St. Patrick's Hospital

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This article relates to St. Patrick's Hospital in Ireland. For St. Patrick's Hospital in South Africa, please see St Patrick's Hospital (Eastern Cape).

St. Patrick's University Hospital

St. Patrick's University Hospital is Ireland's largest independent not-for-profit mental health hospital. It is located near Kilmainham and the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Its sister hospital, St. Edmundsbury is located in Lucan, County Dublin. St. Patrick's also provides a network of community mental health clinics called the Dean Clinics in several locations across Ireland. Currently there are clinics available in Dublin, Cork and Galway.[1][2]


St. Patrick's provides a wide range of treatment programmes. These include programmes for mood disorders (depression and bipolar depression), anxiety disorder, an alcohol dependence / substance abuse programme, eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, cognitive behavioural therapy, a young adult programme,[3] an adolescent service,[4] a dual diagnosis programme, a memory clinic and general mental health care.

It has departments of occupational therapy, social work, cognitive behavioural therapy, clinical psychology and psychiatry. It offers day hospital, outpatient, inpatient, and community mental health services. The St. Patrick's Hospital Foundation raises funds for St. Patrick's.[5]


The hospital (originally St. Patrick's Hospital for Imbeciles)[6] was founded in 1747 with money bequeathed by Jonathan Swift following his death in 1745. He was keen that his hospital be situated close to a general hospital because of the links between physical and mental ill-health, so St. Patrick's was built beside Dr Steevens' Hospital. The architect was George Semple.[7]

In "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift", the poet anticipated his own death:

He gave the little Wealth he had,

To build a House for Fools and Mad:
And shew'd by one satyric Touch,
No Nation wanted it so much:
That Kingdom he hath left his Debtor,

I wish it soon may have a Better.[8]

Swift himself was declared of unsound mind by a Commission of Lunacy in 1742.[9][10] Will Durant said of him: "He went a whole year without uttering a word."[11]

The hospital retains Swiftian touches, with wards named after Stella (Esther Johnson), Vanessa (Esther Vanhomrigh), Henry Grattan, the village of Kilroot (in County Antrim) where Swift worked as Prebend at the church, and Laracor (County Meath) where he also worked as a clergyman.

The late Anthony Clare was medical director of St. Patrick's in the 1990s. Maurice Drury, a friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein, also worked there. The poet Austin Clarke was an in-patient in St. Patrick's for a year in 1919.


  1. ^ St. Edmundsbury
  2. ^ Dean Clinics
  3. ^ young adult programme
  4. ^ adolescent service
  5. ^ St. Patrick's Hospital Foundation
  6. ^ Jonathan Swift. Retrieved: 2011-11-23.
  7. ^ Elizabeth Malcolm, Swift's Hospital: A History of St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, 1746-1989 (Dublin, 1989), 32.
  8. ^ Verses On The Death Of Dr. Swift, D.S.P.D. Written by Himself — Occasioned by reading a Maxim in Rochefoulcault. November 1731.
  9. ^ Mental Health History Timeline. Retrieved: 2011-11-23.
  10. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume XLIII, P. 468. 1855.
  11. ^ "The Story of Civilization", V.8., 362.

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Coordinates: 53°20′39″N 6°17′33″W / 53.344208°N 6.292592°W / 53.344208; -6.292592