Sylvester O'Halloran (1728 - 1807)
Sylvester O'Halloran was a renowned surgeon/historian born in Limerick early
in the 18th century. His choice of career was influenced by the great lack of
surgical services in Limerick and in Ireland at that time. Having completed
a brilliant course of study in London, Leyden, and Paris, he returned to his
native city well equipped to begin his great humanitarian task. He and others
founded the Limerick County Infirmary in the city in 1761. The foundation stone
is now preserved in the Sylvester O'Halloran Post Graduate Centre at the Mid-Western
Regional Hospital, Limerick.
Despite his many outstanding achievements in surgery and literature, Sylvester
O'Halloran's most enduring legacy is the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He had been very impressed while in France with the Académie Royale de
Chirurgie, which had been founded in Paris in 1731 during the reign of Louis
XV. Sylvester O'Halloran's Proposals for the Advancement of Surgery in Ireland
and his driving enthusiasm were directly responsible for the establishment of
the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1784. His passionate commitment
to education, research and surgical skills marked him out from his contemporaries.
He was a dedicated doctor to his numerous patients whom he looked after with
great compassion. The annual Sylvester O'Halloran Meeting,
named in his honour, was started in 1992 by the late Mr Peter Delaney.