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Sunday 1 October 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Laura Kennedy Cllr Peter Kavanagh Mayor of South Dublin and Cllr Kieran Mahon present a framed letter to James Dunne at the unveiling of the plaque in memory of Dr. Noel Browne (former Minister for Health) and all those who fought for the eradication of tuberculosis.
# Memorial
South Dublin County Council honours former Health Minister Dr Noel Browne
Browne helped to rid Ireland of tuberculosis.

THE MAYOR OF South Dublin, Councillor Peter Kavanagh, today unveiled a commemorative stone dedicated to the memory of former Health Minister Dr. Noël Browne.

The memorial was unveiled outside Peamount Hospital in the capital and is also dedicated to the women and men who fought to eradicate tuberculosis in Ireland.

Kavanagh said it is fitting “that we mark this occasion as we emerge from a national health emergency that forced the country to come together for the greater good. It calls to mind the tremendous effort Dr. Browne and his colleagues made in eradicating tuberculosis”.

Also speaking at the event were Councillor Kieran Mahon, SOL/PBP, who proposed the motion to honour Dr. Browne; James Dunne, the local resident who first approached Councillor Mahon; and Dr. Browne’s daughter Ruth.

Kavanagh added: “It is also appropriate that this event should happen during Pride Month as Dr Browne was the first parliamentarian to call for the decriminalisation of homosexuality and was one of the few politicians to attend the opening of the Hirschfeld Centre in Dublin.

“In an era where being liberal was seen as dangerously radical, Noël Browne was a genuine progressive, and his legacy is a blueprint for Irish society to continue the work he started.”

Browne, who was born in Waterford in 1915, studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and worked on the treatment and eradication of TB before being elected to the Dáil in 1948 as a member of Clann na Poblachta.

He was appointed Health Minister in an inter-party Government led by Fine Gael Taoiseach John A Costello and resigned in April 1951 over the Mother & Child scheme.

The scheme, which was first drawn up in 1946, proposed free medical care for mothers and children up to the age of 16 without a means test. But it drew immediate opposition from the Catholic church and medical practitioners, who feared the scheme would reduce the number of private patients.

Browne died in 1997. 

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