This plaque commemorates both Dr Kathleen Lynn and her lifelong partner Madeleine ffrench-Mullen, 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.
A native of Mayo, Kathleen Lynn (1874-1955) was educated at the medical school in Cecelia Street, and became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1909. A nationalist and a suffragist, who worked in food kitchens during the 1913 Lockout, she joined the Irish Citizen Army, serving as its Medical Officer, and tending the wounded in the 1916 Rising.
Imprisoned after the Rising, and again in 1918, her release was secured by Lord Mayor Laurence O’Neill so that she could tend to the sick during the Spanish Flu epidemic. She set up a GP practice from her home at 9 Belgrove Road, Rathmines, where she lived until her death in 1955.
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.
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.