departments have been developed in line with our areas of expertise and continued demand from employers for well educated and skilled graduates.

Rebekah Lyons leads her administrative staff, a core management team and teams of expert tutors to uphold policies and processes that have been proven to be of the highest standards. Our awarding bodies have approved our Quality Assurance Policies and Procedures. You can read these policies and procedures by reading our QA manual from the link below.


Portobello Institute is located on Lower Dominick Street, just five minutes from Dublin’s main city center thoroughfare of O’Connell Street. The institute is accessible by public transport with the green line Luas stopping on Dominick Street and the red line Luas stopping on Jervis Street. The Jervis Street stop is a five minute walk from our building.

The red Luas line offers direct access to the main railway stations of Dublin, Heuston and Connolly, while the regional and city network of buses all have stops within a 15-minute walk of our building. There is parking available in the Ilac center and Park Rite on Parnell Street, both less than a five-minute walk away.

Featuring bright and spacious practical and theory rooms, Portobello Institute occupies an impressive Georgian building and a former convent primary school. Each department has its own unique facilities designed to deliver the practical elements of each programme. 

A quiet room is available to all students to use for study or research with laptops available on loan from reception should the student not have their own laptop or tablet on site. Plasma screens are used in the classroom settings for presentation, after which student notes for most classes are available via our e-learning platform Redpen. Our online library ebsco and subscription to various leading academic journals provides a great resource for all departments.

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