Catherine Cox
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Shaping the Irish asylum system
in Negotiating insanity in the southeast of Ireland, 1820–1900
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The Irish asylum system formed part of a broader pattern of precipitate state intervention in social, medical and welfare services in Ireland. The new Carlow asylum district, established under the act, expanded the medical and welfare institutional marketplace in counties Wexford, Kilkenny, Kildare and Carlow. The governance of asylums was hampered by the delay in introducing regulations for day-to-day management. The county council appointed asylum staff, regulated finance and had jurisdiction over asylum buildings and land. In keeping with early nineteenth-century theories on asylum architecture, the buildings were small; the 1817 act limited their size to 100 to 150 patients. The rules outlined the responsibilities and duties of the governors and staff members, provided detail on admission procedures and on regulations that shaped patients' lives in the asylum.

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