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1926 - 2019

Professor Barry O'Donnell, MD, 1926-2019

Born in Cork in 1926 to Michael and Kitty O'Donnell, Barry was educated at Christian Brothers College, Cork, Castleknock College, Dublin and University College Cork.

Barry went on to undertake a number of Postgraduate posts in the UK, spending a period of time at the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street as Senior Registrar. On completion of his training as a Paediatric Fellow in Lahey Clinic, Boston, he became a Fellow of RCSI in 1953. In 1957, he was appointed Consultant Surgeon at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, a post he held until 1993. He also worked in the Children’s Hospital, Temple Street and the National Children’s Hospital at Harcourt Street.

In 1976, he became President of the Irish, British and Canadian Medical Associations which was a prestigious honour. In 1998 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the American Surgical Association, a singular distinction. He was RCSI Professor of Paediatrics between 1986 and 1993 and, in 1998 was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland for a two year term.

He founded the Children's Medical Research Foundation (CMRF) in 1965 and his innovation of endoscopic correction of vesicoureteric reflux with Professor Prem Puri in 1984 changed the management of the most common condition in paediatric urology. In the same year they were joint winners of the National Person of the Year award.

In 2009 he edited the definitive history of surgeons and surgery in twentieth century Ireland, Irish Surgeons and Surgery in the Twentieth Century.

Barry is pre-deceased by his beloved and devoted wife Mary. We convey our deepest condolences to his children John, Catherine, Nick and Michael, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren, and to his extended family and wide circle of friends and colleagues.

May he rest in peace.