May 1847, Hospital Managing Committee letter to Dublin Castle:
‘The numbers that are every day flocking into Dublin to embark for America bring much contagion of a most dangerous character with them, and we have every reason to apprehend the most serious consequences to the health of the town’.
In late 1847 a number of tents and four wooden sheds providing accommodation for an extra 480 patients were erected on the Cork Street grounds.
The table below shows that even this extra accommodation did not meet demand as the situation worsened in late 1847, and applications for admission consistently outstripped available space in the hospital.
|Month||Applications for Admission||Admissions||Rejected Applications for Admissions|
Internal letter to the Managing Committee on 1 July 1847
‘The average number of bad cases lying at the Gate is 10 daily. Yesterday I had 15. Previously to admitting any of them, I sent them to South Dublin Union Sheds, where for want of room, they were refused admission. I then, from strong representations of the Police, afforded temporary accommodation for 8 out of 15 of those cases’.
As the Famine progressed Cork Street Fever Hospital, in common with all Dublin medical charities, received cuts rather than increases to its funding. In 1848 a ten percent reduction in funding was imposed, and in 1850 the Government announced its intention of completely withdrawing the grant from all Dublin medical charities, a proposal which caused a great deal of outrage at meetings of the Cork Street Managing Committee. Government policy of gradually reducing the grant was only abandoned in 1851, by which time the most virulent period of the Famine had passed.