The Cahercalla estate and residence were acquired by St. Flannan’s College in 1935, three years before the arrival of three St. John of God Sisters from Wexford who were entrusted with nursing and catering duties at the diocesan college. Fifteen years later, Bishop Fogarty of Killaloe invited the nuns to open a private nursing home for which the diocese donated the house and grounds at Cahercalla.  

Opened in 1951 after building renovations, the nursing home flourished and in 1960 an operating theatre was added in an extension costing £90,000 which was entirely raised by the nuns with no State subvention. Then caring for up to 40 patient with chronic illnesses, the new facility provided medical, surgical and maternity services.

 A further extension followed in 1967 adding living quarters for the St. John of God Sisters and a chapel for patients and nuns.

 Maternity facilities were expanded in 1982 at the request of the then Mid Western Health Board but five years later, the extended maternity unit had to close when the health board withdrew maternity services from county Clare.

 When declining numbers and an aging community prompted a decision by the Sisters of St. John of God to dispose of the hospital, a concerted community movement for the retention of what had become a fixture and landmark in the life of county Clare brought the hospital into community ownership in 1995 when more than € 700,000 was subscribed to a fund-raising campaign.

 From the outset modern health services were provided from Cahercalla, starting with the addition of day surgery and outpatient clinics from May 1995. In 1997, the convent was converted to provide 12 nursing home beds and to increase the number of hospice beds within the service which had started from just one bed on the ground floor of the main hospital.

Responding to increased demand which saw admissions to the nursing home and hospice increase, a 20 bed extension was added in 2008. The extension provides a state of the art hospice unit with private en-suite rooms, social space looking out onto gardens, a family room providing overnight accommodation and further nursing home beds.

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