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Successive generations of the Sisters of Mercy have managed and staffed Mercy University Hospital Cork since 1857 and provided healthcare to the sick and poor of Cork and the surrounding areas.

In 2002 the legal structure of the hospital was changed with the formation of a company limited by guarantee with seven Sisters as the members of the company and the appointment of a competency based Board of Governors to set the strategy and to oversee the management of the hospital. 

In 2016, following widespread consultation, the Sisters decided that their wish to sustain the Mercy values in as relevant a way as possible into the future, and to facilitate good governance and responsible succession planning, would require further change in governance structures. The Sisters would continue to be involved but the new structure would have a predominance of lay members. 

Accordingly, Mercy Care South was formed in September 2016 to essentially take on the role of the Sisters of Mercy as the Members of Mercy University Hospital Cork CLG and the Mercy Hospital Cork Foundation CLG.

 This structure facilitates the continuation of the tremendous work done since 1857 by Mercy University Hospital in making its facilities and dedicated staff available to the people of Cork and surrounding areas through the delivery of quality healthcare services to all, irrespective of means, colour, creed, or orientation.