Old Goal. Bridewell in Bridewell Lane was opened as a Temporary
Fever Hospital and Infirmary on August 1st, 1829. Dr. Shrewbridge
Connor, MD. was in charge. He had been trying for several years to
have a new Hospital built. From reports in the local papers there
was a severe outbreak of fevers in the years 1837-38 and the
hospital was so overcrowded that the poor fever patients could not
receive the nursing they required.
summer Assizes of 1837 the overseer appointed by the Grand Jury
were instructed to sell by Public Auction at the New Court House
on Saturday, 11th November, 1837 "The Old Gaol and site on which
it stands in Bridewell Lane". Purchasers not to receive possession
until patients can be admitted to New Fever Hospital. In 1838
steps were taken to erect a New Fever Hospital and Infirmary. The
next move in the work was at the Carlow Special Road Sessions in
Faulkiner, the Chairman, announced that he had a letter from Mr.
Sam Haughton, in which he proposed that "Greenbank House" on the
Athy Road should be taken over as a Fever Hospital. Mr. Faulkiner
considered the matter most important, as the house required very
little additions to make it most desirable as a Hospital. The
question to be decided was, whether it was more economical and
advantageous to the County to purchase a house than to build a new
one, after buying the site. There was only £1,000 on hands.
Haughton had offered the house for two-thirds of its value. Mr.
Duckett said the price asked was £1,200, but he could not see how
they could pay that sum, when they only had £1,000.
Forth, the Co. Surveyor, examined the premises and reported that
the alterations necessary to convert same into a Hospital would
cost a further £350. Under these circumstances the matter was
dropped. Some members including Messrs Faulkiner, Fishbourne and
Duckett were of the opinion that they would never get such a
bargain as offered by Mr. Haughton. The house was then offered by
Mr. Haughton for £950 and whatever alterations were necessary
could be defrayed by the sale of materials from the Old Fever
Faulkiner proposed that the offer of Mr. Haughton be certified and
recommended to the Grand Jury for Adoption on the grounds of
economy and urgent necessity and was passed unanimously.
Apparently this recommendation was not adopted by the Grand Jury,
because on the 19th February 1840, the Overseers appointed by the
Grand Jury were looking to buy an acre of land near the town on
which to build a New Fever Hospital. The site selected was in
Green Lane on land owned by Henry Bruen.
March 1842 Mr. Keane, Architect from Dublin, attended before the
Grand Jury Spring Assizes with plans for the necessary offices to
the New Fever Hospital, which were approved by the Grand Jury. The
proposals of the parties seeking the contract for the building of
the out-offices were rejected, after a long discussion, owing to
the contractors refusing to do the work for £350, the sum granted
at the Special Sessions.
Finally a New Fever Hospital was never built.
The Grand Jury acquired "Raneybush", a private house, built
by an officer in Wellington's Army on land owned by Henry Bruen at
original entrance to the residence was through the permanent Way
of the Railway. The opening of the Railway to Carlow closed this
entrance and a new one was made from the Green Lane, Dr.
Shewbridge Connor continued as physician to the New Hospital and
his wife Margaret Connor was the matron.
October 1956, it was decided by the then Co. Manager of the Co.
Council to close the Fever Hospital on economy grounds after an
existence of 115 years.
premises remained closed until 1964 when it was bought by the
Particular Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Carlow)
from Carlow Co. Council for the sum of £1,250; with the intention
of adapting the building to a Youth Centre. A development scheme
was launched in August 1967 at a Public Meeting held in St.
Dympna's, presided over by his Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Lennon. In
1969 work commenced on the present scheme to build a gymnasium.
The contract for same was given to Messrs. D. & J. Carbery at an
estimated cost of £28,750. To make room for the new building the
old wash-house and other premises (the contract of building same
was disputed, in 1842) were demolished and site cleared.
September 30th, 1970 The Carlow Youth Centre new Gymnasium was
opened by Mr. Robert Cashman, President of the Dublin Council of
St. Vincent de Paul. Mass was celebrated in the Gym by his
Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Lennon, who also blessed the building and
unveiled a dedication plaque. The building can hold 2,500 people.
In 1969 the Council also acquired a field adjacent to the Centre
for £2,500 from Mr. T. Clerkin (formerly the Murphy property).
This land will be developed later for athletics and other outdoor
indebted to the late Mr. W. J. Fenlon for the above information).
Source: Carloviana. Vol 2. No. 23 Dec 1974 p.26.