Royal College of Physicians – A Place of Excellence

John Stearne

John Stearne

In 1654 Dr John Stearne, who was a Professor of Medicine in Trinity College, founded what was then called The Fraternity of Physicians of Trinity Hall, with the aim of improving the practice of medicine in Ireland. Surprisingly, it was originally housed in Trinity Hall, a former prison on what is now Trinity Street.

Sir Patrick Dun Library

Sir Patrick Dun Library

In June 1667 a Royal Charter was granted by King Charles II, and this was amended in 1692 as the original charter was considered ‘insufficient to compass the noble design’. Sir Patrick Dun was President at the time and he played a very significant role in the College’s history. He bequeathed his extensive library to the college which is housed in the building and still in use. And when the hospital on Grand Canal Street that bore him name was opened in 1812 the College had its first permanent home in almost a century.

The College bought the premises at 6 Kildare Street in 1860 but before it could move in a fire destroyed the property. It was not until 1864 that the College had a new home; and the addition of the Kildare Street Club racquet court and its conversion into the Corrigan Hall in 1874 have made ‘No 6’ one of the city’s most attractive and interesting buildings.

Stairs

Stairs

Staircase

Beautiful interior

Ladies first: 1877 saw the Elizabeth Walker Dunbar become the first woman to be allowed to practice medicine in the British Isles, and Kathleen Lynn (1874-1955) also made a mark. She qualified in 1899, was a member of the Irish Citizen Army and its Chief Medical Officer during the 1916 Easter Rising. She was imprisoned, subsequently elected as a Sinn Fein TD, but never took her seat. She established St Ultan’s Hospital, Charlemont Street, in 1919 and was granted a state funeral when she died in 1955.

Kathleen Lynn

Kathleen Lynn

No. 6 is a great building with beautiful interiors, and a popular city centre venue for conferences and weddings.

 

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