Who We Are

Registered Charity Number.  20079529
Chy (Revenue) Number. CHY20091
Companies Registration Office Number. 41035

The Rotunda Foundation is the official fundraising arm for the Rotunda Hospital. We raise funds to support the outstanding care delivered at the  Hospital. Donations fund additional vital equipment, family and baby care initiatives and research.

Established in 1745 by Bartholomew Mosse, The Rotunda Hospital is the World’s first Maternity Training Hospital.  A ballroom ‘rotunda’, function rooms and pleasure gardens, were built on site to fund the maternity care of Dublin’s poorest women.

Now 275 years later, with ~8,000 babies born per annum the Rotunda Hospital remains the Maternity Hospital of Choice.  Through the Rotunda Foundation the charitable arm of the Hospital, donations to the charity provide funding for vital equipment, research and infrastructure that makes exceptional maternity care possible.

Our History

Bartholomew Mosse’s altruistic concern for the welfare of expectant mothers on the streets of Dublin in 1739 -1740 lead him to become one of Irelands first philanthropist.

Gathering generous patrons and benefactors from Dublin’s society he raised enough funds to open the First Maternity Training Hospital in the World on the 15th March 1745.

Continuing his fundraising ventures in 1750 he purchased a plot of land and built Dublins Pleasure Gardens on the current site of the Rotunda Hospital. It was opened to visitors who after paying a fee to enter could take a walk, listen to concerts at the band stand, play tennis or bowls on the lawn, or take afternoon tea.

He organised concerts by eminent contemporary European musicians and recitals by prominent writers and popular public figures, to raise funds for the construction of his proposed new Maternity Hospital, which finally opened on 8th December, 1757.

After his death at the age of only 47, Dr. Mosse’s successors developed a variety of entertainment complexes on the site. The ‘Round Room’ or ‘Rotunda’ opened as a fundraising venue in 1767 and it proved so successful that an enlarged entertainment complex including the ‘Supper Room’ and the ‘Pillar Room’ was opened in 1787. The Rotunda Foundation is still raising funds through the hire of the ‘Pillar Room’ for conferences and events today.

Our Charity

In 1967, approval was given by the Master, Dr. Edwin Lillie and the Hospital’s Board of Governors, to establish an official fundraising arm of the Rotunda Hospital. The Rotunda Foundation (formerly know as Friends of the Rotunda) was then formed and incorporated as a Limited Company by Guarantee, without having a share capital, on the 23rd March 1973.

The Charity is regulated by a Memorandum & Articles of Association under the Companies Act of 1963 and is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors to oversee the affairs of the Association and its Membership.


All funds raised by the Rotunda Foundation go directly to the front line support of the Rotunda Foundations Initiatives.  The Foundation Staff are paid from earnings received from the Pillar Room and The Hospital Shop as detailed in our published annual audited accounts.

Our Values

We believe that access to quality maternity and newborn service is a right and makes a vital contribution to the well-being of both individuals and communities.

The values that guide us are;

  • Sustainability
  • Professionalism
  • Transparency
  • Efficiency

We encourage;

  • Philanthropy
  • Innovation
  • Compassion
  • Hard Work


The Rotunda Foundation is governed by an elected Board of Members. Official Positions are appointed from within the Council’s Membership and its Directors assume the offices of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer on a voluntary basis.

The Rotunda Foundation endorses the Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charity Sector in Ireland. In compliance with the Charities Regulator, we promote a high standard in governance practice to achieve better outcomes for all its stakeholders.

Our Objectives

To support the Rotunda Hospital providing a sustainable funding base to continuously improve patient care for mothers, babies, families and the community through the Five Pillars of Support

  1. Additional and vital life saving equipment
  2. Care, developing special patient programs
  3. Vital Research into aspects of Maternal and Child Health
  4. Functional Training & Educational support of the Midwifery Training College
  5. Facilities, improved amenities for patients, their families and hospital staff

1: Vital Equipment

Your donation will provided vital equipment to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and other major hospital departments.

Right now we need

  • A mobile digital x-ray machine to give immediate results right at the babies bedside
  • Incuwarmers/Incubators to provide optimal thermo-regulation for very little babies.
  • A Sensor medics 3100A Ventilator to support the lungs during critical care.
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Bilmeters to screen for jaundice
  • Infusion pumps
  • Colposcopy couches
  • A slave Laparoscopic Monitor fo Theatre
  • A Training Mannequin for obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery
  • A Portable echocardiograph

Our current needs exceed €1 Million and the cost of this equipment ranges from €1500 to €300,000

2: Functional Care, developing special patient programs

The hospital focuses directly on functional care the direct care of mothers and baby’s. However, the ability of a hospital to be a place of respite and hope – one that accommodates all members of a family and supports them requires a facilitated approach.

The Foundation supports this facilitated approach by supporting special initiatives, building non-functional and distinctive elements into the hospital improving the experience in every circumstances for mothers, their babies and families.

The Initiatives, Special Patient Programs and Specialist Departments we support are;

‘Tentacles for Tinies’

‘Bead’s of Courage’

‘Aidan & Donnacha’s Wings’

Bereavement Support Unit

Rotunda Families In Crisis

Sexual Assault Treatment Unit

For further information on these initiatives see our Special Funds Page.

3: Research and Innovation

The Rotunda Foundation continues to support research and innovation projects extending the international recognition of the hospital and improving the wellbeing of all mothers and babies, through funding equipment, consumables and research fellowships.

The Rotunda Hospital is constantly adapting new ideas and techniques to improve outcomes for women and their babies. Research and Innovation advances the body of knowledge of care and how outcomes can continue to be improved. This activity is an essential component of scientifically understanding how medicine impacts us all and to identify new and improved treatment options for mothers and babies.

At the Irish Healthcare Awards 2018 the Rotunda Research team brought back two awards;

‘Research Team of the Year’.

Supported by the Rotunda Foundation and Temple Street Foundation.

‘General Hospital & Patient Education / Lifestyle Project’

for SATU’ The Implementation of option 3.

A further two additional Rotunda led projects were shortlisted, including the NICU 2016 Special Patient Program ‘The Beads of Courage’ also supported by the Rotunda Foundation.

In 2016 The Rotunda was the first hospital or medical centre to be recognised outside the United States by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Singled out for its innovative, “Thrombocalc” programme, an automated system for reducing thromboembolism, one of the biggest causes of maternal mortality worldwide developed by the Research and Innovation team at The Rotunda.

The Foundation seeks further support to continue this vital research and innovation.

4: Training and Education

Since our founding in 1745 the Rotunda has continuously trained Midwives and continues to do so today.  The challenge with excellent teaching hospitals is how to extend the care achieved there to others in more remote locations. In medicine, as in all other fields, the ability to use technology to extend care beyond traditional geographical boundaries is a critical factor.

The Rotunda recognises this commitment to the nation and therefore seeks to achieve support for local hospitals outside of Dublin by building support networks that can help mothers and babies irrespective of locations.  Given the ability of the hospital to provide a broad spectrum of care and training the challenge remains to extend this capability to other hospitals around Ireland and elsewhere, extending the reach.

Training and Education improves students, community midwives and the hospital staff team’s ability to recognise and manage a deterioration patient and respond to obstetric emergencies that is vital to patients care.

5: Facilities, improved amenities for patients, their families and hospital staff

The Rotunda Hospital has continuously supported patients and their families in our historic hospital building for over 273 years, it is the centre of what we do.

Helping improve infrastructure for family the Foundation has previously facilitated the provision of a new Parent’s Room in the NICU department, and the upgrade of the Mortuary Chapel.  We now seek to further improve the infrastructures for patients and their families and need your help.

Under the HSE maternity the new hospital should be a state-of-the art facility that answers the values of the Rotunda but also offers a new and broader experience to mothers and their babies, welcoming their families, sharing experiences worldwide and creating new thinking in the empowerment and development of mothers.

However with the new hospital yet to be built and the potential of moving many, many years away we urgently need to support the facility of the hospital and preservation of the unique historical building.

The Rotunda has great stories to tell but these stories need new walls and floors.