silverstealth Registered User

Well stripped out but very atmospheric and a stunning building. Visited with Fat Budgie, we had a full day here.

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.

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silverstealth Registered User

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silverstealth Registered User

The Catholic Chapel.. A Minter...

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silverstealth Registered User

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Fajitas! Registered User

Amazing stuff Silver.

Would be well up for a trip there.

LeoB Registered User

Great set of images, thankfully of a time we have nearly left behind.

These images will stirs deep emotions for many families who may feel they were "victims" of these places.

The images tell a story. May i suggest you repost some of them with seperate captions.
Wash room
1 Toilet -20 beds!
Doors banging
Magdaline Laundry
I have no real experience of these places but Im stunned. Well done

dialhead Registered User

I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?

Stephen louis walsh has pie!

Wow, creepy looking place. Is there any problems getting access to it? Is it a case of just letting yourself in?

LeoB Registered User

I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?[/quote
Track down one of the staff. If you live near it you will find there are still some staff living about the place.
These pictures tell an amazing story. Can you hear the doors banging? Or some sad misunderstood, undiagnosed soul crying out for help?

kgiller Registered User

dialhead said:
I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?

I heard that they were all just let go and now roam free around cork city. . . . . . . . seriously!

I dont know about ye, but i actually live very near to this place. I can actually see it from out my bedroom window. Im afraid to go out at night

AnCatDubh Registered User

Really super set. Disturbing yet very worthwhile.

Is the area publicly accessible? / permissions needed? It would be worth a trip some time even as a meet up.

steelydan99 Registered User

Would love to see this place, excellent set. Anyone see the DVD session 9!!!

Watch it and then visit...

If an organised visit is planned, would love to know when

kitty29 Registered User

dialhead said:
I'm trying to find out what happened to the patients in the Hospital when it closed in 1988. Does anyone know where they went?

Hiya :-)

Thought i'd leave a quick msg to this. Firstly as you say when it closed in 1988 i think you may be reffering to the grey part of the building, that right? Some sections of the red brick building (St Kevins) was opened up until (now i'm not 100% which year it closed) at least 1998 so i'm guessing that part closed around 2000. From what i've heard conditions in the grey building (called St ita's 1 and 2 i think amongst other names) were far more appalling than the red brick right up until its closure. Nonetheless, conditions in St Kevins were pretty appalling too particularly given that it was open until around 2000-thats not a long time ago. This was a place where upto 10 women (i only know about the womens ward) lived and slept in a pretty small ward. one room was where one would get locked into for any number of reasons- usually for being agressive or a bit 'mad'- not always necessarily against themselves or others. This was a pretty grim room with only a bed (i suppose its better than just a matress!) and the door had a big window made of perspex (or something like that) so you could see out and see in. The toilets often had no toilet paper, there was no locks on the toilet doors for obvious reasons- and one experience i had while going to the toilet, was when a woman came in and tried to choke herself with a pair of tights (dont think its possible but she was so full of anxiety), people were trying to do stuff to themselves all the time- a lot of it i feel was because of the sheer boredom and frustration that place did to a person. The nurses station which was completely covered is where a lot of the nurses stayed inside all day. When someone wanted a cigerette they opened a latch and lit a lighter. Not all nurses were like this (there were extremely caring ones too) but the majority were-I honestly dont think they saw the patients as 'humans', all their dignity, respect, rights were taken away once they entered that place. There were many instances of cockroaches on the floor. Once or twice the bed room had to be fumagated due to beg bugs. From my own experience of being in there for a year and half i always found the experience of being in there harder to overcome than my depression etc. This may sound bad but i also felt i was the sanest person in there-my only 'crime' (i like to call it copping mechanism) was to hurt myself-it could be compared to an addiction. I will never forget the people i met in there who once you looked past how they were acting were amazing people. Some had been put into our ladys many yrs before that and in effect probabbly were institutionalized. they never recieved the right support (note i use support rather than help), they were treated so horribly, drugged upto their eyeballs continiously so that are controlled, not dealing with whats underneath all this anger,pain, hurt. I was on about 15+ tablets at one stage-how was that supposed to help. What really makes me mad is the fact that i was only just turned 17 when i went in there. I got a lot worse before i got better and it certainly was not down to my twice a week 10 minute abrupt insensitive visit from my consultant psychiatrist- it mostly certainly was a combination of support from one or two amazing compassionate nurses,psychologist who taught me the skills to learn how to talk about things and how to cry, the never ending incredible support of my family and of course my own determination and hard work. i took myself off my medication a month or two after i got out and have never needed/taken it again and thats a bit over 10 years ago. anways i think i ended up giving a bit of a rant there

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Dara Robinson Registered User


I was going to suggest we go back as I missed it and so did others I assume and looks amazing ....... :/

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Crispin Registered User

Dara Robinson said:

I was going to suggest we go back as I missed it and so did others I assume and looks amazing ....... :/

I would love to go, anyone interested give me a pm, I work close by so I can head there anytime

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