It was now Friday, and I planned to take a day trip out to Ballinasloe, a township in the easternmost part of County Galway, to visit the site of St Brigid’s Hospital, opened in 1833 as the Connacht Lunatic Asylum. St Brigid’s is still a functioning psychiatric hospital.
Main Street, Ballinasloe
The walk from Ballinasloe train station to the township took about twenty minutes. It was a sunny fifteen degrees, and as I approached town I stopped to remove my jacket, scarf and beanie. I never thought I would be walking around in just my long-sleeve shirt during this trip!
Once I reached Main Street I once again found myself in the usual confusion of directions. In my wanderings I kept an eye out for some sort of map, and found one across the street from the gorgeous park pictured below. The map showed exactly where I needed to go to get to St Brigids; I just needed to head back to Main Street where I had been earlier, turn right at the end and follow it. I ate my lunch in the gorgeous park pictured below.
The walk from town to St Brigids was along a wide and long stretch of road. The building was shut up behind high walls and iron gates, and from the several smashed windows I second guessed whether the hospital was actually in use after all. The building across the road was equally as eerie!
I walked around the corner trying to see if I could get a back shot of the area. I even climbed a tree like a true investigator to get a glimpse over the wall!
Across the road from St Brigid’s was Creagh Cemetery, on the Galway-Roscommon border on the outskirts of the town on the Athlone to Ballinasloe Road. My back was becoming quite sore from the walking by now, so I sat down in the cemetery for a few minutes to eat my muesli bar.
I started the long walk back into town and stopped for a hot chocolate in a small coffee shop before continuing the journey back to the train station. It was now 3.05, and looking at the train times I decided I would try to make the 3.45 train. When I arrived back at the train station, I was annoyed to find out I had looked at the arrival time back in Galway, not the departure time from Ballinasloe. I had no choice but to wait an hour and a half until the next train to Galway at 5.15. At this stage I was still gathering the bits and pieces of my research so couldn’t even do any writing. I started writing a blog post on paper to keep me entertained. Before too long the time passed and I was on my way back to the city.