Re: Re: 1871: “architects of Ireland are not sufficiently united

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Paul Clerkin

The Irish Builder has, it appears, a grievance against Irish medical officers of health in general, and those of Dublin in particular; and a special marked copy of our contemporary having been forwarded to us, we are, we presume, expected to reply or submit to judgment against us by default. We plead incapacity to answer, because having read the statement of the case by the Builder, we fail completely to comprehend its meaning. The Builder does our profession the distinguished honour of acknowledging that medical officers of health, when they are men of long experience, are a very useful class of public officials, but thinks “it will never be tolerated that medical men are to become directors-in-chief in all sanitary matters, including building construction, and that architects and engineers are to act as their clerks of works.”

The Builder also requires to know “how many doctors know the constituents of good mortar, and what are the properties of sand and lime comprising it.” From these quotations we derive the conception that our contemporary is jealous of the doctors. We hasten to reassure it. Irish medical officers of health have not the remotest ambition to undertake a larger field of duty than they have—being almost unpaid for that—and they gladly leave to the composition of bricks, mortar, and plaster— except sticking-plaster—to architects and engineers. In the absence of any circumstance which justifies the Builder’s complaint, it seems to us an unmeaning grumble.

1878 – Medical Press& Circular, April 24

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