A view inside the asylum in Portane

Discussion for Donabate/Portrane Local History
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Austy
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A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Austy » 08 Jun 2014, 19:34

My first post, however I saw this in the Daily Mail and thought it was worth a share.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... areas.html

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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Ann O » 08 Jun 2014, 19:59

Some great pictures there Austy, thanks for the link.

I often cut through the hospital grounds when out walking, and it's a real shame to see the place in such a state as there's some impressive buildings there.

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Ken
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Ken » 08 Jun 2014, 20:00

Very interesting. Thanks for posting. RTE did a series of documentaries on it a few years back. It was still operational then, but obviously only on a small scale. It's incredible to think of the number of patients and staff it housed in its day.

The documentary showed that many of the patients shouldn't have been institutionalised in the first place and would do very well living in supervised accommodation outside. Some of the patients were there for 40 years plus so it must have been a challenge when they were winding it down.
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Essexboy » 08 Jun 2014, 20:10

We just don't realise what we have on our doorstep.

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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Donabate Hatter » 08 Jun 2014, 20:21

They are very interesting. It's a crying shame the state it has been allowed to get into, although I realise the cost of maintaining it would be enormous. I would have thought it would be a listed building?

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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Ken » 08 Jun 2014, 20:23

I'm not sure, part of it could be listed. Does anyone know if it was built around the original house that was there (Evans was the family name) or did they demolish it and build the hospital?
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Ken » 08 Jun 2014, 20:29

Some more details on it here. It says the original Portrane House was demolished in the late 20th century. I'm sure Peadar Bates could shed some light on it.

http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/Survey ... 98,en.html
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Ann O » 08 Jun 2014, 22:16

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the grounds Ken, but Portrane House was located on the left just past that now abandoned modern-ish unit at the top of Reilly's Hill. I think the foundations of the house are still there.

That documentary was correct, there were residents there that had been there nearly all their lives for little reason, and had become institutionalised. I remember being amazed in the mid 90's when told that there were just short of a thousand residents there.

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Austy
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Austy » 08 Jun 2014, 22:44

I found it amazing that it was the most expensive building built under British rule, then again given the late date of construction under British rule, I suppose it isn't that hard to believe.

As for the future of the complex, is it being retained by the HSE or does anyone know of any plan for the place?
It would make a wonderful hospitality, educational and leisure complex given some proper planning and an ambitious mind.

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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by loraine » 08 Jun 2014, 23:16

Thanks Austy for that link. It brings back lots of memories and the photos are extremely poignant.

As far as I am aware the whole hospital is now a listed building under the auspices of the HSE who are doing "restorative" work on it. Unfortunately this work is only enough to make the building safe and nothing else.

At the recent AGM of the Community Council there was a presentation by the HSE in relation to the new Central Mental Hospital facility that is to be built on the grounds of St. Ita's. It was asked at this meeting if the HSE were going to incorporate the old building into their long term plans in any way. Sadly it was of absolutely no surprise to hear that there were no immediate plans to do this and that the building was being brought up to standard required for a listed building. Sadly looking at previous history between the HSE/Eastern Health Board and Fingal Co Co., I would predict that the HSE will pass over the building and the excess lands to Fingal Co Co and somewhere in the transition the details, papers etc on it being a listed building will become lost and Fingal Co Co will not have the money or wherewithal to maintain the building and so it will become derelict and eventually have to be demonished for safety reasons.

Please, please please someone prove me wrong on this.

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Austy
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Austy » 08 Jun 2014, 23:23

Sadly you are probably correct on that one, this is a country that loves red tape without anyone actually knowing who is responsible for anything. The classic 'falling between two bar stools' or 'lost in the cracks of the system' is all to well known.
The thing is, if people think big enough, it's amazing what can be achieved with benefits for all within the community. The St. Ita's complex is one such facility that could be turned into something worthwhile.

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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Ken » 08 Jun 2014, 23:34

How Ireland has changed. It wasn't that long ago we locked our lunatics up in an asylum. These days we elect them to councils and the Dail.
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by Corballis » 12 Jun 2014, 12:40

Great pics

SeanDonabate
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Re: A view inside the asylum in Portane

Post by SeanDonabate » 13 May 2016, 12:15

interesting read

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