Cherry Orchard Hospital

Cherry Orchard Hospital in Ballyfermot was built in 1953 as a fever hospital

This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.

Cherry Orchard Hospital, Ballyfermot

Imagine, school could be a health hazard before the 1960s!  In fact, anywhere a crowd gathered could be life-threatening. Infectious diseases such as TB and polio were very common in Ireland because children were not vaccinated against them.

In the 1950s there was an outbreak of polio and if you were unfortunate enough to get it, you were put ‘in isolation’ in a hospital which cared for people with infectious diseases. These hospitals were called ‘fever hospitals’. You would have to stay there until you were cured or no longer infectious. This could take six months or more.

Nowadays if you had to stay in hospital you would have lots of visitors bringing you presents but for children in a fever hospital in the 1950s life could be very lonely; most often these children were not allowed visitors or presents and they didn’t see their family or friends for months.

Cherry Orchard Hospital was such a hospital. It opened in November 1953 to replace the old Cork Street Fever Hospital.  This old hospital had been set up in 1804 by Dublin businessmen, among them Arthur Guinness and Samuel Bewley.

Dr Noel Brown was Minister of Health when Cherry Orchard Hospital was built. He had worked very hard to get all children in Ireland vaccinated against infectious diseases such as TB and polio.  He was Minister of Health when turned the first sod on the site for the new hospital.

The buildings and gardens covered the space of around 46 football fields. There were 11 separate single-storey blocks of wards, an oratory where you could say your prayers, sports grounds, a swimming pool and rooms for staff.

Nowadays there is no need for a fever hospital as there are hardly any dangerous contagious diseases about as most children are vaccinated against them. Cherry Orchard Hospital still looks after patients today. 

Comments

Hi. Came across this website from Broadsheet.ie

What a great source of information about Dublin.

Can you add to it a few more buildings around Dublin. Like the Fruit market, Dublin Corporation, Dublin Castle.

I know I could go on adding building's but I must admit it's great to find out more about our city. Keep up the good work. Derek

Hi, I came across this site and found it very interesting. As a very young child I was admitted to Cherry Orchard Hospital with Scarlet Fever. I'm looking to get my hospital records for the admission and stay in hospital and don't know where to start. Any information I can get would be really appreciated. Thanks. Margaret

Hi Margaret, the Citizens Information website has a page about access to medical records. I hope it helps get you started on your search. Best of luck.

Hi Margaret,

Some patient records from the 1920s to the 1950s are held in the archives of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Records from the 1960s onwards remain in Cherry Orchard Hospital. If you would like to make a request to view your records, you can contact me by email at FergusBrady@rcpi.ie or by phone on 01 6698806.

Kind regards,

Fergus Brady

Hi Fergus
I have just come across this website and I am interested to find out how to get my hospital records, I was a patient in cherry orchard hospital in the 60s. I'm originally from Donegal and now live in London working as a radiographer at St George's hospital. I would be extremely grateful if you could let me know if it's possible to find out if my records still exist, I would really like to know the extent of my illness then as you are probably aware it was difficult times and my parents weren't very forthcoming with this information

Hi Gwen,

Patient records from 1948 onwards remain in Cherry Orchard Hospital. In RCPI we just have a run of patient registers dating from 1924 to 1948. You can make a request to access these by calling (003531) 620 6000.

Best of luck with your search,

Fergus

Hi I would like some information concerning the whereabouts of where my mother is buried she died at the fever hospital
on the 22/12/1938 her Name was Henrietta Hall nee Mcguire i would be very grateful if anyone could help me.Michael Hall

The reply to a prevous question here on this page might be of assistance.

ds from the 1920s to the 1950s are held in the archives of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Records from the 1960s onwards remain in Ch

A Chara
Do you have a record of my period in hospital with polio in the period 1953 1955 My name is Bernard Lennon formerly of Powerstown, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and my date of birth is February 1949 I was about 17 months in hospital and spent some time in what is called an Iron Lung and my parents could only see me through a glass door. I had a number 516 which was published in the daily newspapers which indicate my health status with other polio victims
Thanks

Brendan, a chara,
The reply to a prevous question here on this page might be of assistance. Good luck with your search.
Is mise le meas, Gillian

Sometimes it is very heartbreaking to read about the ways in which patients were treated in the olden times. I have felt that we were bit barbaric in the old times and by that I mean till late 60s.

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