Re: Re: Saint Columba’s Psychiatric Hospital, Sligo

Home Forums Ireland Ireland’s victorian asylums Re: Re: Saint Columba’s Psychiatric Hospital, Sligo


The views from the bedrooms to the rear mustn’t be that impressive either with all those student apartments going in behind.

It would seem to be a lost opportunity alright for Sligo IT to expand PDLL, especially with the accommodation now on the doorstep. Do some of the bedrooms really make use of the original rooms dc3?! 😮
Looking at this map, it’s interesting to note just how far outside the town the ‘aslyum’ was originally located, long before all that sprawl developed:

Another psychiatric hospital likely to close soon is the sprawling but gracious, mellowed red brick complex of St. Ita’s in Portrane, Co. Dublin. Built between 1896 and 1900, it was the first asylum to be built without a security wall – a little more can be found here:

Of course it featured in an television documentary series by Alan Gilsenan nearly a year ago now, the first edition going into detail about its history and how the place is gradually becoming redundant, like all the other ‘asylums’, due to the switch to day and home care. In essence, it seems they’re waiting for the few remaining elderly residents to live out their last few years before closing the complex. Few more details here:

Here it is viewed across Rogerstown Estuary from the Northern Line in the morning mist:

Its four iconic structures can be seen from miles around: the clock tower, the water tower, the chimney stack, and a round tower memorial. It’s incredible how self-sufficient this institution once was, so much so that it really had little contact with the outside world, isolated out on that lonely peninsula. In many ways this helped to preserve the fine buildings through constant maintenance and a lack of interference from outside quarters.

Indeed if the chronic under-funding of mental health services in this state has had a single ounce of benefit, it has been the preservation of time capsule complexes like these. Not even the funding was made available in the 70s to replace the main blocks’ timber sash windows with a typical aluminium upgrade – though it is noteworthy that they were pulled out in what seem to be managerial buildings on the site…

This redundant complex could make for the most wonderful new planned urban development – a bizarre Edwardian model town of sorts admittedly – but a highly desirable place to live. The site is of such significance that Fingal CC have placed a blanket listing over the 100 buildings on the site!
The tall main blocks could contain goodness knows how many apartments, all with large windows and probably sweeping views of the sea. There’s also smaller buildings, as well as a ton of sturdy little staff cottages, and acres of surounding land, some of which could be developed too.

All provided that the gazillions generated by the sale get ploughed straight back into the mental health services needless to say – preferably day care buildings that we can equally drool over today let alone 100 years time.

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