oral history, orthopaedic, St. Mary's Hospital, Cork
St. Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital or ‘the Orthopaedic’, has been a landmark in the social memory and landscape of Cork city, since it opened in November 1955. Originally planned as a fever hospital, it instead provided the first orthopaedic service outside of Dublin. A polio outbreak, ever evolving equipment and patients prioritising farming over treatment, presented some of the challenges for its management over the following half century. When the first artificial hip replacement in Ireland was conducted at the facility in 1970, the hospital was spoken about across the globe. However, the story of ‘the Orthopaedic’ is a profoundly Cork one, told in The Ministry of Healing through original research and with the integration of new oral recordings, which disclose the memories and experiences of the hospital’s former patients and staff.