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News / January 19, 2010

RCSI celebrates 200 years on St. Stephen

by Guy Hiscott

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello, visited the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) yesterday evening [19 January] to celebrate 200 years of the College on St. Stephen’s Green.  


RCSI President Prof Frank Keane with Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello and College mace-bearer Terry Slattery, along with a number of the College’s students

An integral part of the RCSI, the Faculty of Dentistry was founded in 1963.
Professor Frank Keane, President of the RCSI, said: ‘For over 200 years, RCSI has been central to the advancement of surgery and medical education in Ireland. From our earliest days we have trained doctors and surgeons who have given exemplary service throughout the world and the advances in surgical procedures that we use today, represent the culmination of centuries of learning and enquiry. Surgery, as well as being our heritage, is fundamental to the delivery of healthcare in Ireland and our responsibilities reach into the training, standards and practice delivery of surgery in Ireland to ensure that safe surgery saves lives.’

RCSI became the sole, legally recognised body representing the science and art of surgery in Ireland in 1784 when it was granted a Charter by King George III. The first meeting of the College took place in the Rotunda Hospital and in 1810 the College moved to its current site on St. Stephen’s Green, a former abandoned Quaker burial ground.

The College has also been the scene of many dramatic events in Irish history, playing a part in the 1916 Easter Rising when Countess Markievicz, with 150 men and 20 women, occupied the College for one week and bullet holes from that time are still visible in the stone facade.

Since 1810 approximately 19,000 students have graduated from the College.