Old Fever Hospital

Ruins of Fever Hospital

Ruins of Fever Hospital

During 1817/8 Loughgall parish suffered badly from typhus, a highly contagious illness carried by lice. It was reported at the time that of a ‘population of 8000, 1009 had been ill and of those one in ten had died’. Doctors did not know at that time that the condition was carried by lice so deaths were attributed to a variety of causes; want of food, cold and wet weather, want of fuel, want of cleanliness, insufficient ventilation from stopping up windows, depression of mind from want of employment and no fever hospital. Later, during the Great Famine of 1845-47 when the Armagh Workhouse became increasingly overcrowded, temporary fever hospitals were established in outlying areas, to help control the spread of disease and fever. In 1923 a local man recounts that, when he was a ten year old boy in 1847, one of these was created at Loughgall by converting the house where the murder took place in 1824. He records that the house was  reroofed, repaired and furnished with temporary wooden beds. In 1847 official records state that there were 15 patients at Loughgall costing on average 5s 2¾d (approx 26p) each per week. The Loughgall area fared much better than most during the famine as an article in the Dublin Evening Mail dated June 1849 records ‘I am happy to state that from the exertions of Captain Cope to give employment, the relieving officer has very little trouble with paupers on Cope property’

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