Adelaide Hospital (Dublin)

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Adelaide Hospital
Health Service Executive
Adelaide Hospital, Dublin.jpg
Adelaide Hospital in Peter Street
Adelaide Hospital (Dublin) is located in Central Dublin
Adelaide Hospital (Dublin)
Shown in Dublin
LocationDublin, Ireland
Coordinates53°20′21″N 6°16′06″W / 53.3393°N 6.2682°W / 53.3393; -6.2682Coordinates: 53°20′21″N 6°16′06″W / 53.3393°N 6.2682°W / 53.3393; -6.2682
TypeGeneral hospital
ListsHospitals in the Republic of Ireland

The Adelaide Hospital (Irish: Ospidéal Adelaide) was a general and teaching hospital in Peter Street, Dublin, Ireland. It was absorbed into the Tallaght Hospital in June 1998.


The hospital, which was originally named Adelaide Institution & Protestant Hospital,[1] intended only for Protestant patients, was founded by Dr. Albert Jasper Walsh (1815–1880) when he was just 26 years old, in 1839. It was named after Adelaide, wife of William IV. The well-known physicians John T. Kirby and Maurice Colles were honorary surgeons. Its first premises was at 43 Bride Street and it continued there until 1846. It was then closed for a time and, after new funding was secured, re-opened in Peter Street in 1858, close to two existing schools of medicine. One of these, the Ledwich School, was incorporated into the hospital in 1894.[2] The founder of the Sunbeam House, Lucinda Sullivan, served as the first lady superintendent of the hospital from 1872 to 1875.[3]

The Adelaide hospital was a general teaching hospital for many years and in the forefront of medical advances. Its charter, which was one of the last royal charters granted in Ireland, dates from 1920.[4]

When the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstake was set up in 1930 to finance hospitals, the Adelaide was the only hospital at the time not to accept money from the Hospitals Trust, as the governors disapproved of sweepstakes.[5]

It was absorbed into the Tallaght Hospital in June 1998.[6] The former hospital building in Peter Street has been converted into apartments and office suites known as Adelaide Chambers.[7]

Notable physicians[edit]

Among the notable physicians who have been associated with the Adelaide Hospital are:

  • Dr. William Alexander Gillespie (1912–2003), started his career as house officer in the hospital and returned as a consultant in 1977. He had an international reputation in the field of hospital infections.[8]
  • Dr. James Little (1837–1916), physician to the hospital for a period of 46 years until shortly before his death. He served as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland from 1886 to 1888 and Regius Professor of Physic (Dublin) from 1898 to 1916.[9][10]
  • Dr. Richard Dancer Purefoy (1847–1919), was Obstetrical Surgeon in the hospital for 21 years. He became President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and one of the leading obstetricians and gynaecologists in Ireland.[11]
  • Dr. Sir Henry Swanzy (1843–1913) was a distinguished eye specialist and ophthalmic surgeon to the hospital.[12]
  • Dr. Ella Webb (1877–1946), appointed anaesthetist in 1918, was the first female member of the staff. She immediately established a dispensary for sick children in the hospital. She became an MD in 1925 and then worked with Kathleen Lynn in St. Ultan's hospital which Lynn had founded.[13]


  1. ^ "Adelaide Hospital, Dublin". Irish Archives Resource. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  2. ^ Mitchell, 1990
  3. ^ Gallagher, Niav (2019). "Sullivan, Lucinda". Dictionary of Irish Biography - Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  4. ^ Fleetwood, 1983
  5. ^ Report (25 July 1933), "Irish Hospitals", The Irish Times, p. 36
  6. ^ "This day in 1998: Tallaght University Hospital opened its doors". The Echo. 21 June 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Self-contained office suites on site of Adelaide Hospital for sale and for rent". Irish Times. 18 April 2001. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  8. ^ Obituary, British Medical Journal
  9. ^ "Obituary - James Little". British Medical Journal. 1 (2923): 34–35. 6 January 1917. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.2923.34. PMC 2347815.
  10. ^ O’Ferrall, Fergus. "The Adelaide Hospital, 1903" (PDF). The Adelaide Hospital, Dublin, 1839-2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  11. ^ Obituary, The Lancet, 12 July 1919
  12. ^ Fitzgerald, C.E. (1 June 1913). "Sir Henry Rosborough Swanzy". 135. The Dublin Journal of Medical Science. doi:10.1007/BF02939683. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ Kearney, N and Skehill, C (2005). Social work in Ireland: historical perspectives. Institute of Public Administration. ISBN 1-904541-23-2, ISBN 978-1-904541-23-3


  • Fleetwood, John F (1983). The History of Medicine in Ireland. Dublin: Skellig Press. ISBN 978-0946241026.
  • Mitchell, David (1990). The Adelaide Hospital, Dublin, 1838-1989. Dublin: the Blackwater Press. ISBN 0-905471-16-4.