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

Public to get lesson in Medical History at RCSI at Culture Night 2014

19 September 2014
RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) is ready to open its doors tonight, Friday 19th September, and give a lesson in medical history to the public at the College on St. Stephen's Green as part of Culture Night 2014. Two historic tours of the College will take place either side of a lecture from 5pm-8pm on the night free of charge to the public.
 
Meadhbh Murphy, Archivist at the RCSI Heritage Collections, will give a talk to the public called ‘Beguiling and Brilliant: The Medics of RCSI' at 6pm at the College. In this talk Meadhbh will speak about the pioneers, founders and inventors of new surgical techniques and instruments who are associated with RCSI. Be they students or staff these individuals helped to forge medical advancements that benefit patients daily. Here are just some of the brilliant medics that Meadhbh will bring to light in this talk.
 

Meadhbh Murphy will give the Culture Night lecture
 
William Wallace (1791-1837)
Born in Downpatrick, Co. Down in 1791, William Wallace got his diploma from the RCSI in 1813. Wallace opened the first hospital to investigate and treat the numerous skin diseases afflicting the poor in Dublin at number 20 Moore Street. It was the first hospital of its kind in Ireland and the British Isles.
 
Emily Winifred Dickson (1866-1944)
Emily Winifred Dickson was the only female medical student in the College when she enrolled in 1887. Dickson obtained the Licence of RCSI and RCPI in 1891 and graduated from the Royal University of Ireland in 1893. She was elected the first female Fellow of RCSI in 1893. Upon her appointment as Examiner in Midwifery at RCSI, the students objected to a female examiner and fourteen pages of signatures petitioning against her appointment were presented to the Council of RCSI.
 

Emily Winifred Dickson
 
Harry O' Flanagan (1917-2000)

Harry O' Flanagan graduated from RCSI in 1939, moved to England and joined the RAF as a medical officer in 1944. By 1949 he was back in Ireland having been appointed Medical Inspector in the Department of Health. In 1962 he became Registrar of his alma mater, RCSI. The Medical School was on the brink of closure at that time. Through hard work and ingenuity O' Flanagan saved the College Medical School and started it on its path to the international medical school it is today.
 
Other individuals who will feature in this talk include Sir Charles Cameron (1830-1921), the McDonnell's: father John (1796-1892) and son Robert (1828-1889); and Oliver St John Gogarty (1878-1931).
 

Oliver St John Gogarty will also feature in the lecture
 
Speaking ahead of her Culture Night talk, Meadhbh Murphy said ‘The RCSI Heritage Collections are delighted to showcase the College's historical material and fascinating background on Culture Night 2014. This talk will give people a flavour of the controversial, pioneering, and flamboyant individuals that walked the halls of the RCSI and helped shape the practise of surgery and medicine in Ireland over the centuries.'
 
Two fully booked tours of the College will also be held on Culture Night, at 5pm and 7pm. These will be led by Head and Deputy Head Porters, Frank Donegan and Bryan Sheil. During the tour attendees will learn the history of the College, the local area and the part it has played in Irish history including when the building was seized by rebels led by Michael Mallin and Constance Markievicz during the 1916 Easter Rising. 
 

Bryan and Frank will lead the tours
 
Culture Night at RCSI is free of charge to the public but booking is essential due to limited capacity. To register your seat in the audience for the ‘Beguiling and Brilliant - The Medics of RCSI' lecture, visit www.rcsi.ie/culturenight14. Spaces will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
 
RCSI is part of the South Georgian Quarter on Culture Night and this is the third time RCSI has participated the annual event. Culture Night is a night to explore, experience and enjoy culture in all its forms in Dublin and across 30 towns, cities and counties in Ireland. Arts and cultural organisations open their doors until late with hundreds of free events, tours, talks and performances for the public to enjoy.
 
RCSI is a not-for-profit health sciences institute which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.