This plaque commemorates both Madeleine ffrench-Mullen and her lifelong partner Dr Kathleen Lynn, who founded Teach Ultan (St Ultan’s Infants Hospital) at 37 Charlemont Street, Dublin 2.
Teach Ultan is now part of the Clayton Hotel, who kindly agreed to allow the plaque be erected.
Born in Malta in 1880, Madeleine Ffrench-Mullen grew up in Dundrum, County Dublin. Having lived abroad for a few years she returned to Dublin in 1913 and worked in soup kitchens during the Lockout. She joined the Irish Citizen Army where she met her lifelong companion, Kathleen Lynn.
After the Rising she was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol, alongside Countess Markievicz.
Responding to the appalling rate of infant mortality in the city, Madeleine Ffrench-Mullen and Dr Lynn established St Ultan’s Infant Hospital at 37 Charlemont Street in April 1919. Ireland’s first paediatric hospital, it operated until 1984. Madelaine Ffrench-Mullen served as its secretary until her death in 1944.
You can read more about Dr Kathleen Lynn in her entry in the Dictionary of Irish Biography.
For more information on St Ultan’s Infant Hospital, see Maeve Casserly’s article in History on Your Doorstep, volume 2, published by Dublin City Council.
The plaque was proposed by the 1916 Relatives Association, and it was unveiled by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, on 19th June, 2022.