Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

New Anatomy Preparation Room at RCSI Officially Opened

29 March 2012
A new Anatomy Preparation Room was officially opened at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) by Professor Eilis McGovern, President of RCSI, on Thursday, 29th March 2012.


Work on the new state-of-the-art facility took place during 2011, increasing capacity by one third, improving ventilation and eliminating manual handling.

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Picture (l-r) are Professor Ellis McGovern, President of RCSI and Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy, RCSI.

Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy at RCSI commented: "I would like to thank those members of the Irish public who so generously donate their remains to the College for medical teaching and research.  Thanks to them, and to this wonderful new facility, we can provide our students and researchers with world-class education and training."

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Pictured (l-r) are Anatomy Technicians Bob Dalchan, Peter Kellaghan and Vincent McDonagh.

Features installed in the new facility include roll on roll off trolleys, refrigerated units and a computerised heating and ventilation system which enables 16 air changes per hour.  The downdraft embalming table has an extract rate of 375 cubic metres per hour to ensure a clean-air environment for RCSI technicians. 

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Pictured is Peter Kelleghan demonstrating the new equipment to Mr Hy Browne, former Dean, and Professor Stanley Monkhouse, former Professor of Anatomy.

Anatomy Rooms have been a feature of the College almost since its foundation in 1784 when it rented its first premises in Mercer Street in 1789.  In the same year it purchased an adjacent house for £100 to gain access to Goat Alley through which bodies might be brought to the dissecting room.  In 1809, the College requested the exchequer for 4,000 guineas to purchase ‘a lot of ground adjoining the College' on St Stephen's Green. This was then surrounded by a high wall with an entrance to Glover's Alley to ensure that ‘business' could be conducted ‘with that secrecy and decorum which the nature of such institutions requires'.

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Pictured (l-r) is retIred Anatomy Technician Terry Byrne and Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy, RCSI.

On its current site, the Anatomy Preparation Room has evolved and expanded a number of times over the years. The most recently refurbishment had taken place 20 years ago in the early 1990s, initiated by former Professor of Anatomy, Stanley Monkhouse, making it the most modern preparation room in the country at the time. 

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Pictured (l-r) are Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy with Terry Byrne, retired Anatomy Technician and current Anatomy Technicians Vincent McDonagh, Peter Kellaghan. Bob Dalchan and John O'Brien.

Among those attending the official opening were members of RCSI Council and Boards; Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/ Registrar, RCSI; Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI; and staff of the Department of Anatomy, past and present.

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Pictured (l-r) are Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar, RCSI and Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy, RCSI.