We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our colleague and friend Dr. Michael Hyland.
Dr. Hyland obtained postgraduate specialty training in geriatrics, under the guidance of the late Prof Gordon Mills, in the Central Middlesex Hospital, London. He was appointed as a consultant geriatrician in Ireland, to St. Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork in 1969.
Following his return to Ireland he set about pioneering the development of our specialty, recognizing early the importance of ensuring simultaneous interdisciplinary expertise (nursing and the therapies) to provide optimum care for older persons – in both hospital and community settings. These are now key components of service delivery in all areas of medicine in Ireland.
Dr. Hyland established the acute Geriatric Medicine unit in Cork University Hospital when it opened in 1978. He was a member of the Interdepartmental Working Group that produced the seminal “The Years Ahead” Report in 1988 - the recommendations of which are equally relevant today. Thus were the foundations laid and they continue to inform current thinking in the delivery of care for older people in our country.
Though he retired in 1998, he left behind a thriving department in Cork, and continued to lead by example by being actively involved in both teaching and clinical research, with a Lancet publication in 2002 demonstrating that older people at risk of vascular disease benefitted from treatment with statins. He continued as the chairperson of the research ethics committee of the UCC affiliated teaching hospitals for many years. He also continued to act as an advisor, mentor, and friend to many during his retirement.
On your behalf I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Hyland for his remarkable contribution to the care and development of services for older people in Ireland. We were privileged to have had Dr. Hyland as our President from 1994-1998. Among his many honours, he was awarded the IGS Presidential Medal in 2012.
On behalf of the National Executive Committee and members of the Irish Gerontological Society, I extend our sincerest condolences and sympathy to his wife, Rosaleen, daughters Rachel and Lucy, son Peter and his wider family. He will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues in the gerontological and wider communities.
Ní bheidh a leithéad arís ann.
Diarmuid O Shea, President
February 9th, 2018