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Holy Ghost Hospital

Catholic Cathedral Bishop's Palace St Otteran's Hospital Reginald's Tower The French Church Dominican Church Holy Ghost Hospital

 

 

   

The present Hospital erected in 1882


Ryland writes, in his
The History, Topography and Antiquities of the County and City of Waterford

"After the suppression of the monastery of the Franciscans, or Grey Friars, the master, brethren, and poor of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost were incorporated in their place, by patent dated 15th August, 36 Henry VIII. (1546). We may collect from this patent, and another of the same monarch, dated 7th of September, of the same year, that Henry Walsh had purchased the house or monastery of the Franciscans, together with all the property which anciently belonged to it, in trust for the master, brethren and poor of the hospital, who were to pay annually for the same eight shillings Irish money, in addition to a former sum of 150:13:4, the consideration for which the grant was made. According to the terms of the first patent, the master and his successors, with the advice and consent of the mayor, bailiffs and four senior of the common-council, had power to nominate and elect, from time to time, three or four secular priests for celebrating divine service in the hospital, of which they were to be considered as brethren, and to be removable for just cause: they had also the nomination of sixty at least of the sick, infirm and impotent poor of both sexes, of the city of Waterford; and all those persons, thus elected, together with the master, were to be a corporation for ever. They were to be allowed to possess land to the value of 100 per annum and no more.
 
'And further,' it is added, 'of our more abundant grace, we give certain possessions for the support of said master, brethren and poor, in order that they may pray for our prosperity while we live, and for our souls when we shall depart this life, and for the souls of all our progenitors, and for the prosperity of the said  hospital, and for the soul of Patrick Walsh, and for the prosperity of Catherine Sherlock his wife, and for her soul, and for the souls of all the faithful.'
   
They were also permitted to enjoy the offerings of all persons residing within the precincts of the late monastery; to bury within the church or cemetery, and to administer all kinds of sacraments. By the original patent, the election of a master is vested in the heirs of Patrick Walsh, with the consent of the mayor, bailiffs and four senior common-council-men, for the time being.

Queen Elizabeth, by patent dated 26th June, 24th year of her reign, confirmed the former grants."

The Hospital, as described by Ryland, was situated in a building  that was erected against the ancient Franciscan monastery. Over the entrance was the following inscription: "The Holy Ghost Hospital, founded by Patrick Walsh in 1545, and was repaired and enlarged in 1741 and 1743, by William Paul and Simon John Newport, Esqrs. mayors. Simon Newport, Master." Even though the Walsh's were forced to leave the city during the Cromwellian period they were allowed by the Protestant corporation to continue appointing Catholic masters to the hospital. 

In the nineteenth century the hospital removed to the suburbs and in 1882 the present hospital was built. A stone over the main entrance reads as follows:

HOSPITAL OF THE HOLY GHOST FOUNDED 15TH AUGUST 1545 BY   PATRICK & HENRY WALSH, MERCHANTS OF THIS CITY.  FIRST MASTER WAS HENRY WALSH. THE HOSPITAL ORIGINALLY STOOD ON THE SITE OF THE OLD MONASTERY OF THE GREY FRIARS & THIS BUILDING WAS ERECTED IN 1882 MATTHEW SLANEY MASTER.

There are two identical plaques on either side of the main entrance showing the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, descending on the Apostles. This carving is surrounded by the inscription: SIGILLUM HOSPITALIS SANCTI SPIRITUI WATERFORD

Extracted in part from The History, Topography and Antiquities of the County and City of Waterford, R. H. Ryland, London, 1824, Pub. John Murray

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