History and Reputation

Mount Pleasant 1943

Two Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, Mother Margaret Keenan and Sister Bernard Rudden, opened a small nursing home in Mount Pleasant, Ballinasloe in February 1943.  Bishop Dignan, a dedicated social reformer then donated a gift of a site of land in Brackernagh to the Sisters and in October of the same year the foundation stone was laid for the building now known as Portiuncula Hospital.  When the Hospital opened just before the end of the war in February 1945, the first patients were transferred from Mt. Pleasant by means of a baker's van, and the equipment followed on the greengrocer's horse and cart.

Further extension of the hospital took place in the 1950s and in 1956 its first nursing students, all FMDM sisters, graduated with a 100% pass rate. Portiuncula was championed by the late Sean McBride who acted as Chairman and served on the Hospital Management Committee until his death in 1988.

Over the last thirty years there have been numerous and extensive developments throughout the Hospital.  This includes the development of the Medical Services Block in the early 80’s.  In 2001 a new Theatre Suite, Intensive Care/Coronary Care Unit, Minor-Operations Room and Endoscopy Suite opened.

Currently the Hospital is preparing for the upgrading of the Emergency Department which is scheduled to commence in 2008.


Official Opening - 9th April 1945