One of Dublin's best-known hospitals, The Eye and Ear, celebrates its centenary and looks forward to the next one hundred years.

The Royal Eye and Ear Hospital was founded in 1897 and today it is making plans for the next hundred years. 

The brick and limestone facade of the building is based on a hospital in Holland. The establishment of the hospital on Adelaide Road followed the amalgamation of the National Eye and Ear Infirmary which was founded in 1814 with St Mark's Ophthalmic Hospital set up thirty years later by Sir William Wilde, father of the playwright Oscar Wilde. 

The hospital's motto is

The eye is the lantern of the body.

While the Royal Charter was granted in 1897, the hospital didn't open its doors until 1904 with two operating theatres. However, due to lack of space at the time doctors had to examine patients in the laundry. 

In the 1980s there were rumours that the Eye and Ear would close, but this has since been abandoned. Today the hospital has laser, transplant and micro-surgery facilities as well as an around the clock emergency unit. The hospital is also launching a fundraising campaign to build a library and learning centre. 

Aida Whyte, Secretary of the Eye and Ear, says that the future of the hospital is secure and outlines plans for refurbishment and the provision of new day-care services. 

We can look forward to a very positive future for the Eye and Ear Hospital into its second century.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 July 1997. The reporter is George Devlin.