1 28 Vict cxxxv. An Act for the Better Prevention of Contagious Diseases at certain Naval and Military Stations, 11 June 1866

These stations, include, The Curragh limits, the limits of the parishes of Kilcullen, Kildare, Ballysax, limits of the borough of Cork for Municipal purposes and Queenstown limits for the purposes of town improvement.

Section 15
Superintendent of the Police must swear before the justice that he 'has good cause to believe that a woman therein named is a common prostitute' and is either resident within the limits, or within 5 miles of limits and has been within the limits within last 14 days for purposes of prostitution. Justice can issue a notice to be served on the woman.

Section 16
Woman must appear before the Justice and he can issue an order that she may be subject to periodical medical examination by visiting surgeon for any period up to one year to ascertain if she is affected by a contagious disease.

Section 20
If a surgeon finds a woman has a contagious disease she shall be liable to be detained in a certified hospital.

Section 21
If a woman refuses to go voluntarily, police shall apprehend her and convey her to hospital, the surgeon's certificate being sufficient authority.

Section 23
Woman can be transferred to another hospital by order of medical officer of certified hospital

Section 24
Woman can be held under one certificate for up to 3 months and for a further 3 months if medical officer and inspector of certified hospital or visiting surgeon of hospital conjointly certify further treatment is needed.

Section 28
If a woman refuses periodical medical exam, leaves hospital without authorisation or refuses in hospital to obey regulations, she has committed an offence under the act. First offence: 1 month's imprisonment with or without hard labour; subsequent offences: up to 3 months' imprisonment.

Section 31
If a woman is discharged from hospital still affected by contagious disease and is afterwards found in any place for the purposes of prostitution, she is liable to the same penalties as above.

2 Sir Edward Lugard, US, WO, to Lord Mayo (Chief Secretary), 11 February 1868
'Enclosed is a draft of the amendment to supply an omission in the original CDA, and to give the necessary power to the RIC. The act is unfortunately limited to three places in Ireland, and there is no power to extend its operation to other places. A new and larger act will be required next year, by which time the public mind will be more accustomed to the subject.'

3 (i) Leaflets from the Association for Promoting the Extension of the 'CDA' of 1866 to the Civil Population of the United Kingdom
(ii) Labatt to Larcom, 29 February 1868
Has enclosed leaflets plus resolutions for the Lord Lieutenant. Resolutions are of meeting of Dublin committee of the Association for Promotion the Extension of the Contagious Diseases Acts held on 27 January 1868. Resolutions: sufficient hospital accommodation should be provided for treatment of those now 'depending on outdoor or dispensary relief'. Refuges or Magdalene Asylums to be established for `unfortunate females discharged from Hospital'.

4 31 & 32 Vice c. lxxx. An Act to Amend the Contagious Diseases Act, 1866, 31 July 1868

5 Luggard, War Office, concerning when hospital accommodation will be available at Curragh,

6 War Office to Chief Secretary, 24 November 1868
Lock Hospital at Cork under War Office will be complete about the beginning of January 1869. Wants to know what arrangements are being made by RIC to carry out its duties under CDA 1866

7 County Inspector, RIC, Cork, to Inspector General, 4 December 1868
'there would not be any difficulty in obtaining a constable competent to discharge the duties required by the act'. But whether he would be paid extra would depend upon the extent of the extra duties.

9 War Office to Chief Secretary, 1 January 1869
Sends copy of memo from London Metropolitan Police outlining police duties under CDA for guidance of RIC.
Memo: 'Police -
To search out and carefully register all common prostitutes: obtain their voluntary submission under the 17th Section; arrange with the Visiting Surgeon for the times and places of their attendance for examination, and subsequent escort to hospitals, for requisite treatment, etc.
Where periodical examinations are sanctioned, the Inspector or Police (who is in attendance on the Surgeon) is charged with the duty of issuing the list of women to be examined, and is generally responsible for the working of police employed...
The following is a short summary of Police duties in two of the largest Districts brought under the operation of the Act, Portsmouth having 1750, and Devonort 900, women
Police employed:
One Inspector keeps the general register and directs the execution of all details as arranged with the Visiting Surgeon
One Sergeant visits daily the naval and military hospitals and obtains information from the patients, as to who gave them the disease. He also visits the ships in commission for a similar purpose.
Three Constables, each having a section of the whole District, look out carefully for newly arrived women, and bring them under the operation of the Act without delay, entering their names in the sub divisional or district register, and carefully revising it, so as to be able when called upon, to give with accuracy, the condition of their charges both as to the women and their state of health.'

9 Sub Inspector Wm Gun, Cork, to Thomas R Barry, Chief Inspector, Cork, 15 January 1869
'I think that eligible men could be got to carry out the police duties (as volunteers) provided commensurate extra pay were allowed, otherwise I do not think that they would so certainly undertake them'.

10 Chief Inspector Barry to Inspector General, 28 January 1869
Reckons there are more than 500 prostitutes in Cork city. Constable to get 15 shillings a week and sub constables, 10 shillings each extra, one to act as gatekeeper to hospital.

11 John Stewart Wood, Inspector General, to Chief Secretary, 2 February 1869
'an allowance, which, considering the unattractive nature of the duty to the only class of men eligible for its performance, I think not unreasonable.'

14 Dr Curtis, 8 Camden Place, Cork, to Chief Inspector Barry, 29 April 1869
Hospital to open in a week. Thinks that constables selected should be instructed in their duties.

16 Luggard, War Office, to Chief Secretary, 24 August 1869
Lock Hospital at the Curragh to open at the beginning of October. Constables should be selected.

18 Chief Inspector Thompson, Kildare to Inspector General, 27 September 1869
Has been sent Cork papers and copies of CDA. Has selected constables for CDA duty at the Currragh:
Constable Robert Kennedy (No 17682)
Sub Constable John Dempsey (No 15131)
Sub Constable James Plant (No 18743)
Recommends that the men be in uniform and be under a Head Constable at the Curragh.

19 Chief Secretary to Inspector General, 2 October 1869
Queries why he insists on married men only being employed under the CDA.

20 Deputy Inspector General to Chief Secretary, 5 October 1869
RIC regulations 'require that married men should be selected, whenever practicable, for the discharge of all duties in which women are concerned'.

22 Chief Inspector Barry to Inspector General, 26 January 1872
Has appointed Acting Constable John McHugh (No 10388) to Queenstown under CDA at 10s a week extra.

23 Adjutant General, Royal Hospital, 23 November 1882
'The Commander of the Forces has directed me to bring to the notice of the Irish Government the extraordinary number of soldiers in the Dublin garrison who, as shown by the recent sick list, are suffering from venereal disease.' On 27 October 1882 the number was 371, being 7.83% of the whole strength. Existing hospital accommodation is not adequate and 60 patients have had to be sent to Newbridge and the Curragh. Urges extension of CDA to the Dublin Metropolitan Area, especially to the vicinity of the Royal Barracks.

24 Ralph Thompson, Under Secretary, War Office, to General Officer Commanding, Ireland, 5 March 1883
Lord Hartington 'is of the opinion that under the present circumstances, HM Government would not entertain any proposal to extend the CDA'.

25 Thompson, War Office, to Chief Secretary, 25 October 1884
Due to Commons' resolution of April 1883 suspending compulsory registration of prostitutes, thinks that RIC men at Curragh, Cork and Queenstown to enforce CDA are no longer required. In past quarter there were only 23 voluntary registrations in Curragh and 29 in Cork, but these could be done at the Lock Hospital.

27 War Office to Chief Secretary, 7 November 1884
Wants to retain a constable at the Curragh, in addition to the one acting as LH gatekeeper, as Medical Officer in charge of Lock Hospital has said he is needed to give information to women where they can go to get relief. 'the women are mostly strangers with no fixed place of abode'.

28 Samuel Chaplin, Medical Officer Curragh Lock Hospital, to Under Secretary, War Office, 31 October 1884
'This district is extensive and straggling embracing the towns of Newbridge, Kilcullen and the Curragh Edge, which on one side is very populous and extends towards Kilcullen. Over this area the women are scattered not living (with few exceptions) as they do in other districts, in houses but sheltering themselves in the sides of ditches and on the Curragh in the furze. Those women for the most part come from Dublin and distant parts of the country, staying in the district but a short time and then going away, are succeeded by others. They when diseased being strangers don't know where to apply for relief exce[t to the police hitherto employed under the CDA, who were known to and trusted by the others. Nothing would induce them to ask any of the ordinary constabulary nor would any of the country people speak to them, they dare not seek information from those who have been any time in the district, as such would resent their intrusion.'

AccessBy prior appointment.
Repository NameNational Archives of Ireland
Address8 Bishop Street Dublin 8
EircodeD08 DF85
Telephone(01) 407-2300
Telephone 21890-25-24-24
Repository Web Address