Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Old Soldier with Leprosy who caused a great deal of Alarm...

Dublin, Freemans Journal: 10 May 1890: Yesterday evening at seven o'clock John Murphy, an old soldier, who was afflicted with leprosy and whose presence in Dublin caused a great deal of alarm just about a year ago, died in the Hardwicke Hospital, North Brunswick Street. The existence of such a case in the city was first brought before the public early in May last year by a report published by Sir Charles Cameron to the Public Health Committee and subsequently in all the Dublin newspapers.
The death a short time before of Fr. Damien, the heroic priest of Molokai, had the result of drawing everyone's attention to the case, or "alleged case" as it was then called in Dublin and for a considerable time there was a strong feeling that the poor man should be removed to some establishment specially devoted to leprosy. The poor man it may be said, was born in Dublin on the 24th of June 1832, so that at the time of his death he was 58 years of age. He was in religion a Catholic and he received his early training in the Hibernian Militatry School, Phoenix Park. In 1845, he joined the 73rd Highlanders and he served with his regiment in South America, South Africa (against the Kaffirs) in India and in China. In 1872, he left the army and in 1875 he was admitted as a pensioner to the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, where he remained till 1887.
Taken from "The Sunday Tribune" Dublin, May 10th. 2009
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