AN OBITUARY NOTICE from The Dublin Journal, August 15, 1807 reads: ‘Died on Tuesday night at Merchants’ Quay, Limerick, in the 85th[sic]yr. of his age, Sylvester O’Halloran, Esq., M.R.I. A. and Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. A gentleman of great eminence, not only as an author in his professional line, but in politics and history, Dr O’Halloran’s fame has spread itself all over the continent in consequence of the celebrity of his surgical works, and his name has been mentioned by the professions with the highest respect. At home he was a most cheerful and pleasing companion, and will be long held in remembrance by those who enjoyed his society and intimacy.’
The great surgeon, who pioneered the techniques universally used in the removal of cataracts from the eye until the recent development of laser surgery, is also credited with inspiring the foundation of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He was a nephew of the poet Sean Clarach Mac Donaill, best remembered for his Jacobite verse, who supervised his education until his departure for the surgical schools of Leyden, Pans and London.
The appended poem in his honour is by Tomas Ó Míocháin, a Clareman who seems to have been the inspiration behind a flourishing school of poetry based in Ennis in the latter half of the eighteenth century.