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Grangegorman Lives: Dr Joseph Lalor

The next addition to our Grangegorman Lives series is Dr Joseph Lalor (1811-1886), psychiatrist and Resident Medical Superintendent at the Richmond Asylum (1857-1886).

Dr Joseph Lalor was Resident Medical Superintendent at the Richmond Asylum at Grangegorman from 1857 until shortly before his death in 1886. When Lalor arrived at the Richmond, the hospital was in a state of decline. He was determined to improve asylum life, focusing particularly on education, which he believed was the fundamental basis of ‘moral treatment’. During his years at the Richmond, the school was expanded considerably and professional teachers were employed to cover a broad range of subjects. He was very proud of the school and continued to promote education as a means to treat mental illness.

Read more about Dr Joseph Lalor’s life in our Dictionary of Irish Biography.

Grangegorman Lives is a series of biographies of people whose lives influenced or were influenced by Grangegorman. The biographies are all sourced from Ireland’s Dictionary of Irish Biography: Ireland’s national biographical dictionary. Devised, researched, written and edited under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy, its online edition is freely available at Grangegorman Histories commissioned Professor Brendan Kelly to write Dr Lalor’s biography.

Grangegorman Histories is a public history programme of research and shared discovery of the Grangegorman site and surrounding communities. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with our activities.

Image credit: Dr Lalor in 1861, when he was President of The Association of Medical Officers of Asylums and Hospitals for the Insane. Courtesy the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.