Lives of the fellows

Brian Mullally

b.28 February 1920 d.9 February 2009
MB BCh BAO Belfast(1945) MRCP(1949) MD(1950) FRCP(1972) MRCPI(1979) FRCPI(1979)

Brian Mullally was a consultant physician at Mater Hospital, Belfast. He was born in Belfast, the youngest of three brothers. His father, Joseph Mullally, was a superintendent in the Post Office in Belfast. His mother was Kathleen née McGee, a native of Dunfanaghy, County Donegal. He was a pupil at St Malachy’s College, Belfast, and graduated in medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1945. In 1941 he experienced the tragedy of losing his elder brother, Danny, who was just 26, following a pulmonary embolism. Danny had gained his MD and MRCP in London the year before his death. After a year as house physician at the Mater Hospital, Belfast, Brian followed in the footsteps of his brother to further his postgraduate training in London. He worked in the Connaught Hospital in 1946 and in the General Hospital Barnet from 1947 until 1949, and during this time pursued his studies by attending courses at the National Heart and the Hammersmith hospitals. He obtained his membership of the RCP in 1949 and his MD in the following year.

Brian was appointed as a consultant physician at the Mater Hospital, Belfast, and as a clinical lecturer and examiner to Queen’s University Belfast in 1950. He took a keen interest in clinical teaching and delighted in following the careers and achievements of his many undergraduate and postgraduate students. He was a founder member of the Corrigan Club, which brought together physicians from north and south of the Irish border, and was also vice-president of the Ulster Medical Society. Throughout his career he enthusiastically maintained his knowledge of medical advances and regularly attended the RCP’s educational events. He oversaw the development of cardiac services at the Mater, establishing the coronary care unit and non-invasive cardiac investigations.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he enjoyed family holidays in Ballycastle, County Antrim, where he could relax and enjoy the beauty of the Antrim coast. He introduced his sons to trout fishing and golf, and encouraged his children to travel and to learn modern languages. In his retirement he returned frequently to London as a visitor and later enjoyed travelling, with trips to New York and Boston, Rome, Paris and Munich. He was a keen walker and enjoyed watching sport of any kind. In his later years, he followed the travails of the Irish rugby team and would have been thrilled with their 2009 Six Nations victory, which came shortly after his death.

Brian was survived by his wife Maura, four sons, one of whom is a consultant in restorative dentistry in Belfast, and two daughters. One grandson qualified in medicine in Liverpool in 2010. He was predeceased by his daughter, Claire, who died before her third birthday.

Mark Gormley

(Volume XII, page web)

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