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Former paying inmates of Richmond District Lunatic Asylum (top), subsequently the Central Mental Hospital, Grangegorman, now Dublin Institute of Technology.

Ditto writes:

“Following on from your post (link below) about the fresh hell that is the new Dublin Institute of Technology [DIT] campus, Broadsheet readers with an interest in history might like to know that the Grangegorman site has been home to lunacy since 1815, when the Richmond District Asylum (later the Central Mental Hospital) was first built on this location. Websurfing on my mobile phone (the broadband here being somewhat patchy as yet!) I found some photos of its inmates, their driven-to-the-brink-of-dementia expressions of bemused tolerance looking oddly familiar.., And now I must go and track down the location of the padded cells…”

Previously: Was It For DIT?

Pics via: Beyond the ‘lunatic poor’: Class and Insanity in Nineteenth-Century Ireland Royal College of Physicians blog)

41 thoughts on “Before DIT

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Given the anguish of mental illness it seems unfair to link these patients to the present occupants of the site. They deserve far more dignity.

  2. Ditto

    I think you are misinterpreting what I wrote, there is no intention to offend or be disrespectful to these people, looking at them it is impossible not to feel sympathy for them. My dig was not at them but at the lunatics currently running what was formerly their asylum. If you are interested in and sympathetic to those portrayed in the photo, why not click on the link below and read their story instead of posting sour comments.

    1. Eliot Rosewater

      Ah now, Ditto, your aim was to creat a ‘humorous’ link between the ‘lunatics’ that are running the place and the ‘lunatics’ that once occupied it. Not in very good taste, although the links are interesting (and completely put the ‘horror’ of the situation in Grangegorman in a perspective I would assume you don’t want us seeing).

      1. Ditto

        Not to nitpick, but my aim was to share these photos with people and show the links between the past and the present, not to get people to snigger but perhaps to smile wryly (if Broadsheet readers do in fact smile wryly, I suspect they normally grimace in between eating small children).

        It seems to be a habit of readers here to try to impute the worst motives to the writer of a post, and to Broadsheet for publishing it…. why is this I wonder? Anyway, as long as people are talking about these images, I’m happy, thanks for doing what I wanted.

    1. Caroline

      Look on the bright side, your computer rooms might stink of Tayto or whatever, but at least you’ve enjoyed the benefit of the free lobotomy!

  3. Ditto

    Yes, Caroline, but we have to wait three years for ours. Unlike regular Broadsheet commenters, who are lobotomised on entry.

    1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

      To paraphrase whassername, I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    2. scottser

      so you came here seeking approval from a bunch of lobotomised commentators. good man yerself, you’ll go far.

      1. Ditto

        No Scottser, you are making a mistake common to Broadsheet commenters, which is to confuse Broadsheet commenters with Broadsheet readers, many more people read than comment and, unlike the commenters, not all of them are lobotomised.

        Put another way, it’s not all about YOU.

        1. The Lady Vanishes

          But writing above you said ‘it seems to be the habit of Broadsheet readers to impute the worst motives to a post’

          Readers, not commenters.

          Now you’re changing your tune.

          1. Ditto

            If the frontal cortex lobe fits, wear it. Seriously though, and beiieve me this is a compliment, when i said ‘regular Broadsheet commenter’, yours wasn’t the first name that came to mind. I was thinking of some people who were.. let me say… sourer and more pointlessly snarky.

          2. The Lady Vanishes

            Oh, cheer up! I hope you don’t give your lecturers such a tough time over your exam marks. You are young and have a lot to learn yet.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Apparently me.
            Ditto posted one too which possibly qualifies as ‘sour’ but it was swiftly deleted.
            Tomorrow we explore the other 3 taste sensations.

  4. Paul

    Hi just to correct your headline grangegorman was never called the central mental hospital that title belongs behind a 40 foot wall in dundrum.

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