Lives of the fellows

Morgan Patrick Feely

b.17 May 1945 d.8 February 2011
MB BCh BAO Dublin(1969) MRCPI(1975) MD(1977) FRCPI(1985) FRCP(1994)

Morgan Patrick Feely was a senior lecturer in clinical pharmacology and honorary consultant physician at Leeds General Infirmary. Born in Limerick, he was the son of Michael, a medical practitioner, and his wife, Mary Colette. His was a medical family and one of his brothers also qualified as a physician in Ireland.

Educated at St Munchin’s College in Limerick, he studied medicine at University College, Dublin (the National University of Ireland) and at the Mater Hospital. Qualifying in 1969, he completed his pre-registration year at Limerick Regional Hospital before becoming a demonstrator in pharmacology at University College, Cork, thus determining his future career. In 1971 he returned to hospital medicine and did house jobs at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. He then moved back to Cork, three years later, as registrar in neurology at St Finbarr’s Hospital where he stayed until 1977.

In order to extend his expertise, he then took up a fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of Miami in Florida and spent a year, 1977-8, acting as an investigator in clinical trials and studying the pharmokinetics of new drugs. On his return, he did some locum work in the UK before being appointed (in 1979) a lecturer in pharmacology at the University of Leeds and senior registrar at the Leeds General Infirmary. In 1984 he was made senior lecturer with honorary consultant status. He took early retirement in 2006, but retained a part-time association with the school of medicine, as a senior lecturer.

His enthusiasm for pharmacology dated from the early years of his career. He was particularly interested in the drug treatment for epilepsy and the clinical pharmacology of anticonvulsant drugs. He published a number of important papers on this topic in collaboration with his colleague at Cork, Noel Callaghan. His MD thesis included work on the treatment of patients with epilepsy using a single drug. One of his colleagues described him as being ‘fluent in the language of both the clinician and pharmacologist’.

During his time at Leeds he continued his research into epilepsy and branched out into other areas such as pharmacokinetics and therapeutic drug monitoring. Famous for coming up with novel but practical ideas, he did important new work on the assessment of patient compliance with prescribed drug therapy. He took part in a great deal of teaching both at graduate and undergraduate level. Popular with his students, he was an excellent tutor, very approachable and gifted with the ability to incorporate humorous asides in his lectures. Among his colleagues he was well-liked and respected.

Outside medicine, he loved golf, fishing and sailing (he once crossed the Atlantic under sail) and appreciated fine wines and antiques. He also enjoyed reading history, especially Irish history, but his greatest passion was horse racing. He was interested in all aspects, riding, breeding and attending the races, especially the annual Cheltenham Festival. He knew his subject and several of the horses he co-owned were successful.

In 1976 he married Mary née O’Sullivan, who was also medically qualified, and they had two sons, Morgan and Donal, and a daughter, Kate. When he died, his wife and children survived him.

RCP editor

[University of Leeds obituaries 2011 - accessed on 12 December 2012]

(Volume XII, page web)

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