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When Kate O'Hanlon started work at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, the people brought in to the casualty department were suffering from acute medical conditions or were victims of road traffic accidents. So when the telephone rang one evening in June 1966 with the news that there had been a shooting in Malvern Street, no one in the department could believe it. But before long such incidents became daily occurrences - over a three-year period on 48 occasions, the department received patients with multiple injuries caused by explosions - and the hospital went on to treat more victims of the Troubles than any other hospital. Kate spent 16 years as the nurse in charge of casualty, working through many of the darkest days of the Troubles, including the bombings of McGurk's bar, the Abercorn and Donegall Street as well as Bloody Friday. Told with her trademark blend of warmth, compassion and humour, this is her fascinating, frank and no-nonsense story of nursing on the front line. If you enjoyed Call the Midwife, Yes Sister, No Sister or Matron on Call, this is the perfect book for you.
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About the Author

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.

Reviews

'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

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