As a profession, intellectual disability nursing has often come under scrutiny and been called intoquestion. Since its inception as an individual nursing profession in 1959 in Ireland, both educationand service provision philosophies have changed over time. These changes have been in responseto national and international reports and changing attitudes. The changes have led to the currentposition where intellectual disability nurse education in Ireland is a four-year undergraduatecourse. As the discipline of intellectual disability nursing is unique to Ireland and the United Kingdom, there is a responsibility on intellectual disability nurses to identify their unique identity andtheir responses to the demands of changing services. This article traces the development of intellectual disability nursing in Ireland and identifies implications for the future.