The Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland was founded in 1876 by Dr Robert Lafayette Swan. The original hospital was located at 11 Usher’s Island on Dublin’s Quays and specialised in orthopaedic surgery, in particular the treatment of children with congenital orthopaedic abnormalities such as club foot and dislocated hips. In 1883, due to increasing demands on the service, the hospital moved to two buildings in Great Brunswick Street formally known as Hoods’ Hotel and the hospital's capacity increased from 6 beds to 35 paediatric beds.
In 1902, the hospital moved again to a house at 22 Upper Merrion Street, at the time considered to be one of the largest private mansions in Dublin and formerly occupied by Captain Sheddon. Considerable renovations were necessary to enable the building to function as a hospital with operating theatre, sterilising room, anaesthetic room and up-to-date medical and non-medical facilities. Once renovated the hospital could accommodate up to 75 paediatric inpatients.
The hospital moved to its present location in Castle Avenue, Clontarf on 9th June 1941 where the bed complement rose to 120 beds. In 1972 the hospital changed from paediatric orthopaedics to adult orthopaedic rehabilitation with 104 beds. In the early 1990's plans were put in place to move the wards from the main house to a state of the art hospital facility. The new hospital building was completed in 2009.