Photos: jbs photos Kilkenny
The T.A.S.K organisation opened the ‘Reflections’ exhibition at the old Auxiliary hospital on Wolfe Tone Street last Friday.
Speaking at the opening, Susan Fahy and Una Lennon from TASK thanked all for attending and paid special thanks to all who contributed in making the exhibition possible.
Paddy Neary, himself a resident of Wolfe Tone Street gave a wonderful talk on the street and the history of the hospital from its origins in the 18th century.
Paddy informed the group gathered that the first Charitable Society was founded in 1726 by the tradesmen of the city for the relief in their homes of destitute tradesmen and their widows.
Explaining about the history of hospitals Paddy reported: “In the early nineteenth century, hospitals were established in the city but not as we know them today. They were just ordinary houses or even single rooms where accident cases and patients with curable diseases were treated.
In 1761 Kilkenny Corporation gave a site free of charge for the erection of a county infirmary. The site was at Gallows Green close to the present John’s Green. Building in fact did not commence until 1765, five years later the hospital opened. It had male and female wards, each bright, airy, white washed, and had accommodation for forty patients.”
Speaking specifically about the Fever Hospital, Mr Neary continued: “On November 14th 1801, the newspapers reported that a Fever Hospital or a House of Recovery was to be established in Kilkenny city. Under the patronage of the Duke of Ormonde and the Bishop of Ossory, the project was supported by many gentlemen and citizens. One year later they were still talking but by Nov.25th trustees were appointed. They were empowered to lease a house suitable for use as a hospital. If this proved impossible they were to take ground and contract for one. In March 1803 the hospital opened on Hospital Road, now Wolfe Tone St.”
Mayor praises task
Mayor David Fitzgerald said he was thrilled to be in attendance and said it was wonderful to see the work being done in the area of mental health. The Mayor thanked all the staff at TASK for their contribution and urged the people of Kilkenny to support the project by visiting the exhibition.
Liam Dalton gave a brief history of the work being carried out at TASK and invited people to attend the Exhibition which runs throughout October.
‘Reflections’ is a creative project celebrating local history, collected memories and creative responses of participants to the Auxiliary Hospital. Art pieces are situated in the garden area and the exhibition is on display within the building.
Over forty people attended the opening, many of them residents of the area.
Two members of the Ukrainian community- Lilia Kurovets and Oksana Kurovets -Ovcharenko rounded off proceedings with music and song.