OUTSIDE HOLLES STREET NATIONAL MATERNITY HOSPITAL
“The Birds And The Bees” … I did not get the hidden joke until today. My mother was a nurse/midwife at Holles Street The National Maternity Hospital and on the first day of 1950 I was born there. This example of Paint-A-Box street art is directly outside the hospital.
The Birds & the Bees is inspired by Dublin’s urban gardens, Merrion Square and St. Stephen’s Green; space where nature and urban life intertwine in perfect harmony. This illustration highlights how these gardens bring colour to the city-centre and provide a tranquil gathering place for the people of Dublin.
Emily Kouri is a Canadian graphic designer and illustrator, currently living in Dublin. Using digital and traditional mediums, Emily is passionate about producing work that communicates thoughtful messages. Emily’s projects and collaborations are diverse, that range from branding start-up businesses to creating outdoor urban murals.
The hospital was established through charitable donations in 1894 and received a royal charter, in line with other maternity hospitals in Dublin, in 1903. The Linen Guild, a charity to help mothers and babies in need of financial assistance, was established in 1912.
Elizabeth O’Farrell, a member of Cumann na mBan, served as a midwife, training and working in Holles Street in the early years of the 20th century before carrying the white flag delivering the surrender at the Easter Rising in 1916. The hospital became the first such facility to benefit from the Irish Hospitals’ Sweepstake which funded extensive redevelopment in the 1930s. Antrim House, the former home of the Earls of Antrim on Merrion Square, was demolished to facilitate the construction of the hospital by G&T Crampton, in 1936. A new Charter was received in 1936 altering the governance of the hospital such that it was administered by a board consisting of the Archbishop of Dublin (or a representative) as chair of the board, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, two City Councillors and two nominees of the Minister of Health.
In 1998, Holles Street set up the Domino (Domiciliary Care In and Out of Hospital) and Home birth scheme through its team of community midwives. The National Maternity Hospital Foundation, a charity which raises funds for a number of projects in the hospital with special emphasis on the neonatal intensive care unit, was established in 2012.