The O'Meara Medical Tradition

Frank O'Meara was the son of Dr. Thomas J. O'Meara who in turn was the son of Barry O'Meara who is said to have studied surgery in London and who during his career had attended Napoleon Bonaparte. Dr. Thomas was born in Dublin in 1816. He was married to Sara Isbourne and they had seven children, two of whom Thomas P. and William H. entered the medical profession themselves.

Dr. O'Meara was a graduate of London University from which he was awarded a gold medal. He later went to Paris where he continued his medical studies. On their completion he returned home to Carlow. Some years later Cardinal Newman who had been appointed as rector to the (then projected) first Catholic University invited Dr. O'Meara to take up one of the medical professorships but he declined.

He opted instead to remain in Carlow. He became honorary professor of Animal Physiology and Zoology at Carlow College. He was also their Medical Officer. He was appointed Visiting Physician at Carlow District Lunatic Asylum. He served occasionally on the Carlow Bench being a J.P. and also from time to time attended The Carlow Board of Guardians.

Dr. O'Meara was regarded as being highly conscientious and skilled as a medical practitioner. He was a specialist in diseases of the liver and stomach. He was particularly kind and attentive to the poor.

His life was not without tragedy however as he was predeceased by his son Charles who died at the early age of sixteen years in the year 1861. His daughter Madeleine lived just to age of twenty four years and she died in 1873 and this sad death was closely followed by that of his wife Sara in 1874. His artist son Frank died young also from Malaria at the early age of thirty five.

Dr. Thomas died at his residence on Monday April 9th 1894 at the age of 78 years having been in good health and active for the duration of his career. His funeral Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow was attended by a large assembly of clergy and clerical students from Carlow College.

The ceremony was led by Re. Dr. Murphy PP.V.G. Kildare. And the attendance also included Very Rev. Patrick Foley President St. Carlow College. Dr. O'Meara was survived by his sons Dr. Thomas P. and Dr. William H. and by his son in law Henry Spring. He was interred in Bennekerry close to Carlow town.

previousPrevious - Frank O'Meara (1853-1888)
Next - Plein Air Paintingnext