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New book charts rich history of the RCPI

By Staff Reporter

A fascinating new book exploring the history of Ireland's oldest surviving medical institution has been launched in Belfast.

Healing Touch: The Illustrated History of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is the work of veteran Northern Ireland journalist and author Alf McCreary.

It outlines the developments in the institution since 1654, and sets these in the context of each major period of Irish history.

The accomplishments and rich history of the RCPI is complemented in this volume by 500 illustrations and images.

The book was launched at a reception in the Canada Room at Queen's University, Belfast yesterday.

Speakers at the event included vice-chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston, a fellow of the Royal College, and Professor John Crowe from Dublin, who is a former president of the RCPI.

Among the physicians mentioned in the new book is Hillsborough-born Professor Frank Pantridge, the inventor of the portable defibrillator.

Mr McCreary believes the book will offer people the opportunity to learn something new about the important achievements of the college.

It will also highlight significant developments in medicine, politics and major social issues.

"This is also a fresh story of Irish history told through the eyes of physicians and also a host of rich characters including kings and queens, emperors and statesmen, writers, musicians, artists and medical pioneers," he said.

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