I had got nowhere in my search for the Irish GREENs until I ordered a birth certificate for one of James and Mary Isabella's children (John Green Bell, born in 1912). This revealed that my grandfather's full name was James Joseph GREEN - no-one had previously mentioned his middle name and it didn't appear on the birth certificates for any of his other children! Taken with the fact that I had been told he was born in Dublin, perhaps I could now find his birth and more about my great-grandfather - John Green, leather worker - who had been named on my grandparents' marriage certificate.
This extra information made the search of the Dublin RC baptism records and also the Irish Civil records a little easier, and I found a James Joseph Green, son of John Green, currier, and Elizabeth (formerly Kavanagh), baptised at St Nicholas Francis RC Church in Dublin in 1878. Bingo! I had found my great grandparents!
The information enabled me to find the marriage record for John and Elizabeth, which took place on 17th April 1877 at the RC church of St Nicholas in South Dublin. The civil record stated that John Green was a bachelor of 11 Cork St, the son of James Green, currier, and Elizabeth was a spinster of 15 Walls Lane, dau of James Kavanagh, a guilder. The church record of the marriage provided the very useful additional information that John's father James Green was 'of Glasgow' and that his mother was Margaret; and that Elizabeth's mother was named Brigid.
So I had a John Green, occupation Currier, probably born before 1857 - place unknown - with a father James (also a currier) and mother Margaret. There were no baptisms registered in Dublin that fitted the bill. But I made more progress when I decided to follow up on Patrick and Mary Cassidy - with whom my grandfather had been living at the time of the 1901 census - when he was described as their nephew. (See next generation)
Children of John and Eliza
James Joseph Green was born on 8th Sept 1878 at 16 Walls Lane, Dublin, son of John Green, currier and Elizabeth Green, formerly Kavanagh. His baptism took place the following day at St Nicholas RC Church, with sponsors William Green and Mary Conway (source: birth and baptism records). James was married to Mary Isabella Adamthwaite and he died in County Durham in 1949 (See previous generation)
Mary Jane Green was born on 13th Aug 1880 at 16 Walls Lane, dau of John Green and Eliza Kavanagh. She was baptised as Mary Joseph Green on 16th August at St Nicholas RC Dublin, the sponsors were Denis and Catherine Kavanagh. (source birth and baptism records). Mary Green died at the age of 7 weeks on 30 sep 1880 at 16 Walls Lane. She was described as 'curriers child' and the death was reported by Kate Kavanagh of the same address (source death cert)
I was saddened to learn that my grandfather had had a younger sibling, because even though she only lived a few weeks, my mother had never mentioned her, even though it is possible that she was named for her.
However, it was even more distressing to learn that Elizabeth Green had died just days after her daughter's birth on 17th August 1880 at the age of 26 years. The cause of her death was puerperal fever. Elizabeth died at 17 Walls Lane and the death was reported by James Kavanagh (her father?) of 16 Walls Lane (source death cert)
Although I had been told that James Green was orphaned at a young age, I have obtained death certificates for the four John Greens of roughly the right age who died in Dublin between 1880 and 1900 and none is the correct one. Neither have I found a baptism record which could be his, though as he was of full age at the time of his marriage in 1877 he must have been born before 1856 (Civil birth, marriage and death records for Ireland are only available from 1864, though non-Catholic marriages are recorded from 1845).
Walls Lane, Dublin in about 1900 (with many thanks to TCD, who provided much of the information about the Greens and Kavanaghs, and directed me to the excellent website Irish Genealogy)