Burrows (Dobbin), Rachel (1912–87), actress, broadcaster, and teacher, was born 29 April 1912 in Limerick, the daughter of Peter Dobbin, county surveyor for Co. Clare, and Kathleen (née Vance), his second wife. Reared in Kilkishen House, Co. Clare, she was educated at St Brandon's School in Bristol. She went on to study at TCD, graduating BA with first-class honours in 1933, and M.Litt. in 1947. While at university she played a leading role in the formation of the Dublin University Players. After a period teaching English in Limerick (from 1937 to 1947), she moved, with her family, to Cork, where she taught in Cork grammar school until 1971, and where she became well known in amateur theatrical circles. As a member of Ashton Productions, formed in the 1950s, she was instrumental in the establishment of Cork's Everyman Theatre. She was a founder member of both the Limerick and Cork Cercle Français, later known as the Alliance Française.
She moved to Dublin in 1971, retired from teaching the following year, and turned to acting professionally, working for radio, stage and television. She appeared in several productions by Hilton Edwards (qv) and Micheál MacLiammóir (qv), among them ‘The good natured man’ and ‘An ideal husband’. In 1973 she performed with World Theatre Productions, in ‘Lord Arthur Savile's crime’, as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Her best-known roles include her part as Miss Benson in RTÉ's drama series The Riordans and her portrayal of Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's (qv) ‘The importance of being earnest’. This 1980 production was her last stage appearance in Cork. She took pride in being descended from the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (qv), and James Sheridan Knowles (qv), a successful London playwright of the 1830s. Her regular contributions to RTÉ's radio programme Sunday miscellany often included reflections drawn from family diaries on life as a southern protestant in the nineteenth century. An authority on the writings of the poet and mystic Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), her tribute delivered at the centenary celebrations on Tagore was published in 1962 by UCC. She married the Rev. Jerram Burrows (d. 2003), a former headmaster of Cork grammar school and canon of the cathedrals of St Fin Barre and Ross, on 28 April 1934; they had two daughters. She died 15 April 1987 in Dublin.