Declan J MeagherBMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m360 (Published 30 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m360
- Muiris X Fitzgerald,
- John F Murphy
Declan J Meagher was a most influential figure in Irish obstetrics and gynaecology during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, making huge contributions to maternal and infant welfare.
He was born in Ferbane, County Offaly, where his father, William Meagher, was the local doctor. This was a time of great turbulence in Ireland between the war of independence and the civil war. Declan was educated initially by the local Christian Brothers and subsequently the Jesuits in Clongowes Wood College in County Kildare. He studied at University College Dublin and graduated with distinction in 1944. He decided on a career in obstetrics and gynaecology and trained initially at the National Maternity Hospital and then at the Hammersmith Hospital in London. By this time he had married Emer McMullin. Later, he was to wryly recall their impecunious postwar London days, living in very spartan, cramped accommodation; meat was a rare treat.
On his return to Dublin, now with a young family, he was appointed to the staff of the National Maternity Hospital, the hospital to which he was to devote his life’s work. In 1965 he joined the consultant staff …