We remember Dr George Henry, former Master of the Rotunda Hospital, who passed away peacefully on Friday 30th July. We express our sympathies and condolences to his family.
Dr. George Henry was born in 1938. He attended St. Columba’s College, then on to Trinity College Dublin to study medicine. He initially came to work in the Rotunda as a medical student and then travelled to UK to further his studies. He returned to Ireland to take up a post as a Registrar in the Rotunda in 1965.
Dr Henry was elected Master of the Rotunda in 1981.
As Master he was responsible for the clinical care of women and their babies but his tenure was marked by great changes in the Irish economy and society.
During the impecunious 1980’s Dr Henry’s ability to control expenditure and generate funds enabled him to improve services for women. He sought to improve conditions in the labour ward, operating theatre, outpatient clinics and post-natal accomodation; his plan for these improvements was accepted by the Department of Health in 1985 and the works completed in 1993.
The vision of Dr Bartholomew Mosse, founder of the Rotunda, to develop the Pillar Room as a source of funds for the hospital was reinvigorated by Dr Henry. He led a fundraising drive for renovation of the Pillar Room as a new Conference and Teaching Centre and oversaw the opening of the new facility by the Minister for Health in 1985.
Dr Henry was keenly aware of social and societal issues and recognized the dearth of services in sexual violence. In 1985 with his support and encouragement the first dedicated Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in Ireland was opened in the Rotunda Hospital.
He was the last Master to live on site and retired in February 2003.
Dr Henry is fondly remembered by many staff in the Rotunda and was a legendary character who provided care and support to many Rotunda patients and staff from 1965 to 2003.
At the family’s request it is our intent to hold a memorial service in the Rotunda Chapel later in the year to honour and celebrate Dr Henry’s life.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam