As staff on the acute psychiatric unit at St Ita's Hospital had recently become aware of an increasing number of referrals from Dublin airport, a retrospective analysis of case notes of such patients admitted from 1987 to 1994 was undertaken. Twenty-three patients were admitted over this period, the majority arriving from the UK. Mania was the admission diagnosis in 11 patients, schizophrenia in eight, unipolar depression in two, and schizoaffective and personality disorder in one case each. All but two had a past psychiatric history. Seventeen had Irish friends or relations; five of these acting upon ‘Ireland-related’ delusions. Ten patients required temporary certification. The mean duration of hospitalisation was 19 days and the total 433 days. All patients were repatriated, nine being transferred directly to psychiatric hospitals, with the relatives eventually bearing the cost of transport in all but one.
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