LIMERICK HOSPITALS

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The County Hospital was founded in 1759 by the exertions of the late Mr. Vandeleur, surgeon, aided by the Pery and Hartstonge families. The present building on the new Cork road, which was completed in 1811, at an expense of £7100, has a front of 114 feet, and contains 10 wards for males and 6 for females; the number of patients admitted in the year ending April 1st, 1836, was 632, at an expense of £1520. Barrington's hospital, called by the act of the 11th of George IV. the "City of Limerick infirmary," was founded in 1829 by Sir Joseph Barrington, Bart., and his sons, Matthew, Daniel, Croker, and Samuel.

The hospital, built on George's quay at an expense of upwards of £4000, contains six large wards, capable of holding 60 beds; the number at present is 35. It was given by the founders to the city and opened under the new arrangement in Nov. 1831: it is supported by voluntary subscriptions and a grant from Government. Attached to the institution is a good medical library: a wing is now building for a lying-in hospital and another is projected for a fever hospital. St. John's Fever and Lock hospital was founded in 1781 by Lady Hartstonge; in the year 1836 it had 1601 patients; the expenses were £1520. 10.

The Lying-in Hospital, opened in Nelson-street in 1812, under the control of a board of trustees, is supported by subscriptions and the interest of a bequest of £1000 from Mrs. White: upwards of 400 patients have been annually admitted into it since its establishment. There is also a dispensary. The District Lunatic Asylum, for the counties of Limerick, Clare, and Kerry, is a very extensive edifice on the new Cork road, completed in 1826. It is 429 feet by 314: the centre forms an octagon, from which four wings diverge containing cells for patients. It was originally intended for 150 curable lunatics, but, an additional building has been lately erected for those considered incurable. There is a considerable portion of land, in the cultivation of which many of the inmates are beneficially engaged. The system of management, which is confined to moral treatment, excluding all coercive or severe measures, is extremely well conducted.

The total cost of the buildings, exclusive of the purchase of land, was £35,490. The House of Industry, founded in 1774 by Grand Jury presentments on the county and city, to which was added £200 by the late Dr. Edward Smyth, of Dublin, towards providing thirteen cells for the insane, was at first calculated to accommodate 200 inmates: the number, prior to 1823, was augmented to 380; a wing was then added for the accommodation of seventy infirm women, and two work-rooms for spinners and weavers. The inmates are employed in various occupations, and a strict classification is observed.

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