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Grangegorman Lives: Dr Noel Browne

16 March 2022

The next instalment in our Grangegorman Lives series is Dr Noel Browne (1915-1997) physician and politician remembered for his role as Minister for Health in the eradication of TB and his controversial proposal of the ‘Mother and Baby Scheme’. 

Dr Browne’s tenure as Minister for Health (1948-1951) saw him become a national figure, particularly in his energetic application of available funding to tackle the scourge of TB in Ireland but also his proposal of what became known as the ‘Mother and Child Scheme’. Modelled on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the scheme proposed the provision of free medical care to all mothers and children. Medical, religious and, eventually, political opposition to the scheme concluded with his resignation. However, Browne continued to remain influential in Irish politics and a voice for urgent social change until the early 1980s. He worked for a brief time at St Brendan’s Hospital, Grangegorman in the 1960s.

Read more about the life and work of Dr Noel Browne

Grangegorman Lives is a series of biographies of people whose lives influenced or were influenced by Grangegorman. The biographies are all sourced from Ireland’s Dictionary of Irish Biography: Ireland’s national biographical dictionary. Devised, researched, written and edited under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy, its online edition is freely available at 

Image credit: © Robert Ballagh, IVARO Dublin, 2022

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