The devastation wrought by the Irish Potato Famine/ Great Hunger led to the hospitals and other charitable organisations in Belfast coming under immense pressure by May 1846. In order to cope with the demand these institutions came together to help relieve the sick and destitute.
In early May 1846 it was decided that the Poor House Hospital would only take medical and surgical patients, which freed up beds in the General Hospital on Frederick Street (pictured), a short walk from the Poor House, for famine and fever victims. This helped to limit the spread of the contagious famine fever in the town of Belfast.
Such was the devastation that the Belfast Charitable Society had to postpone the closing of the Poor’s Ground in Clifton Street Cemetery several times. They had to receive clearance from the Health Board to reopen the areas used for the Cholera epidemic in 1832/33 such was the demand for space to bury the dead.