Charlestown Dispensary District, Minute Book 1852 - 1894

These accounts are taken from the Minute Book, which was once in the possession of my late father, Tony Henry, who gave the Book to a reporter with the Western People and never got it back. I took the report from the Western People, which was published in the 1940's.

The book opens with an account of the first meeting of the committee of management, on the ninth of March 1852. Present at the meeting were: Charles Strickland, Pat J Mulligan and Dillon Cassidy. The first named was chosen as Chairman, Frances R O'Grady as Vice-Chairman, Pat J Mulligan as Secretary and Dillon Cassidy as Assistant Secretary.

The meetings of the Committee were fixed for the first and third Saturdays in each month at 10am. Dr P C Phillips was appointed medical officer of the District at a salary fixed by the Board of Guardians, and he was directed to make out a list of all medical appliances and medicines that might be required.

The Dispensary

The house of Thomas Mulligan was ordered to be taken as a Dispensary at the yearly rent of Ten Pounds and Ten Shillings. At the following meeting on the 20th of March, there were present: Pat J Mulligan, Dillon Cassidy and Peter Costello. Mr Cassidy was Chairman.

The following list of members of the committee of management was inserted in the minutes: Joseph M McDonnell, Doocastle, Lord Viscount Dillon, Loughlynn House, Charles Strickland, Francis R O'Grady, Tavrane, Denis O'Connor, Mount Druid, John Knox, Castlereagh, Richard O'Grady, Carrowbeg, P J Mulligan, Lowpark, Dillon Cassidy, Thomas Phillips, Cloonmore and Peter Costello, Hagfield.

The relieving officer was Pat McDermott, Bushfield. The electoral divisions comprising the Dispensary District were: Sonnagh, Kilbeagh, Cloonmore and Doocastle.

Doctor's Salary

At the meeting on the 17th of April, the Poor Law Commissioners wrote expressing approval of the appointment of Dr Phillips, at a salary of fifty pounds per annum.

Dr Phillips was still Medical officer of the District in 1877. In August 1852, the Poor Law Commissioners wrote complaining of the irregularity of meetings of the Committee, and the reply given was that: Although they have often met, their meetings had not been minuted, while at the same time the Committee were strictly diligent in examining the register.

Thereafter, up to November 1858, the minutes of the monthly meetings of the Committee are concerned almost entirely with noting, that the medical register had been examined.

Cathal Henry ©