KATE O'HANLON (MBE) was born in the Markets area of Belfast. She worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital from 1966 to 1988, and was sister in charge of the A & E department for sixteen years. Described on her retirement as 'the United Kingdom's best known casualty nurse' (Belfast Telegraph), Kate was chairman of the Royal College of Nursing's A & E Forum for nine years and secretary for three. She has travelled the world, attending conferences to talk about her experiences, and formed part of a United Nations delegation that visited Gaza and the West Bank to assess the emergency facilities available to the Palestinian victims of the intifada. She is a Dame of the Order of Malta, and in 2007 was awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Royal College of Nursing. In 2009 she received an honorary doctorate for services to nursing from the University of Ulster.
'Kate's story is an enthralling one, steeped in happy early memories, heartbreaking personal loss, exciting days as a young nurse and the trauma of nursing through almost two decades of the Troubles.' North Belfast News 'Kate O'Hanlon's account of nursing at the Royal Victoria Hospital during the worst days of the Troubles is no misery memoir. She records a lifetime of unflinching observation, no-nonsense planning and quick reaction in life and death situations - it is refreshing to hear these stories told simply, with humanity and humour.' Verbal Magazine 'Kate's story is one which needs to be told.' Midweek, BBC Radio 4