St Mary's Hospital, Castlebar in Co. Mayo

A book about Mayo Mental Health, devised and written by Joe McDermott.

This history of St Mary's Hospital, serving County Mayo, is dedicated to the patients who were treated there for almost 140 years, and to the staff who attended to them, and who continue to serve County Mayo's mental health requirements.

Author's Note

The author and publishers of this work would like to point out that the names of patients used in the text are fictitious. The names of attendants and nurses have in some cases been changed. This is done to protect the privacy of all concerned. The names of RMS's and other medical staff as well as Land Stewards and some nurses are easily identified from the chronology and so remain unchanged.

Furthermore, the chronology of language usage has been followed as close as possible to it's own time, hence, for example, the use of terms such as "lunatic" and "asylum" where they occurred in the sources. In recent years these terms have been discontinued, seen by many as offensive. The author and publishers do not wish to offend, merely to be historically accurate.

Finally the spoken word used in the text is italicised and placed in inverted commas, while quotes from documents or names of reports are in plain text and also in inverted commas.


A special thanks to all the members of staff who helped to provide information and guidance for this history. Thanks to other members of staff currently employed in the service and retired who gave generously of their time and information. Thanks also to the staff of Mayo County Library for their help.

A special thanks to the author's family and forebears who likewise worked in the psychiatric services.

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