The Cork School of Medicine: A History

Professor Denis O'Sullivan

The Cork School of Medicine: A History spans the history of the School of Medicine at University College Cork (UCC) from its foundation in 1849 to the present day. The author of the book is Professor Denis O'Sullivan (who died in 2012), Emeritus Professor of Medicine at UCC,  (from 1961 until his retirement in 1990) and Consultant Physician to the Southern Health Board, initially in St Finbarr's Hospital and later at the Cork Regional (now University) Hospital.

Early chapters of the book outline the origins of the school, its leading (and occasionally eccentric) personalities, and notable teachers. Early Cork graduates are described, including details of their backgrounds and career paths. Major events, such as the great College fire of 1862 and important developments such as the admission of women are also discussed. The story of the college and the medical school during the first half of the twentieth century includes pen-pictures of Windle, O'Rahilly, and other eminent medical professors. The university scene during the 1930s and 40s is also examined.

The second half of the book deals with the medical school from 1950 to the present day. The author was intimately connected with the school for nearly all of this time - the troubled 50s, the renascent 60s and 70s, and the last twenty-five years, during which the school attained its present status. The events surrounding the building of the Cork University Hospital, the expansion of the voluntary hospitals and the closure of the North Infirmary hospital are detailed, and also the development of the present-day departments. The book concludes with an appraisal of the most recent developments in the  School of Medicine, including the opening of the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex.

Professor O'Sullivan was deeply involved in college life and medical school affairs, serving as Faculty Dean from 1967-1975, as College Governor from 1968-1980 and as NUI Senator from 1972-1977. He was also a member of many national medical boards and committees. He was conferred with a DSc Degree, honoris causa, in 2000 by the National University of Ireland in recognition of his contribution to UCC and to Medicine.

 The book is interwoven with references to graduates of the School of Medicine, their lives and their achievements.

The book will be of great interest not only to medical alumni, but everyone who is interested in Munster, its health and its University.

The book is available at Experience UCC  (Visitors' Centre), North Wing and all good bookshops.  Telephone 021-4901876. Email:  

Price: €30. 

School of Medicine

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