Dublin Lunatic Asylums


The Richmond District Lunatic Asylum, which was erected in 1830 into a district asylum for the county and city of Dublin, the counties of Meath, Wicklow, and Louth, and the town of Drogheda, occupies a rectangular area of 420 feet by 372, on the western side of the House of Industry. The building forms a hollow square of three stories: the inmates are arranged in four classes of each sex, each under the charge of a keeper, whose apartment commands a view of the gallery in which the patients are confined: there are separate airing-grounds for every class. The total number of patients on the 1st of Jan., 1836, was 277, of whom 130 were males and 147 females; the expenditure for the same year was £4180. 16. In the House of Industry there is a department for incurable lunatics, idiots, and epileptic patients, in which those capable of any exertion are employed suitably to their unhappy circumstances. St. Patrick's or Swift's Hospital, for the reception of lunatics and idiots, was founded by the celebrated Dean Swift, who bequeathed his property, amounting to £10,000, for this purpose. The building, situated near Steevens's Hospital, was opened in 1757, and has also apartments, rated at different prices, for those whose friends can contribute either wholly or partially to their maintenance. A large garden is attached to it, in which some of the patients are employed with considerable advantage to their intellectual improvement. The Society of Friends maintain a small asylum near Donnybrook, for lunatics of their own body.

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