CHARLEMONT CANAL BRIDGE AREA BUT SOME KNOW THE BRIDGE AS RANELAGH BRIDGE
Back in 2015 Dublin City Council was to decide if they should rename the Charlemont Canal Bridge in honour of the suffragette and activist Dr Kathleen Lynn.
Kathleen Florence Lynn (28 January 1874 – 14 September 1955) was an Irish Sinn Féin politician, activist and medical doctor. She was born in Killala, Co Mayo, the daughter of a Church of Ireland rector.
Lynn was so greatly affected by the poverty and disease among the poor in the west of Ireland that, at 16, she decided to be a doctor. She was educated in England and Germany, before enrolling in the Royal University of Ireland, a forerunner to the UCD School of Medicine. Following her graduation in 1899, Lynn went to the United States, where she worked for ten years, before returning to Ireland to become the first female doctor at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (1910–1916). In 1919, she founded Saint Ultan’s Children’s Hospital.
Lynn died in 1955 and was buried with full military honours in recognition of her role in the Rising and the War of Independence. She was so well known that crowds in Dublin lined the streets to show their respects.
After Lynn’s death, Éamon de Valera set up the Kathleen Lynn Memorial Committee, which lasted for eight straight years and resulted in the opening of a surgical unit at St. Ultan’s Hospital in 1964, which eventually shut in 1975 due to funding difficulties.
Four diaries recorded by Lynn between 1916 and 1955 were transcribed over two years by librarian Margaret Connolly. The detailed diaries chronicle her medical, political and social life and are held at the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland archive. They provided source material for the 2010 documentary entitled ‘Kathleen Lynn – An Dochtúir Reabhlóideach’ by Loop Line Film and director Sé Merry Doyle.
Historian Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh wrote her biography, Kathleen Lynn, Irishwoman, Patriot, Doctor (Irish Academic Press, 2006).