Proposed Thesis, Masters in Urban & Building Conservation, UCD - 2004.
I am preparing my thesis on the study of early Free State public hospitals which were constructed in pursuance of the Public Charitable Hospitals Act of 1933, and funded through the Hospitals Sweepstake. These buildings were constructed during the first hospitals building programme, and design was commenced from 1933 until the Second World War hampered further construction.
I have selected County hospitals as a distinct building type which are strongly representative of this building programme, each building the work of a private architectural design, site specific to a generic brief refined through consultation. There were 11 newly built hospitals completed under this building programme. These are the county hospitals in Cashel, Castlebar, Ennis, Kilkenny, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Tullamore, Roscommon, Nenagh, Monaghan and Mallow, all of which still function as part of public hospitals today.
Against the backdrop of the Modern movement in Ireland and Europe during the interwar years, I intend to assess the subject buildings in terms of their architectural, social and cultural context, attempting to analyze the significance of the individual buildings and of the role of this building type as a contributing factor in the development of the modern State. The study will record the extent of survival and condition of the original building fabric & detail, so as to ascertain the authenticity of these buildings as they now exist in comparison to the original design intentions.
The architect Vincent Kelly(1895-1975) was a key figure in the research of contemporary hospital design, and he realized this research in two of the completed subject buildings, and I would be interested in locating any records of his research and work on hospitals. Other notable architects involved in the design of the subject buildings were Scott and Good, J.R.Boyd Barrett, Downes & Meehan and Patrick Sheehan.
I have previously contacted all health boards, the hospital planning office, relevant local authorities, all architects recently involved with the subject buildings, National Archives, Irish Architectural Archives, RIAI, AAI, National Library, UCD, Brian Oâ€™Connell, Frank Jackman, Freddie Oâ€™Dwyer, Sean Rothery, Shane Oâ€™Toole, and the Heritage Council.
Any relevant information, photographs or drawing information would be greatly appreciated.