A sad farewell to Mr Maurice Neligan

Mr Maurice Neligan

Mr Maurice Neligan

Mr Maurice Neligan, well known and well respected Heart Surgeon will be sadly missed.

He died recently at the age of 73 and the tributes have been flooding in.

He performed Ireland’s first ever Heart Transplant in 1985.

He worked primarily between the Mater and Crumlin Hospitals and was involved in the setting up of Blackrock Clinic in the mid 80′s

It was there that I was fortunate to work alongside Mr Neligan during my time as a Nurse in Blackrock Clinic where he was hugely respected by colleagues and patients alike.

In a recent interview with irishhealth.com, Mr Neligan recalled the events surrounding Ireland’s first heart transplant at the Mater Hospital.

“We really did it off our own bat. We did not get any help from the Department of Health or anything like that. In fact, not long after we did the first transplants, the Mater stopped the programme during the cutbacks in the late 1980s.

“We got around that by doing transplants in the recently-opened Blackrock Clinic. Then we sent the message out through the media that the only way you could have a heart transplant in Ireland was if you were a private patient. The then Minister, Rory O’Hanlon, didn’t fancy that and rang the Mater and said put the programme back. Rory was a reasonable guy so it got back on track.

“But of course, this has been the recurring story of our lives in the Irish health service. Constant rationing of resources. And I think it’s getting worse.”

Michael O’Shea, Chief Executive of the Irish Heart Foundation, said the Foundation deeply regretted the passing of leading heart surgeon and patient campaigner Maurice Neligan.

“Mr Neligan pioneered the development of cardiac surgery in Ireland and his contribution was outstanding. He will be remembered with great affection and admiration by all for whom he cared.”

He will be greatly missed and we would like to extend our condolences to his Wife, Pat and their 7 children

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