Tales from the big house: the Connacht District Lunatic Asylum in the late nineteenth century

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Between 1810 and 1870, 22 district lunatic asylums were built in Ireland to accommodate an apparently growing population of mentally ill throughout the country, and only financial constraints, it would appear, checked the system’s further growth. What factors caused this startling expansion in accommodation for the insane in Ireland? Were the Irish, as some contemporary commentators claimed, more prone to insanity than other nations, or were there specific social and political factors that helped to fuel this unprecedented expansion?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalHistory Ireland
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005



  • lunatic asylums
  • Ireland
  • mental health
  • Dangerous Lunatic Act
  • history of medicine

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