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Showing posts from July, 2016

Houston, We Have a Problem!

Today marks the 171st anniversary of the death of a man who despite achieving so much in the world of surgery is largely forgotten by it's population. He is recognised as introducing the microscope into Irish medicine in 1830, being Ireland's first investigator into the field of cancer research and for discovering the transverse folds of the rectum, which are also known as ' Houston's valves' . That man was one John Houston. John Houston 1802-1845 Houston was born in Northern Ireland in 1802. Little is known about his childhood before he was adopted by his maternal uncle, Dr Joseph Taylor. Taylor financed his nephew's education in medicine and in 1819 Houston was apprenticed to John Shekleton , a young dynamic surgeon and soon-to-be Curator of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Museum. Houston's apprenticeship finished in 1824, the same year that Shekleton suddenly died at the age of 29. Houston lost his teacher, mentor and friend and on the da

Nelson Mandela Day

Today is a day of celebration in South Africa; celebrating the life, trials, hardships and unwavering spirit of freedom embodied in the man that was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Nelson Mandela and Tom PJ Hennessy, PRCSI 1994-1996. in Capetown at the conferring of the RCSI Honorary Fellowship on Mandela  On 27th March 1996 RCSI awarded Nelson Mandela it's highest honour, the Honorary Fellowship.  There is no point in trying to paraphrase the citation given by the RCSI Vice-President, Mr. Peter McClean, as it would be an injustice to the person, achievements and spirit of Mandela. So it is reproduced in full below.  Citation  read by Mr Peter McLean, Vice-President RCSI  on the occasion of the Conferring of the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of  Surgeons in Ireland on President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela,  in Capetown, South Africa  on Wednesday 27th March 1996 Mr President, It is indeed a cherished privilege for me to present to you a uni

Hospitals, Hospitals, Everywhere!

In this lovely, yet completely crazy, Irish summer weather, you may decide to head out and take a stroll around Dublin city. While doing so you will encounter numerous examples of Victorian and Georgian architecture, marble and red brick facades and the modern changes that are happening all over the city. But what you mightn't know is that some of the buildings you look at, pass by every day and may even go in to were once hospitals. Dublin was, and still, is a major international centre for surgical and medicinal excellence and with this development of surgical methods and practise came hospitals. So below are some examples of these long lost hospitals. Next time you are enjoying a glass of wine in The Ely Wine Bar on Ely Place here's a fact you can impress your friends with. Next door in 23 Ely Place there was the Dublin Infirmary for Diseases of the Eye and Ear from 1872-1875 Dublin Infirmary for Diseases of the Eye and Ear, 23 Ely Place All those times you were

The Battle of the Somme

One hundred years ago today British Army soldiers were waiting nervously and fearfully in the trenches they had dug along the River Somme in France. At 7.30am their officers blew their whistles and over 100,000 soldiers entered the hell that would become known as the Battle of the Somme . Getting ready to go over the top Courtesy of Scott Addington Large numbers of students and staff from RCSI were at the Battle of the Somme having enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). They hoped their surgical and medical skills could help in the treatment of their fellow wounded and injured soldiers. Two RCSI students that were present at the Battle of the Somme were George Evans, born 1891 in Kerry, and John Power, born 1892 in Clare. Both Evans and Power had not completed their surgical education but felt the need to do their bit for the War Effort. Unfortunately neither lived to complete their studies as they died in the final months of the battle. Evans was buried in Delville