Abandoned Asylum

Updated: Jul 23



Ennis mental hospital was build in 1868 and remained in operation until 2002.

Just over 400 patients were recorded in 1906 and due to overcrowding, the facility was extended in the early 1930s.

Since its closure, the building has fallen into significant disrepair.


In 2005 permission was granted to redevelop the site into a 5-star hotel, this development never came to life. In 2012 planning permission was declined by An Bord Pleanála for a 100-bed hospital however a year later permission was granted for a healthcare facility.


But the permission expired without development in early 2018 and in February of 2018 an application to extend the permission has been submitted to Claire County Council with rejuvenated plans for a healthcare facility.


Although stories float of the building's haunting may be nothing more than cliche tales, there is something to be said bad luck in redevelopment attempts. Maybe third time lucky?




August 19th - 08:45


Inside the big old building... the smell of decay an unpleasant gift for the nostrils. Quickly placing my gas mask over my face, blocks out all the horrible stuff.


The building itself is like something from a horror movie, walls peeling, debris everywhere, no lights, cold, damp and lifeless. The eerie silence of uninhabited stone is frequently broken by the distant bangs of window shutters, blowing in a breeze through the broken glass.


And I mean, virtually every window shattered. The building lacks no hallmarks of dereliction.


Putting aside damage from vandalism and wildlife, the natural wear and tear is quite surprising. Which makes me question, just how ruin down this place was before the doors shut 16 years ago.



As I wander the deserted corridors, I find everything from rotten wooden floorboards, to dismantled and smashed fittings like sinks, toilets even mirrors. Someone(s) clearly had a lot of anger to release.


One room looked as if someone(s) was staying here. Which was the first moment I became uncomfortable in a building that I was pretty convinced I was alone in?


That been said, there were several occasions when I felt a presence. Especially when a Pigeon made a continuous hutting noise just outside what seemed to be a storage room, just off the kitchen area.


A building this big was so exciting to explore but which direction? Left, right, up, down?


Thankfully I had enough time set aside to explore at my leisure. That been said, two hours wasn't nearly enough.


And despite hoping to get onto the roof... the wooden staircase leading to the rooftop door was so eroded I wasn't going to risk it.




© 2020 by Lance Kerrigan.