The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation celebrates its centenary today (Thursday), marking 100 years since its first meeting.
The first event to mark its hundredth year will take place in Dublin’s Mansion House – the site of the organisation’s first public meeting a hundred years ago, at a reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
The INMO began life as the Irish Nurses Union in 1919, primarily to improve pay and set professional standards. It was said to be the world’s first trade union for hospital nurses and was initially a branch of the Irish Women Workers’ Union.
In the 1930s, it became the Irish Nurses Organisation (INO), affiliating with the International Council of Nurses. In 1990, it affiliated with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
In 2010, it changed its name to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, to reflect the increasing professional and legal distinctions between nurses and midwives.
The INMO now has over 40,000 members throughout Ireland. It provides national representation for its members and their professions, professional training, and trade union services – both nationally and in individual workplaces.
The union’s national offices are based in the former Whitworth Hospital (founded 1816) in Smithfield, Dublin 7.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said:
“The INMO is proudly entering its hundredth year. As professions, we have gone from strength to strength since 1919. Nurses and midwives have consistently been to the fore of modernising our health service, while providing lifechanging and lifesaving care to patients. We are honouring and marking the many thousands who have given their time and energies to grow our professions, stand up for their colleagues and build our collective strength in the union.”
INMO President Martina Harkin-Kelly said:
“Midwives and nurses are rightly celebrating our contribution to this country over the past century. This centenary year is, in particular, an opportunity to thank and recognise the contribution of all those who have volunteered to represent their colleagues at work, and support the union through sections, branches and the Executive.”