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Wednesday 20 August 2014

Michael Macauley

Published 06/01/2013 | 05:00

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Retired GP whose devotion to his patients was appreciated by all

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Michael Macauley, who died late last year aged 71, was a retired general practitioner of Rathfarnham, Dublin. Michael was of the old school, a shrewd listener and observer whose advice and assistance was invaluable to generations of families. He was one of the few remaining doctors who never required patients to make appointments and he continued with open surgery hours until his retirement, 18 months before his death.

Born to school teachers Margaret and Joseph Macauley in Lettermacaward, Co Donegal, Michael Gerard Macauley seemed destined from an early age for a career in education. Michael was the second-youngest of 10 children and attended Derrykenny National School, where his mother taught. He completed his secondary learning at St Enda's College, Galway, where he was on a scholarship. He then trained at St Patrick's College in Drumcondra, Dublin, qualifying as a primary teacher aged just 19.

After working for a year at Shrove National School, Greencastle in Donegal, Michael spent some time in Wales and then embarked upon a new career in medicine, his true calling. Michael studied at University College Galway, qualifying in 1971.

It was in Galway that he met his late wife Rosaleen. They married in 1975 in Rosborough, Co Sligo, and had three children.

Michael worked at Nenagh Hospital, at St James's in Dublin and St Michael's in Dun Laoghaire before commencing work as a GP in Rathfarnham in 1976. During almost four decades as a family doctor, Michael made many great friends in the area and patients attended his surgery from all over Dublin and beyond. Michael was charitable by nature, always available to his patients and never said no to anyone. Those who knew him will never forget his countless acts of kindness and love.

Michael had a passionate interest in all sports, particularly horse racing and Gaelic games. He loved nothing more than watching the Gaelic football and hurling on a Sunday afternoon with one of his many friends. He was extremely proud to have seen his younger son, Michael Darragh, lift the Sam Maguire Cup with the All-Ireland-winning Dublin team in 2011 and for him to scoop an All-Star award the same year.

Michael was a religious man with a deep Catholic faith. He was a daily fixture at morning Mass in Ballyroan prior to falling ill, and after that, he continued to attend as often as his health permitted.

His dedication to his patients is summed up nicely by one of the offertory gifts at his funeral Mass, which was a present from one of his many appreciative patients. It's a plaque which holds pride of place in the Macauley kitchen and simply says: "To the best Doc in town, thanks for looking after us all!"

Michael was laid to rest in Kilmashogue Cemetery, reunited with his wife Rosaleen.

Dr Michael Macauley, who was born on May 13, 1941, is survived by his daughter Margaret, sons Joseph and Michael Darragh and granddaughter Rebecca. He died on November 30 in Dublin's Mater Hospital, where he had been awaiting a lung transplant for pulmonary fibrosis.

Sunday Independent

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