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History of Bon Secours Health System

The commitment of the Sisters of Bon Secours is the foundation on which we were built.

Bon Secours means “good help” in French.

Just after the French Revolution, when France was in a state of upheaval and devastation and all that was institutional was being rejected, twelve young women living in Paris became aware of the great need to care for the sick and dying in their own homes.  Unlike other carers, they remained in the home both day and night, demonstrating God’s healing presence by their compassionate care.


The group chose Josephine Potel as their leader and in 1824 the Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours was founded in Paris.


In 1861 the Sisters arrived in Ireland where they continued the mission of caring for the sick and dying in their own homes.  As the service grew and healthcare began to change in Ireland, the Sisters opened a number of hospitals in succeeding decades as follows:-


1915 Cork

1921 Tralee

1944 Tuam

1951 Dublin

1999 Galway


The sisters established the Bon Secours Health System Ltd in Ireland to co-ordinate the management of the hospitals under one limited company.  The Health System has grown substantially over the past decade and continues its strategy of expanding existing capacity and pursuing opportunities for extending its services into new regions.


Today the Sisters minister in France, Great Britain, Africa, South American and Northern America, where there are 18 acute hospitals and other care facilities operated by their Health System (BSHSI)


In Ireland the Bon Secours Health System continues to support community initiatives in each of the regions where it operates through financial support and voluntary assistance.  Our mission continues to focus on care for the sick and dying together with developing strong allegiances with the communities in which we operate.

More information is available - History of the Bon Secours at our International site.

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