Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin) was founded in 1592 as a protestant college. Catholics could ask for permission from their church to attend in 1793. Women were admitted as full members in 1904.
Queen's Colleges at Belfast, Cork and Galway were established in 1845. The names soon changed to Queen's University of Ireland at Cork, Belfast and Galway and were for both catholic and presbyterian students.
The Royal University of Ireland was successor to the Queen's University of Ireland, dissolved in 1882. After the 1880 reforms the catholic colleges came under the Catholic University. The 1908 reforms created the National University of Ireland and a separate Queen's University of Belfast.
Did your Irish ancestor attend one of these colleges?
Names of Matriculated Students who entered Queen's Colleges in Ireland, 1849-60
Report of President of Queen's College Cork, various years
Report of President of Queen's College Belfast, various years
Report of President of Queen's College Galway, various years
Royal University of Ireland - report and list of successful candidates for degrees
Catholic University of Ireland, C1857
National University of Ireland, 1910
Calendar: Trinity College, Dublin
The Dublin University Calendar
Reports of the Inspector of Reformatory Schools of Ireland (only staff names)
Number of Pupils on Rolls, Managers, Teachers and Workmistresses in Irish National Schools 1857-58; Names of Officers and Commissioners
Return of names of Commissioners of National Education in Ireland 1884
Return giving names, appointment and attendances, 1890-1900, of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland
Return of Names of Fellows and Examiners of Royal University of Ireland, 1881
Names of President, Vice-President and Professors of Queen's Colleges at Cork, Galway and Belfast, 1865