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Appointment of Ms Tara Connelly

Appointment of Ms Tara Connelly

March 5, 2024

All CHI locations


MONDAY MARCH 4, 2024 ¦

UL Hospitals Group, in a partnership with Children’s Health Ireland (CHI), is pleased to announce the first appointment of a general surgeon with a specialist interest in paediatrics to the Midwest. Ms Tara Connelly's appointment will greatly enhance the provision of specialist surgical care of children in this region.

Based at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) with clinics and endoscopy lists in Ennis Hospital, Ms Connelly focuses on general surgery and performs elective and emergency adult surgeries. Ms Connelly’s elective paediatric work is based in UHL and will focus on inguinal, umbilical and epigastric hernias, endoscopy (oesphagoduodenoscopy and colonoscopy), palpable undescended testes, circumcisions for medical reasons, excision of skin lesions and other general surgical conditions of childhood.

Ms Connelly said:

“I am very excited to return to Limerick and take up this unique role that combines my adult and paediatric surgical practices. This role is a first for both the Midwest and the country. It offers parents the opportunity to receive quality surgical care for their children right here in the region.” She furthers “A close partnership between the departments of surgery in UHL and CHI has been established with my appointment and will continue to grow. I have received a very warm welcome from the paediatricians here at UHL and look forward to working closely with them.

Prof J Calvin Coffey, Head of Surgery, UL Hospitals Group, described Ms Connelly’s appointment as heralding a “new era” for the Midwest region.

Said Professor Coffey:

“This represents the start of a new era, in which children will be able to receive specialist general surgical care locally, right here in the Midwest, and in partnership with Children’s Health Ireland.” He added: “The appointment addresses the acknowledged long-standing deficit in general surgical paediatric healthcare outside of Dublin. Ms Connelly’s appointment will greatly enhance the ability to care for children with surgical conditions both in the emergency and in the planned setting, in the Mid-Western Region.

Ms Connelly said that as a parent based in the Midwest herself, she can appreciate both the convenience and peace of mind that having a locally available surgeon with paediatric training will bring to Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.

“The paediatric surgical population is unique. As clinicians, we need to be mindful of all of the organisation that the day of a child’s operation requires from families. This includes taking time off from work for the parent, missing school for the patient and arranging childcare for the other children in the family. Offering paediatric procedures here at UHL will help ease these burdens for parents and eliminate the need for trips to Dublin with the time and extra expense involved in many cases

she said.

Ms Connelly completed her surgical training in UHL in 2021, completed a colorectal surgery fellowship with an IBD focus in Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, USA in 2022 and paediatric general surgery in King’s College Hospital, London in 2023, before her recent return to the Midwest to take up full time appointment with UL Hospitals Group. Her special interest is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including the surgical treatment of the complications of Crohn’s disease and J-pouch surgery for re-establishing intestinal function after the removal of the large bowel for ulcerative colitis.

Ms Connelly holds a PhD in the surgical genetics of IBD from NUIG with research performed at Pennsylvania State University and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA, USA, a masters in Surgical Sciences from the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and diploma in Paediatrics from the Royal College of Physicians. She graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2009.

Her research profile, which focuses on surgical genetics, biobanking and inflammatory bowel disease, encompasses more than 130 publications including seven book chapters on colorectal surgery. With involvement in multiple international surgical collaborations, Ms Connelly is looking forward to working in her new role at UHL in partnership with Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin and Temple Street.

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