Search Results for 'Central hospital'
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The Galway Carol Singers were formed in the late 1930s by members of the Junior Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Benny Brennan from West House got the idea originally, and then a committee was formed from various conferences in town. It included Robert Pierce, Joe Lardner, Paddy Donoghue, Mattie Fahy, John Fahy, Pádraic Spelman, and Peter Griffin. The idea was for the singers to raise much needed funds for the society.
“Upwards of seven thousand people took part in the annual Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Galway on Sunday, when one of the greatest demonstrations of faith in recent years was seen. Practically all of that part of the city’s population which did not take part, thronged the footpaths, and when the procession arrived at Eyre Square at six o’clock, upwards of ten thousand people knelt on the green sward in front of the specially constructed high altar for the final Benediction, which was imparted by his Lordship, Most Rev Dr Browne.
An interesting story has emerged linking a badly burnt survivor from the SS Athenia, a Galway pharmacy, and Glasgow’s Riverside Museum.
I have written before about the woeful lack of ambulances that serviced the old Central Hospital, especially in the 1930s. That shortage became acute during the war. Because of the severe rationing of petrol, and the unavailability of spare parts, for a long period only two ambulances were available for the whole county. As they were frequently on the road simultaneously there was no reserve vehicle to answer any emergency.
It is no coincidence that the Regional (now the University College) Hospital and Merlin Park opened almost simultaneously in the mid 1950s. The Old Central Hospital, which had opened in 1922, became unfit for purpose, mainly due to overcrowding, and the difficulty accommodating long stay tuberculosis patients. Tuberculosis, or TB, was, in the early decades of the 20th century, at epidemic proporations. The same year that the Central Hospital opened, the same year as the foundation of our State, there were 4,614 deaths from TB; 611 were children under 15 years.
From the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s Galway medical services were on the verge of collapse. The situation at the Central Hospital was particularly chaotic. By 1933 the hospital had a nominal 317 acute beds but overcrowding soon became a permanent feature of the general and medical wards. In March 1938 the number of patients exceeded the beds by 10, with 251 in general wards, 52 in the fever, and 24 in maternity. It was common practice to accommodate patients on mattresses laid out between the beds.
Two remarkable Galway people, Conor O’Malley and Sal Joyce, grew up in the Maam Valley, Connemara, in the closing years of the 19th century. Although they were cousins, they probably never met until they were both doctors working side by side in the Galway Central Hospital, on Prospect Hill, the forerunner of the present University Hospital, in the 1920s.