Sunday, 6 January 2013

St Annes Asylum, Cork, Ireland.



























Our Lady’s Hospital, formerly Eglinton Asylum, Cork was built to house 500 patients. It was the largest of seven district lunatic asylums commissioned by the Board of Public Works in the late 1840s to supplement the nine establishments erected by Johnston and Murray in 1820-35. Like the earlier buildings, the new institutions were ‘corridor asylums’, but with the emphasis on wards rather than cells. There was a change in style from Classical to Gothic. Designed by local architect William Atkins, the Cork Asylum was one of the longest buildings in Ireland (almost 1000 feet), originally split into three blocks punctuated with towers and gables. Atkins made good use of polychromy, contrasting Glanmire sandstone with limestone dressings. The elevated site overlooking the River Lee at Shanakiel, appears to have been chosen by the local Governors for dramatic effect rather than practicality, great difficulty being encountered in providing exercise yards on the steep slope.

Named after Right Hon. Earl of Eglinton - Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the institution opened in 1852. The Asylum had three storeys. Construction cost including site £79,827..1/5d


A Distressing Account from 1988, Debated in the Irish Parliament, on the Decline of the Hospital.

The issue I have raised is the report of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals on conditions in Our Lady's Hospital in Cork. I propose to devote a considerable period of my time to extracts from the report of the Inspector of Mental Hospitals because, even though it is a very late hour and even though I, like everybody else, would like to go home, there are things in that report that need to be put on the record of this House and on the record of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The first thing that needs to be said is that there are about 1,000 patients in Our Lady's Hospital in Cork and almost all of them, with the exception of about 30 or 40, are long-stay patients. The Inspector of Mental Hospitals visited that hospital in February of this year. I want to put on the record of this House brief extracts about a variety of wards. For instance, in St. Kevin's 5, a female ward with 28 patients, there was one toilet off the dormitory and five toilets off the dayroom which were dirty. St. Kevin's 6, a male ward with 18 patients. Some renovation work was going on in this ward. The dormitory was locked off during the day. Each patient had a wardrobe. There was no soap and no towels were available. The toilet area off the dormitory was dirty and there were no curtains on the windows. We are not talking about prisons or shelters for the homeless; we are talking about a hospital. St. Kevin's 8, female with 21 patients — a washing machine on the ward was bought from patients' money, a washing machine to wash the clothes of the patients was bought from patients' money. The toilet had no seat and there were no curtains.


23 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Whew, no coming away unscathed by some trauma witnessed or exerienced. Hope ypu are ok.

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    2. I'm actually an ex patient,
      I'll never return to Ireland until apology is given ,Iv asked the acting minister for health for enquiry and apology,and investigation in underway,Iv been promised.Maybe the guy,"who worked there,hell'could actually do some social care,finally,and give statement to the minister for enquiry please?Are hand himself into police,yes,it was it was hell.cheers

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    3. Hello there,
      @Niall Mathews I am very interested in the history of the place, would you mind getting in touch with me?
      Here is my email: patrycja.buczko16@gmail.com

      Kindly Regards,
      Patrycja

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  2. Im currently writing a book about the place. See www.newirishwriting.com

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    1. Hi John. I tried looking for your book at that link but can't find it. I'm really interested to read about it as my paternal grandfather is certified as having died there after a 3 month brain illness in 1886. Could you post the name and ISBN if you have published please? Thanks, Jane

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    2. Hi Mr Gilroy,if your still writing book,I am ex patient,I can give you interview?
      I started a Union for mental health sufferers seeking better rights, and Iv complained to minister for mental health,ms McCantee?,and been promised investigation,which is accuring ATM,according to her,my union is asking for 5000,Euro compensation and apology for all surviving ex residents alive,as we were all denied are human right to privacy,and exercise,daily,
      I complained to garda siochana,of the Dr who detained me,a Sgt pat Lyons,I was detained in 98,99,and in 2001,she was sacked at tribunal,I know a health fraud,took place,from diagnosis,s since,but gardai said,there more inclined deal with lawyer,so I hope the minister can give,me and others,closure from the indignity and injustice,and mistreatment we received.Best of luck with the book,I'll look out for it,anyway.cheers

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  4. have stayed there myself with friends know the place inside out . not a very nice place to be at night grew up around there hanging around there at night use to take shortcuts through the place coming back from fishing :( dreadful screams out of the place when it was open would scare the crap out of ya

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  5. worked in security with people that done security down there and refused to go back there. everybody knows the storys about the place so a certain security company got a polish person to work there this man new none of the history on the place .big man loved his gym and working out was honestly not afraid and skeptical about ghosts and stuff story goes that he was on a 12 hr shift in a part of the building where they had made an office for security next to where they stored all the old stuff from the place old lockers and stuff .witnessed the room myself basically aload of clutter .this fella was like 4 or 3 hrs into his shift and decided to dose off into his 3rd hour and was woken up by scratching noises so got up checked out the room and was walking down the corridors and he swore down that he saw a person walk into a room right in front of him and was saying hey hey you shouldnt be here the guards are on the way no way out and literally walked in behind the person and the room was empty with blocked windows so they couldnt have got out . he said it was one of the old rooms where the padded cells were .he left straight away to go back to where the office was to call the patrol van to come and check the place with him , phone was fucked wouldnt even turn on had to go to an apartment at the back of the place to contact the patrol driver same man refused to go back there and he new nothing about the place

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  6. Hi , we're Transition year students doing a history project on the asylum part of St Anne's / St Kevin's. If you have any Information (worked there, stayed there , knows someone who stayed there) could you reply to us if you are willing to have an interview through the phone or face to face.

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    1. I would be very interested in seeing the TY history project..if it was possible?

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    2. Hi ms Murphy,I'm ex patient,I'll give you interview

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    3. My dad was there as a patient aswell and the place was hell and the treatment in there was shocking. I hope you get some justice and apology. Keep the head up.

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    4. Ms Murphy my great grandfather, Dr Thomas Reynolds, was on staff and lived there in the complex. Both he and my grandfather give this address during 1901 and 1911 census. Did Thomas Reynolds come up in your group's research?

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  7. id be glad to show anybody the place if they wanted to see it on a nice day just add me on my blog or message me on it and i can see what day suits yourselves and hopefully can sort something from there :)

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    1. Hi there- I am working on a documentary surrounding the untold stories from this asylum. Would you mind sending me an email to myrahayesgo@gmail.com . I would love to talk to you.
      Kind Regards
      Myra

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  8. Hey want to film there is it possible does anyone know who to contact

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    Replies
    1. you should just go down there and enter the place

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  9. Very interesting read all the comments next time in cork would love to visit the place. Would make great place for a movie or history project!

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  10. Hi Niall, sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Could you email me at johngilroy01@gmail.com

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  11. Are there any historical patient records for the period 1880 to 1930. I have some anecdotal evidence that my Great Uncle was incarcerated there. We would appreciate any help in getting access to the records.

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  12. my great great grand mother died here aged 24 in 1876. i have the incident, found in a local newspaper .would like to know where they were buried.

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