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

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

Paul Clerkin

and another of the big mental hospitals closes

St Canice’s hospital in Kilkenny closes
Michael Parsons

One of the State’s largest and best-known mental hospitals, St Canice’s in Kilkenny, has finally closed after more than 150 years. The last remaining patients have been moved to a new, 28-bed unit which has been constructed nearby at a cost of €1.9 million.

Mary O’Hanlon, a Health Service Executive (HSE) manager for elderly care and mental health services, said she was “delighted that plans for purpose-built accommodation in modern surroundings for the patients concerned had come to fruition”.

St Canice’s was one of a number of “asylums” opened in Ireland during the Victorian era. It was established in 1852 and a first batch of patients was transferred there from the Carlow asylum. In 1925, the new State introduced legislation which ordered that “district lunatic asylums maintained by county councils . . . shall henceforth be styled and known as district mental hospitals”.

Patient numbers at the old hospital had been declining since the opening of a new 45-bed acute psychiatric unit at St Luke’s General Hospital in 1993 and because of what a HSE spokesman said was the trend towards “the community care model”.

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