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Heart Children Ireland was founded in 1990 by a group of parents who met in Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin.

At that time, their children were being treated for congenital heart defects. They realised there was a need for a support group and with the help of staff including Dr Desmond Duff and Sr. Chris McMahon they set about organising one.

In the early stages Heart Children Ireland received help from Heartbeat, now Heartbeat Trust in Northern Ireland. Six people attended the first Heart Children Ireland meeting in January 1990. From these small beginnings the group grew and was very successful. This was due to the hard work of the initial members. They set up two branches, one in Dublin and one in Cork. By 1992 membership had increased to 140 member families.

Heart Children Ireland now has over 1,000 member families and has raised well in excess of €2.5m for the Children’s Heart Centre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. We also provide service to the Young Adult Congenital Unit at the Mater Hospital. Our young adults transfer from the children’s hospital to the Mater Hospital when they are in their late teens.

Although Heart Children is primarily a support group we have become involved in both fundraising and lobbying, we see these as an integral part of the support we provide. Over the years we have had meetings with successive Ministers for Health and officials from the HSE, we have used these meetings to secure improved treatment and facilities for those with CHD and to highlight deficiencies in the existing services.


Some Memorable Dates


First Fund Raising EventFeb 1991
First Annual General MeetingJun 1991
First Issue of HeartstringsSep 1991
First Annual ConferenceOct 1991
Funded Clinical Nurse Specialist1993
Established our office2000
Became a Limited Company2003
Launched Chairde mo Chroi2003
Launch of our Website2004
Funded Clinical Nurse Specialist For Young Adult Congenital Unit At the Mater Hospital2004
Hand over of ECMO machine to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin2005
Celebration Party for Dr. Desmond Duff2007
Charity Launch of “There Will Be Blood” First corporate Charity Partner –  Home Retail Group – €250k raised2008-2010
Heart Children Ireland celebrates 20 years2010
Opening of New Clinic Room for our
Young Adults at the Mater Hospital Funded by Heart Children
Apr 2011

History Gallery

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