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The Association may be contacted through its Secretary,

Peter F Durnin, KC*SG, KM, GCHS, "Rosaire", Moneymore, Drogheda, Co Louth. A92 RF6F



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Personal Details

About me

1913  -  2007. Medical Administrator, born in Dublin. Medical Comdt DF during Emergency, father-in-law of Roderick Maguire KSS. Belvedere Old Boy. Malachy enjoyed his school days at Belvedere College, which he entered in 1925. Among the highlights he referred to was a school trip to Rome, where the boys were given an audience with Pope Pius XI. He had happy recollections of his student days in UCD, but often emphasised how ‘hard-up’ the students of the time were. Amongst the extracurricular activities he engaged in (to raise badly needed funds) was being a part-time news broadcaster on Irish radio. Having qualified in 1938, he spent an intern year in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, an exceptional experience at that time and one which he valued greatly. He joined the Army Medical Corps during the ‘Emergency’ in 1940 and served as a Captain in the Curragh Camp, where he treated not only the sick of the Defence Forces, but also German, British and IRA prisoners who were interned there. He was required to lecture to Officer Cadets in the Military College on health matters and was amused that his talk on ‘Lice, Scabies and VD’ was received with particular attention by this audience. He retired from the army in 1947 with the rank of Commandant and Officer Commanding the 1st Field Ambulance to join the Department of Health, where he remained for the next 34 years. The aspects of his work in the Department of which he was most proud included the initiation of a National Training Scheme for the Ambulance Service, the development of the first Dublin Major Accident Plan, the chairing of a European Committee on Radioactive Waste Management Practices in Western Europe, and his involvement  as Chairman of the post-graduate training scheme for radiologists (for which he was later awarded an Honorary Fellowship and the Faculty of Radiologists’ highest award, the Desmond Riordan Gold Medal). Outside of his work, he found time to be a longstanding Secretary and then President of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Registrar and subsequently Governor of the Apothecaries Hall in Ireland (he is pictured wearing the gown of Governor). Admitted as a Knight of Malta in 1972.  Director of the Ambulance Corps 1975- 1982 of the Order of Malta. His role in the Order of Malta led to his co-ordination of the medical support services for the Pope’s visit to Dublin in 1979, a major logistical exercise for the estimated one million people who congregated in the Phoenix Park for the Papal Mass. Chancellor Order of Malta1988-1997. As well as these multiple activities, he maintained his interest in writing and the media. He was one of the first medical correspondents for The Irish Times, writing under the pseudonyms of ‘Aescelepius’ and ‘Senex’.  Died 16 June, 2007 and is buried, like so many other papal knights, in Deansgrange Cemetery.