Cork Street Fever Hospital During 1845 – 1850

 

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’.

1-fever-hospital-and-house-of-recovery

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.

nurse and two children on the balcony of the Red House- 1909 annual report

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
October 1845 330 254 76
November 1845 302 229 73
December 1845 345 256 89
January 1846 458 303 155
February 1846 379 275 104
March 1846 358 285 73
April 1846 416 310 106
May 1846 446 294 152
June 1846 368 251 117
July 1846 370 292 78
August 1846 355 262 93
September 1846 432 341 91
October 1846 560 380 180
November 1846 510 359 151
December 1846 625 393 232
January 1847 656 411 245
February 1847 744 558 186
March 1847 943 704 239
April 1847 1105 670 435
May 1847 1419 703 716
June 1847 1939 951 988
July 1847 1492 790 702
August 1847 555 405 150
September 1847 1365 656 709

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.Fever Hospital Donations Guinness O'Connell

Shows contributions by Guinness and Daniel O’Connell of £2, Guinness famously made £60 and £100 contributions to famine relief.

 

 

 

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