The origins of the hospital lie in a poorhouse initiated when Dublin Corporation paid £300 to acquire the site in 1603.[3] The war between William III and James II intervened and the project was abandoned until Mary, Duchess of Ormonde, wife of James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde laid a foundation stone in 1703.[3] The pamphleteer, Jonathan Swift, lobbied for the creation of facilities for abandoned infants and, in 1727, the poorhouse was expanded by the addition of a foundling hospital.[4] The brewer Arthur Guinness served on the board of directors in its early years.[5]

The foundling hospital closed in 1829 and the buildings were absorbed by the South Dublin Union Workhouse.[3] During the Easter Rising in 1916, the South Dublin Union Workhouse was occupied by rebel forces.[3] The poorhouse evolved to become a municipal hospital known as St Kevin's Hospital, following Irish independence in 1921, and changed its name to St. James's Hospital in 1971.[3]

The Trinity Centre, which incorporates the clinical departments of Trinity College's Medical School and its medical library, opened in 1994.[6]

A new radiation therapy unit for cancer treatment was established at the hospital in 2012.[7]

The St James's campus was chosen in 2012 as the site for the National Paediatric Hospital, allowing colocation with the adult hospital, and potentially "trilocation" with a future maternity hospital on the same site.[8]

In 2015, the hospital became the first hospital in Ireland to introduce routine testing for HIV and hepatitis for all patients arriving at the hospital.[9]


The hospital, which is the main teaching hospital for Trinity College Dublin, has 1,010 beds.[10]


  1. ^ a b "2008 Annual Report" (PDF). St James's Hospital. 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2019. Confirms spelling of name as "James's" and Irish name
  2. ^ "Six hospital groups 'most fundamental reform in decades'". Irish Medical Times. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "New landmark sculpture for St. James's Hospital". Irish Medical Times. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Anatomy of a Dublin hospital that reaches back to 1703". Irish Times. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  5. ^ "School of Nursing and Midwifery International School Prospectus 2017" (PDF). Trininty College Dublin. p. 21. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  6. ^ "History of the School". School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Two radiation oncology centres opened". RTE. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  8. ^ Review Group on the National Children’s Hospital (7 June 2012). Report of the Review Group on the National Children's Hospital (PDF) (Report). Department of Health. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Emergency patients at St James's to be tested for HIV, hepatitis". Irish Times. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  10. ^ 2013 St James's Hospital Annual Report (PDF) (Report). St James's Hospital. 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2015.

Further readingEdit

  • Coakley, Davis; Coakley, Davis (2017). The History and Heritage of St. James's Hospital Dublin. Four Courts Press. ISBN 978-1846826078.

External linksEdit

Preceding station   Luas   Following station
towards Connolly or The Point
  Red Line   Fatima
towards Tallaght