by ehistoryadmin on November 14, 2014


The Kildare Observer 22 April 1899

Drogheda Memorial Hospital, Lumville, Curragh.


The pretty cottage hospital at Lumville, the Curragh, erected recently to the memory of the late Earl of Drogheda, was opened on Thursday under very auspicious circumstances. As is known, from the special articles and reports published in the Kildare Observer from time to time, the institution was the outcome of a movement started after the death of Lord Drogheda, with a view to commemorating his memory in a befitting manner. His lordship has been closely identified with the Curragh for a long member of years, and was a universally respected patron of the turf. The hospital consists of a range of building, divided into three blocks, each being one storey high. Each block has several compartments conveniently arranged. The left wing, as one faces the building is composed of a large ward, which contains four beds. Adjoining, with a small slide window opening into it, is the nurse’s room. Those rooms are fitted up in the best possible style, are airy, bright and very comfortable. In the same block is a bathroom, lavatory, &c. The centre block is the largest of the three. Here is the operating theatre, which is provided with all that is necessary for the purposes of carrying out surgical operations: beside this is the nurse’s sitting room. This block also contains one private ward, neatly finished while there are also two servant’s bedrooms, a store-room, and at the back a kitchen, scullery, and pantry, fitted up with every modern convenience. The right-hand building contains two wards with two beds in each, a bathroom lavatory, etc. Each block is also provided with linen presses. The whole is thoroughly furnished, and everything that is necessary for such an institution has been provided. Under Dr Thunder, honorary physician to the hospital and Miss Ellison, who is matron and the nurse, it may be assumed that the institution will be carried on in a manner that must win the confidence and appreciation of its supporters and the general public

   There was a large attendance at the opening through the weather became very inclement. The Stewards of the Turf Club present were – The Earl of Enniskillen, Mr R. Hamilton, Stubber, D. L., and Mr. G J Blake. There were also present – Baron de Robeck D. L., Lady A La Touche, Capt and Mrs Greer, Col and Mrs Bond, Capt and Mrs Featherstonhaugh, Mr George Mansfield, D.L., Miss Mansfield, Mr Percy La Touche, Dr Thunder and the Misses Thunder, Mr W H Dunne, Mr and Mrs Newsome, Mr M Denehy, Rev Mgr Tynan P.P., Newbridge, Mr and Mrs Gordon, Mr and Mrs Twomley, National Bank, Newbridge, the Rev Mr Johnaton, Newbridge, Mr Wm Pallin, J.P., Mr R J Goff, J. P.,  and Mrs Poe, Mrs Morrison, Mr Osbourne, &c, &c.

   His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant had intended to open the hospital in person, but being unable to be present he deputed the Stewards of the Turf Club to act in his stead.

  Mr R. Hamilton, D. L., presided.

  Mr Percy La Touche thanked those present on behalf of the executive of the Drogheda Memorial Cottage Hospital for coming to the opening of the institution that day. He regretted that His Excel lenoy was unable to be present at the opening, as he had promised, but he had deputed the Stewards of the Turf Club to act in his stead. It was unnecessary for him (Mr LaTouche) to go into any lengthened details as regards the inception and erection of the hospital. As they were aware it was erected to commemorate the memory of the late Lord Drogheda. After the late Lord Drogheda died, all of them, not only those connected with racing in Ireland, but every class of the community, felt that an opportunity arose for erecting some fitting and proper tribute to the memory of a man so universally respected (hear, hear). A committee was formed and subscriptions were asked for, and after some time it was decided that the memorial should take the form of some charitable institution. After due consideration they came to the conclusion that the best form it could take would be that of a hospital at the Curragh, with which the late Lord Drogheda was so closely connected. With regard to the collection of subscriptions, about £1,000 was received for the purpose of the memorial. It was largely subscribed to by people connected with sport. He (Mrs La Touche) had always found that people connected with racing had been ready to come forward and help any charitable and philanthropic work. They then took steps to obtain a lease of a piece of the best land from the Woods and Forests authorities, and through the exertions of their solicitor, Mr Michael Kavanagh, they obtained a lease for a considerable number of years for the acre of ground on which the hospital was erected. When they decided on building the hospital, of course they found it very difficult to find out exactly what was the best sort of building to have, but thanks to Captain and Mrs Greer, they found that Mr Humphreys, who had been in the habit of building cottage hospitals, would be able to suit, and accordingly the contract was given to him. While erecting the hospital they had the services of Colonel Bond, who closely and carefully looked after its construction, and it was finally finished a short time ago. They had also been most fortunate in securing the services of Dr Thunder as honorary medical officer (hear, hear): and they had also secured Nurse Ellison as matron. He need not point out that her testimonials spoke highly of her qualifications. Mrs Gordon has kindly acted as hon secretary, and Mr Twomley, manager National Bank, Newbridge had kindly acted as treasurer (hear, hear). The hospital has been placed under control and management of an executive committee, and it is a most representative one. When the hospital is declared open it will be for the reception of patients suffering from any sort of accident or complaint, except it be infectious or contagious. It will not be confined to cases arising out of sport or racing, but it will be also open to patients in any part of the county Kildare who may be in want of its services.  The trustees of the Drogheda Memorial Fund have been kind enough to allocate a sum of £200 a year for the purpose of carrying on the institution, and for the rest of necessary expenditure they were dependant on public subscription. They had every reason to hope that those subscriptions would amount to a sum that would enable them to carry on the institution in an efficient manner. They should be glad to receive subscriptions from the friends of this charitable work, whether in the way of money or in kind, such as vegetables, milk, butter, and newspapers and books for the amusement of the patients. In conclusion, he thanked them for coming there, and he now asked the stewards to declare the hospital opened (applause).

The chairman said that after the speech of Mr La Touche it was unnecessary for him to say anything. He had hoped to say a few words about all the trouble that Mrs Greer had taken and the money she had raised for the benefit of this hospital. From a paper he had before him he saw that from the bazaar that Mrs Greer started in aid of the hospital she obtained £600. That has been expended in the fitting up of the hospital, would now have a different appearance. They had heard from Mr La Touche how the hospital is governed and accordingly he had nothing to say more. He therefore declared the hospital opened (applause). The proceedings then terminated.

Re-typed by Lynn Potts

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