The Irish Congenital Heart Centre at Blackrock Clinic

Doctor chekcing patient heart

Providing a dedicated over-arching service to adults living with congenital heart disease in Ireland

The Irish Congenital Heart Centre provides a dedicated over-arching service to adults living with congenital heart disease in Ireland. Our dedicated team consists of a congenital heart medical doctor, a congenital heart interventionist, a congenital heart surgeon and a heart rhythm specialist.

Our areas of expertise include adult congenital heart disease, cardiac rhythm management, structural and congenital intervention, congenital cardiothoracic surgery, aortopathy and cardiac maternity. We always strive for excellence and believe in high quality, evidence guided, patient-focused care.

We work closely with our colleagues in Blackrock Clinic to provide the full range of services that a patient with congenital heart disease might need. These include medical follow up/surveillance, imaging (both echo and cardiac MRI), rhythm management, cardiac intervention and congenital heart surgery.

What is congenital heart disease?

Congenital heart disease is a problem with the heart’s structure that is present from birth. This may be a simple hole in the heart or a very complex structural defect that effects more than one part of the heart.

One in one hundred people is born with a structural abnormality of their heart. Most of these people now survive into adulthood. Adults with congenital heart disease need lifelong cardiology surveillance in order to improve their survival and quality of life.

Our Team

Meet the Consultants at the Irish Congenital Heart Clinic

Dr Jonathan Lyne

Heart Rhythm Disorders

Dr Jonathan Lyne

Dr Jonathan Lyne graduated with distinctions in Medicine and Surgery from Cambridge University in 1998. His specialist training and research in Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Cardiac Devices and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging was undertaken at the largest specialist Heart and Lung Hospitals in Europe. He has also visited a number of worldwide centres to train alongside colleagues.

In 2010 he was appointed as a locum Consultant Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust before transferring to the Mater Cardiology Group based in the Heart and Vascular Centre, Mater Private Hospital, Dublin in 2011. He has since moved to establish his private practice at the Blackrock Clinic, Hermitage Clinic, Bons Secours and Beacon Hospitals.

Dr Lyne is an internationally recognised specialist and expert in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to cardiac rhythm. He organises and teaches on courses in pacing and cardiac ablation both in Ireland and abroad. He has also chaired scientific sessions at a number of congresses and performed live practical cases, including the St James Live Meeting.

He has been a consultant and worked in an advisory capacity for a number of medical device companies. He is also a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS), a former member of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and a member of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA).

He uses the very latest diagnostic techniques, advanced mapping, including both contact and non-contact mapping and procedures including cardiac ablation (Radiofrequency and Cryo ablation). He is also fully trained in the insertion and management of cardiac devices, including ICD’s (defibrillators, both conventional and subcutaneous), pacemakers (both conventional and leadless), extraction, device optimisation and upgrades.

Dr Carla Canniffe

Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Aortopathy, Cardiac Maternity

Dr Carla Canniffe

Dr Carla Canniffe graduated from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland with an honour’s degree in 2004. She completed her Specialist Cardiology training in Ireland before going on to sub-specialise in Adult Congenital Heart Disease.

She spent time working in the largest adult congenital heart unit in Ireland, before gaining further expertise in international units such as The Royal Prince Alfred in Sydney. She completed a senior fellowship in the world’s largest congenital heart unit in St. Barts, London. There she developed her skills in cardiac maternity medicine and aortopathy. On completion of her fellowship she was recruited as a consultant in Grown Up Congenital Heart Unit, St Barts Cardiac Centre, London.

She has published research articles in peer reviewed journals in the field of adult congenital heart disease, aortic coarctation and hypertension as well as co-authoring book chapters in this field.

She is a keen educator and has undertaken university tutor posts in three of her recent positions. She has also been an invited lecturer at National Speciality Training days in Ireland and the UK.

She returned to Ireland in 2019 to establish the country’s first private dedicated adult congenital heart centre.

She is committed to providing high quality, compassionate care to her patients.

Current Memberships:

  • Irish Cardiac Society
  • Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
  • European Society of Cardiology

Prof Damien Kenny

Paediatric and Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Congenital and Structural Heart Intervention

Prof Damien Kenny

Dr Damien Kenny graduated with an honors degree from University College Dublin and following internship, spent a year working in Mongolia and Vietnam as medical director of a small Irish charity.

He trained in Congenital Cardiology in Bristol in the UK and spent two years researching his doctorate in pathophysiology of hypertension in coarctation of the aorta at the University of Bristol.

He completed his senior fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the Rush Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease in Chicago, USA and served there as Assistant Professor of Pediatric and Internal Medicine and Director of the Hybrid Catheterization Suite.

He is a Director of the PICS~AICS meeting, the largest international meeting dedicated solely to international therapies for children and adults with congenital heart disease. He also previously chaired the Adult Congenital Heart Association Biannual Meeting in 2014.

To date he has published 115 peer reviewed articles and co-authored 20 chapters in international textbooks. He has delivered more than 90 invited lectures internationally.

His research interests include development tissue engineered valves for patients with congenital heart disease and he is currently collaborating with the University of Bristol and Rush University Medical Center in the US, on development of a tissue engineered valve mounted on a bioresorbable scaffold.

He was awarded an Associate Professorship through the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in 2017.

Mr Lars Nölke

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Congenital heart Surgery, Heart Lung Transplant Surgery

Mr Lars Nölke

Mr. Nölke graduated from The Royal College of surgeons in Ireland in 1993 with an honour’s degree. He completed higher surgical training in cardiothoracic surgery in Ireland in 2003 and subsequently worked as a Visiting Ass. Prof UCSF Children’s Hospital in San Francisco 2003-2005.

He was appointed as Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and the Mater Misericordia Hospital in 2005. He is currently the Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and heart and lung transplantation at the Mater Misericordia University hospital and responsible for the (national) Irish Heart Valve Bank. He is also the Director of the Extra-Corporeal Life Support Programme in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

He is a keen educator and is the current Programme Director for Core Training in Cardiothoracic Training in the Republic of Ireland.

He performs 300-350 surgical cases per year covering the spectrum of paediatric and adult congenital and acquired cardiothoracic surgical disease.

He actively participates in surgical audits published and validated within NICOR https://web.nicor.org.uk and SCTS http://bluebook.scts.org

Current Memberships:

  • Irish Cardiac Society
  • Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain & Ireland
  • European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Society of Thoracic Surgery