Charlestown Dispensary District, Minute Book 1852 - 1894 (3)

Dr Phillips and Dr Stritch

In August 1880 the committee met and present were: D D'Arcy, Chairman, Michael Moffitt and James C Brady. They had before them a letter from Capt Spait, the L G Inspector, calling on the committee to consider the advisability of asking Dr Phillips to resign, as he is now a very old gentleman and a long time in the service. Entered into the minute book: Dr Phillips has sent in his resignation and the committee are of the opinion that Dr Phillips is entitled to the highest possible pension after his long service of twenty and a half years. Secretary to advertise for a Medical Officer to take charge of the Dispensary from the first of October 1880.

The committee met on the 31st of August 1880 and declared they were of the opinion that the salary for a Medical officer should be £120 a year, besides all other usual fees. The committee were also of the opinion that the Medical officer should reside in or about Charlestown.

On the 1st of October 1880, the committee had before them applications for the position from the following: Dr Michael Hillary, Dr George A Stritch and Dr Hubert Flanagan. Dr Stritch was appointed by a majority.

Dr Phillips to get £2 a week while acting for Dr Stritch. Dr Stritch took up duty and in December 1880, laid before the committee a red ticket,which he was of the opinion that the recipient was not entitled to ??, as he had several head of cattle.The ticket was cancelled. The committee considered the question of building a Dispensary house for the Doctor, as there was no suitable residence in Charlestown. Consideration was adjourned.

No meeting was held until March 1881, when the committee expressed surprise to see an advertisement in the local papers for a site for a residence for Dr Stritch. Dr Stritch has a very good residence at present and now requests that the L G Board reconsider the matter and not involve the District with expense. On the 24th of May 1881, Dr Stritch applied for leave until the 28th of May having arranged with Dr O'Grady to do duty in his absence. The leave was granted.

In August 1881, the committee expressed the opinion, that a Dispensary house should be built but not to exceed £900, the Doctor to pay three per cent of the outlay. There was apparently some friction, for on the 24th of June 1882, the L G Board wrote regarding a complaint made by Dr Stritch in the matter of a charge made by John W Mulligan at the previous meeting, and the committee expressed the opinion that the matter be allowed to drop.

In September 1882, the committee considered that a new cemetery was required to meet the wants of the locality. In October the committee decided that "considering that fever has existed in Charlestown for some time past, owing to the imperfect sanitary arrangements, the Board of Guardians should have an estimate of the cost of a scheme, a loan to be obtained, repayable in fifty years. In the same month the committee accepted a proposal of Peter Doherty, to give an Irish acre of his land for a graveyard in Lowpark for £30.

Regarding the charge against Dr Stritch by Mr P J Durkan, says a minute of July 1883, we are of the opinion that there should be a sworn investigation. Friction appeared to be growing, for in April 1884, the committee considered that a sworn investigation should be held into charges brought by John McDermott against Dr Stritch.

In July of the same year the committee had before them the Inspector's report of the investigation of a negligence charge against Dr Stritch and considered Dr Stritch's attention most objectionable, more especially on account of the poverty of the patients and now ask Dr Stritch to resign.

Cathal Henry 2004 ©