On October 19th 1745 Jonathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, champion of the poor and oppressed, satirist and author of Gulliver’s Travels died. In his will he left his estate to found a hospital for the psychiatrically ill.
By the standards of his day his decision was incredible. Swift was moved to ensure that St Patricks would be the first psychiatric hospital in Ireland, and one of the first in the world, to be built specifically for the care of the psychiatrically ill.
Throughout the years St Patricks Hospital relied heavily on fundraising as well as fees from service users.
In recent years the inception of the Friends of St Patrick’s and then the formation of St Patrick's Mental Health Foundation have played vital roles in the life of the hospital. Both organisations have generously supported various projects including out-patient department initiatives, the service user library, research and many educational activities.