The real heroes of public health in Ireland in the 19th century were the dispensary doctors. Vastly overworked, poorly paid they waged a campaign against ignorance and indifference. The local papers are full of their concerns about dung heaps contaminating water, poor public health.

1822, Dr William Folliott, Clonakilty, County Cork, to Chief Secretary’s Office, Dublin Castle, making case for increase of vaccination against small pox in District Edward Hunt, Kinsale, 1822, observes that many Magistrates are uneducated men ‘who in many instances are Tythe Proctors and in most instances are as Middlemen the cruelest and most unrelenting oppressors of the unfortunate tenantry under them’

1832. Cholera Outbreak. Response Parish Boards of Health, West Cork.

1832 Cholera in Bantry, 1838 Address of Subscribers to John Symms Bird, on Retiring as Treasurer of Bantry Dispensary.

1871 Western Tenantry Entertained by Lord Bandon on coming of age of Lord Bernard, at Durrus Court (Gearhameen). Dinner provided by James Philips of Durrus and Mrs. Fitzgerald, Cork. 1871, Meeting Courthouse, Durrus, Patrick’s Day re Alarming Spread of Smallpox

Doctor Barry, 1800, on ‘Shinach’ (Small Pox) and practice in Cork of inoculation with Cow Pox 50 years before Dr Jenner’s vaccination and late 18th century inoculations by Mr. Goodwin, Bantry, West Cork.

Pococke visit to Bantry 1758, smallpox, leprosy A Bandon doctor, John Milner Barry had noted in 1800 that exposure to cowpox gave immunity to smallpox; this was known in West Cork as ‘shinach’ from ‘sine’ the Irish word for teat.

1st Report From His Majesty’s Commission For Inquiring Into the Condition of The Poorer Classes in Ireland, From 1835, Begging, Impotence Through Old Age, Sick Poor, Able Bodies Out of work, Vagrancy, Evidence taken at Ballydehob, West Cork, from Rev. James Barry, Parish priest, Rev. John Barry, Curate, Rev. John Triphook, Protestant Minister, John Brooks, Farmer, £1 rent, Alexander English Churchwarden, James Levis, farmer, Rent £33, Cornelius Mahony, Labourer, Patrick Mahony, Farmer, £10, James Mahony, John Murphy, Daniel Sullivan all labourers and Quarrymen, Thomas Swanton, James Swanton, Merchant, Sweetnam, Dispensary Surgeon, Richard Salter Farmer, Farmer Rent £14. Begging starts St. Patrick’s Day, Destitution of Bandon Weavers, Maimed Children, Absentee Landlords Take £6,000 a Year From Parish Subscribe £3 to Dispensary, Sick lie on Knotted Ferns.

Famine Diary of Doctor O’Donovan, Dispensary Doctor, Skibbereen, West Cork, Bodies Buried Coffinless in the Dead of Night in Dunmanus Weighed Down By Stones, to Prevent Starving Dogs From Getting At The Bodies, The Funeral Cry No Longer heard.