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

Department of Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at RCSI is based at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, the largest Elective Orthopaedic Surgery hospital in Ireland. 

It was established in 1991, with the appointment of Prof.Tim O’Brien as the first Abraham Colles Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The Department established a Higher Surgical Training Programme in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery and with the Irish Institute for Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, now monitors trainees and liaises with the mandated training bodies.

The Irish Institute for Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, which is a sub-committee of the Higher Surgical Training Committee of RCSI, retains oversight of Higher Specialist Training (HST) in Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery in Ireland. 

The Institute has its offices at RCSI in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. In 2005, Prof. John O’Byrne succeeded Prof. O’Brien as Abraham Colles Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. 

RCSI Undergraduate Teaching at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital

Prof. O’Byrne introduces a comprehensive musculo-skeletal module for RCSI’s Undergraduate teaching programme. This programme was designed as a core part of the Intermediate Undergraduate Cycle and commenced in February 2006.

The musculo-skeletal module MCQ examination results form part of the overall surgical OSCE result.  Four part-time lecturers share the role over a one-year period.

They assist students in integrating with the clinical life of Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, and assist them with the preparation of their clinical presentations, which all students prepare during theit time at Cappagh.

Abraham Colles Medal

The Abraham Colles Medal in Orthopaedics was established by Prof. O’Byrne to coincide with the introduction of the musculo-skeletal module for undergraduate students. 

It is presented annually to the winner of the clinical examination which is contested by the top three students in each Intermediate Cycle. The winner has his/her name appended to a prize board specially designed and available to view in RCSI for posterity.


Through the Professorial Unit, RCSI at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, significant research links and collaborative projects have been undertaken and are ongoing between RCSI, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, UCD, DCU, TCD, and also with Industry. Significant funding has been won from Enterprise Ireland.

Teaching for Orthopaedic Residents in Training

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, RCSI runs weekly lectures for residents working in Dublin hospitals. They are held each Monday evening at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, and other institutions where necessary, to facilitate the Lecturers involved. 


Prof. John M. O'Byrne, MCh, FRCSI, FRCS(Orth), FFSEM, FFSEM(UK), Abraham Colles Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery


Ms Ursula Gormally, BA(Hons), HDip.(Risk), Department Secretary

Telephone: +353 1 834 0230 (Direct)

Fax: +353 1 864 1313

Email:  or

Address: The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,  c/o The Professorial Unit, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Finglas, Dublin, 11.