Gerard Fealy and his co-authors have pieced together a fascinating story of how the organisation began from small beginnings as a children’s institution and organically evolved to respond to changing health needs and societal values over the past 140 years. Anybody who is interested in the history of the development of services for people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland will find much food for thought in this absorbing account.

Dr. Gerard Fealy

Gerard Fealy is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. He is a UCD graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in education and a PhD in education. Completed in 2003, his doctoral thesis examined the history of nurse training in Ireland. Dr. Fealy is founding Director of the UCD Irish Centre of Nursing and Midwifery History and is the author of serval scholarly articles and historical monographs, including A History of Apprenticeship Nurse Training in Ireland (Routledge 2006) and The Adelaide Hospital School of Nursing, 1859-2009 (Columba Press 2009). He teaches the social history of Irish healthcare.

Dr. Martin McNamara

Martin McNamara is Dean of Nursing at UCD and Head of the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems. A registered psychiatric and general nurse, he holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and Master’s degrees in social science, education and nursing. In 2007 he obtained a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from the Open University. Dr. McNamara is a writer and commentator on professional nursing, with a particular interest in academic identity, disciplinary development and the history of the profession. He is a co-founder of the UCD Irish Centre for Nursing and Midwifery History and has published several scholarly articles on aspects of nursing history and professional identity.

Dr. Sean Lucey

Sean Lucey is a historian of healthcare and welfare with expertise in the history of medical and poor relief and hospital provision. He obtained a PhD from NUI Maynooth for work on the land movement in late nineteenth-century and he previously held research fellowships at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford Brookes University. He is currently a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, writing a monograph on poverty and public health in Belfast and its environs during the period 1898-1973. Dr. Lucey has published several scholarly articles and books, including Land, Popular Politics and Agrarian Violence in Late Nineteenth Century Ireland (UCD Press, 2011), The Irish National League in Dingle, County Kerry, 1882-92 (Four Courts Press, 2003) and From Poor Law to Free State: Poverty, Poor and Medical Relief in Ireland, 1910-39 (Forthcoming: Manchester University Press).