Charlestown Dispensary District, Minute Book 1852 - 1894 (4)

Committee Meeting

At a committee meeting on the 28th of March 1884, the members present were: J W Mulligan, in the Chair, Michael Moffitt, John M Henry, James C Brady, and P A Mulligan, when it was resolved to recommend new sewers to be made from Carbury Egan's to John Duffy's and from John Brennan's to Thomas Regan's, also both sides of Chapel St. The L G Board wrote that: their medical inspector having admonished Dr Stritch, they were not prepared to require his resignation. The Chairman reported in November 1884: that he had taken over possession from the clerk of works of the Dispensary buildings.

About this time there was a change in the constitution of the committee, for we find that at a meeting of the 15th of May 1885, Mr Joseph M D'Arcy was re-appointed Chairman, Mr J W Mulligan became Vice-Chairman, Mr J C Brady was appointed Secretary and Mr Michael Fitzgerald, Assistant Secretary.

Kilbeagh Burial Ground

£20 was voted to James King at a meeting on the 29th of May 1885, as compensation for his interest in the plot of ground which it was proposed to add to the Kilbeagh Burial Ground.

The Board of Guardians were requested to have the additional plot of ground properly walled in and the old boundary walls repaired. The committee also recommended that a wall and gate be placed in front of the Dispensary buildings according to Mr Hogan's plan.

Was another tiff the explanation for the following entry on the 29th of May? "The committee have sent to the Medical officer to produce his books, and have received a reply that his books cannot be produced". A minute calling on the Doctor for an explanation was also made.

The Doctor refused to pay any portion of the expenses of building a boundary wall around the Dispensary Residence, and it was resolved not to build one. It was urged that the Board of Guardians should carry out a water supply for Charlestown in accordance with the plans of Mr Lynam CE.

Dispensary House

The Dispensary Residence, then as now, often caused trouble. Dr Stritch, it would appear, complained to the LG Board of the state of the new building and the delay in completing it. The committee repudiated responsibility, stating that the Doctor refused to assist the committee in any way in the matter, and asked that the Guardians have the boundary wall and entrance to the buildings completed, so that the LG Board could insist on Dr Stritch taking possession within two months from the 3rd of October 1885.

A special meeting was called arising out of a letter from Canon Loftus regarding fever in the Parish. Dr Stritch objected to remaining until the Canon's letter was read, and an urgent appeal was sent to the LG Department, to send medical assistance at once. At a meeting of the 26th of February 1886, a minute was made, that the charges made against Dr Stritch, he refusing to attend, copies of the charges be sent to the Guardians.

All was not as harmonious as it might be in Charlestown, for on the 30th of April 1886, we read a minute setting forth that: Letter receive from LG Board referring to meeting of committee, which Mr P A Mulligan wrote about, we respectfully request the LG Board not to take any further notice of letters regarding the committee from him. On the 18th of June 1887, Mr James Fitzgerald was elected Chairman, Mr Moffitt Vice-Chairman, Mr J C Brady Secretary, and Mr John M Henry Assistant Secretary, in May 1888 they were re-elected.

Omadawns and Cods

On the 29th of June 1888, trouble arose, one gathers, from the minute: Proposed by J W Mulligan and seconded by the Chairman, that owing to Dr Stritch refusing to leave the room, the meeting be adjourned to the Courthouse, also owing to Dr Stritch making use of the observations "Omadawns and Cods", to the members of the committee. At the adjourned meeting in the Courthouse, a resolution was passed urging the LG Board to grant an enquiry into the matter at once, and see if we as members of the committee are to be insulted and disrespectfully treated in this manner by a paid official.

Another resolution was also passed: owing to Dr Stritch refusing to take dispensary tickets and not attending to the poor on three previous dispensary days, we call for an enquiry on the whole matter, and we respectfully ask the LG Board to send down a Doctor to take charge of the sick and the poor of the district until such enquiry be gone into. Matters came to a head a month later, when the committee met and read a letter from the L G B ordering the committee to meet, for the purpose of calling on Dr Stritch to resign his position a Medical officer.

The minute of the last meeting continued: Dr Stritch, having heard the above letter read, and being asked by the Chairman to give a reply, refused to resign. At a meeting of the 30th of July 1888, the committee accepted his resignation. Dr McDermott of Ballaghadereen was appointed locum tenens.

On the 31st of August 1888, Dr M A Brennan was appointed by a majority. The other applicants being: Dr James Gunning and Dr Stritch. Dr Brennan got four votes: The Chairman and Messrs. P A Mulligan, J M D'Arcy, and James Fitzgerald; For Dr Gunning: Messrs Thomas Moffitt, J W Mulligan and M Moffitt.

On the 25th of April 1890, Mr Mark C Henry is first mentioned as a member of the committee. He became secretary of the committee on the 24th of April 1891, by a majority vote, but he appears to have relinquished the job, for in May 1892, Mr Michael Moffitt was appointed, Mr Martin D'Arcy became Chairman and Mr P A Mulligan, Vice-Chairman. The rent of the Dispensary house was to be £25 a year, free of rates. On the 28th of April 1893, Mr M C Henry was elected Chairman and Hon-Secretary.

In April 1894, Mr J W Mulligan became Chairman and Mr Michael Moffitt, Vice-Chairman and Mr M C Henry, Hon-Secretary.

The minutes for the succeeding years up to 1898 were concerned largely with granting leave of absence to Dr Brennan. Then came the Local Government Act and the end of the minutes, the last entry in them being the signature of M C Henry as Hon-Secretary. M C Henry died in 1952 aged ninety eight years of age.

Cathal Henry 2004 ©