Nurses buy former hospital for €2.9m
Former Richmond Hospital bought by INMO for use as an education and event centre
The former Richmond Hospital on North Brunswick Street: the INMO plans to mount a display cabinet in the hall tracing the various uniforms and equipment used by nurses over the years
One of Dublin’s most notable landmark buildings, the former Richmond Hospital on North Brunswick Street, has been acquired by the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) for use as an education and event centre.
It adjoins the union’s headquarters in the former Whitworth Building.
The union bought the distinctive red-brick complex for €2.9 million in an off-market deal handled by Allsop Space.
The old hospital was extensively modernised by the Office of Public Works to accommodate five of the Dublin District Courts that remained there until two years ago when the Criminal Courts of Justice opened on Parkgate Street. A new heating system was installed along with the latest electrical services, lifts, CCTV and Cat 5 cabling for high-speed computer networking.
Five large courtrooms were created, along with meeting rooms and special suites for judges, including private kitchens, toilets and showers.
The union is planning to convert one of the courtrooms into a restaurant.
Each of the other courtrooms will be able to accommodate 150 people. The entire building extends to 2,029 sq m (21,842 sq ft) and includes a timber-panelled, tiled entrance hall dedicated to generous benefactors, and a stair hall to the west with arches supported by tapering marble columns.
The union plans to set aside a room to promote enhanced clinical skills and to mount a display cabinet in the hall tracing the various uniforms and equipment used by nurses over the years.
Liam Doran, general secretary of the 40,000-strong INMO, said the flagship building would allow them increase their activities in the area of continuing professional development, which would inevitably arise as the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 was implemented.
The Richmond originally formed part of a complex of three hospitals – the others were the Whitworth and the Hardwicke – collectively known as St Laurence’s.
Developer Liam Carroll of Zoe Developments converted the Hardwick into an apartment block and built about 600 apartments in the immediate area during the property boom. He attempted but failed to buy the Richmond.
The Whitworth has been owned by the union since 2002.
The Richmond opened as a hospital in 1901, with the two wings of the U-shaped building accommodating the wards. There was one window for each bed.
The double loggias at the ends of the wings allowed sheltered access to fresh air for patients.
A report by The Irish Times on the opening on April 22nd, 1901, boasted that it was “practically fireproof”, was fitted with modern ventilation including warmed filtered air for the theatres, and “the whole building is raised from the ground upon high arches”.
Now, 113 years, later the nurses are going back to their old stomping ground.