Caring for the Nation - A History of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
Caring for the Nation tells the story of the country’s best known and perhaps its most highly regarded hospital, Dublin’s Mater Hospital. For 150 years, the Mater has been at the centre of city life, from its beginnings helping the poor of Dublin during the 1800s, when only the wealthy could afford to gain access to medical care, through the dark years of the Civil War and the Emergency, through the rapid medical developments that took place during and after the second world war. These include the development of antibiotics, which meant that diseases such as TB, which had traumatised the country, could at last be cured, the growth of x-ray as a diagnostic tool, and the rapid progress in cardiac care, including the country’s first heart transplant, carried out by Maurice Neligan and Freddie Wood in September 1985.
Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1861, the Mater was the first hospital to open its doors 24 hours a day, at the time, the only refuge open to those affected by the smallpox and cholera epidemics that raged through the overcrowded tenements. It was the first hospital to care for outpatients, and was at the scene of many of the most dramatic and traumatic incidents to grip the city, such as the attempted rescue of Sean MacStiofain from the hospital while on hunger strike, the Dublin bombings of 1972/73, and the Stardust tragedy in 1981.
Written by Sister Eugene Nolan, the hospital archivist, who nursed there for many years, Caring for the Nation is the definitive history of this Dublin institution, and a fascinating insight into the history and health of the city itself.
Sr. Thomasina Finn says of 'Caring for the Nation' -"This book is not only the history of medicine since 1861 but a social history told in a most engaging and readable way. It is a handsomely produced book of text and photographs which together speak of care, commitment and love. It is a book worthy of Dublin’s iconic Mater Misericordiae Hospital"
'Caring for the Nation' can be ordered online here
Gill and McMillan