Section President: Professor Kevin Carson

Section Secretary:

Section Council Members:

Representative on General Council:

The Section of Anaesthetics was established in 1945.

Here is the opening address to the Section of Anaesthetics of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, delivered on December 12th, 1946:

Dr. Ivan W. Magill delivered the inaugural address:

It gives me great pleasure to express my sincere appreciation of the honour which you have conferred upon me by inviting me to address you at this Inaugural Meeting of your Section of Anaesthetics.  Although I live abroad, I was born and educated in this island and it is very gratifying to find that if “a prophet has no honour in his own country”, apparently an anaesthetist has! The importance of this occasion to me is further enhanced by its occurrence in the centenary year of the discovery of surgical anaesthesia. I am proud to be associated with you in celebrating the formation of your Section of Anaesthetics at such a time, and I shall look forward with keen interest to the subsequent proceedings of the Section.

Medical science in Ireland requires no boost from any visitor, for the  fame of Irish medicine and Irish hospitals is world-wide. This Academy of Medicine was in existence long before its corresponding body, the Royal Society of Medicine in England. Stokes, Graves, Colles, Freyer, McCarrison, these are but a few Irishmen who will be famous for all time in medical history, and others such as Terence Millin are now adding to the lustre of the Irish medical schools.

In the field of anaesthetics, Irish surgeons were among the first to appreciate the value of ether one hundred years ago, and one has only to consult the recent Centenary of Anaesthesia issue of the Academy’s Journal to find ample and gratifying evidence that the profession has kept well abreast of the times. Hence you will appreciate my difficulty in the choice of a subject for this address. To anaesthetists so fully conversant with every branch of the speciality, as has been so ably demonstrated in the recent Journal, it would be presumption on my part, to say the least of it, to deal at length and in detail with any particular angle. Moreover, there may be members of the profession other than anaesthetists present – surgeons and physicians who take an occasional interest in anaesthetics – hence I have selected a title embracing a wide field in the hope that reference to some current topics may prove interesting and acceptable to all.

Slow Progress in Development. This year, we celebrate the centenary of surgical anaesthesia, and much justifiable attention has recently been given to the history of the pioneers. I shall spare you, therefore, a repetition of events already familiar. One fact, however, is outstanding: the extraordinary absence of progress in the field of anmsthetics for so many years. Even Hickman’s original conception of painless operation on the unconscious patient remained unfulfilled for fifteen years after his death. It is a strange reflection that his suggestion failed to stimulate further investigation by the scientists of his time.

In 1846, the new-found boon of ether anaesthesia provided surgeons with such a contrast to the pre-existing operative conditions that they remained complacent and contented; herein lies the reason for the long period of stalemate which followed. Controversies arose from time to time over the relative merits and demerits of chloroform and ether. Nevertheless, these two drugs held the field alone for many years, and they continue to be used, where nothing else is available, because they are capable of producing good operative facilities when used by simple methods.

Change in Sections Name

A letter was read from Dr. A. Cunningham at a General Council meeting held on Monday 20th February, 1987 to have the name of the Section of Anaesthetics changed to Anaesthesia.  This was agreed.

Recipients of Medals in RAMI Section of Anaesthesia         

  • 2012     Mark Campbell
  • 2011     Amy G Donnelly
  • 2009     Aravind Rathakrishnan
  • 2007     David Summerfield
  • 2004     C. Deegan
  • 2003     J. McDonnell
  • 2002     M. Moore
  • 2001     V. Larney
  • 1997     A. Lydon
  • 1996     A. Lydon
  • 1995     F. Kirby
  • 1994     B. Lyons
  • 1993     N. Dowd
  • 1992     J. B. Lyons
  • 1991     A. Fanning
  • 1990     D. McCoy
  • 1989     C. Cooney
  • 1988     P. Vaughan
  • 1987     Thomas Schnittger


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