1743 was a landmark year in the development of hospital services for the people of Dublin. In that year, the Hospital for Incurables was founded “…….to benefit the Poor in and near our said City who are afflicted with Disorders declared to be Incurable, by dieting, lodging, clothing and maintaining such poor persons and by supplying them with Medical and Surgical Assistants, Medicines and all manner of necessaries…..” (extract from Hospital Charter). More than two and a half centuries later, the hospital, now known as The Royal Hospital Donnybrook, still provides care (including the provision of medical, nursing and other necessary services) that meets the healthcare needs of the community.
As the oldest continuously operating hospital of its type in Ireland and Britain, the hospital is governed by its Royal Charter (1800). This charter specified the work that should be carried out by the hospital and continues today to form the foundation upon which the hospital bases its strategic direction.
Originally sited on Fleet Street and later at Townsend Street in the city centre, the hospital moved to its present location in Donnybrook in 1792. Over the intervening two centuries, it has developed an excellent reputation for the provision of rehabilitation, respite and continuing care services.
We have an extensive archive of historical documentation including our Charter, patient rolls, maps and drawings. Our volunteer archivist, Stephen McCormac, is happy to assist with queries in relation to the history of the hospital dating back to its formation in 1743 and also to assist, where possible, with family history queries. He can be contacted at email@example.com