Lough Derg Womens Hospice and Pier

Project: Lough Derg Womens Hospice and Pier, Co. Donegal.
Completion Date: 1988
Client: St Patrick’s Purgatory
Project Value:
Services Provided: Full Civil and Structural Engineering
Project Size:

Project Description

St Patrick's Purgatory is an ancient pilgrimage site on Station Island in Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland. Its importance in medieval times is clear from the fact that it is mentioned clearly in texts from as early as 1185 and shown on maps from all over Europe as early as the fifteenth century. It is the only Irish site designated on Martin Behaim's world map of 1492.

The pilgrimage to St. Patrick’s Purgatory It continues even today, after almost fifteen-hundred years. Every year the main pilgrimage season begins in late May/early June and ends mid-August, on the 15th. It is a three-day pilgrimage open to pilgrims of all religions, or none, who must be at least fifteen years of age, in good health and able to walk and kneel unaided.

Garland were initially appointed in 1982 to extend the mainland pier by 21m. As the lake was landlocked Marine Contractors were not interested in tendering for the project. Therefore the pier was designed so that it could be constructed by a local contractor with no specialist marine experience.

Garland was responsible for the design on the Women’s Hospice on the Island, which was officially opened in 1988. As there was no suitable site on the island for the hospice, it was decided to build out into the water. The four storey building was constructed using three wings, which formed a central cloister which would provide shelter to pilgrims. A combination of prestressed concrete rib slabs and reinforced concrete beam and slab construction was utilized throughout the building. The Value of this work was £3,000,000.


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