Plaque to head of influential Mackesy family unveiled in Waterford

Former president of Royal College of Surgeons also fought at the Battle of Waterloo

At the unveiling of a plaque in Lady Lane, Waterford, in honour of Thomas Mackesy are Des Griffin of Waterford Civic Trust; Edward McBride, great-great-great-grandson of Mackesy; and Prof John Hyland, president of the Royal College of Surgeons. Photograph: Patrick Browne

At the unveiling of a plaque in Lady Lane, Waterford, in honour of Thomas Mackesy are Des Griffin of Waterford Civic Trust; Edward McBride, great-great-great-grandson of Mackesy; and Prof John Hyland, president of the Royal College of Surgeons. Photograph: Patrick Browne

 

The Waterford Civic Trust has paid tribute to a medical and political dynasty active in the city during the 1800s by erecting a plaque commemorating the celebrated family.

Thomas Mackesy was born in 1790 and fought at the Battle of Waterloo before becoming the first president of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland from outside Dublin.

He learned from his father while working as an apothecary on The Mall.

“The Mackesys served the city both in terms of providing medical services and in political life,” said historian Dr Eugene Broderick of Waterford Civic Trust.

Thomas’s son, Joseph, had a part in alleviating some of the problems facing the city, in particular the poisonous water supply.

Joseph followed in his father’s footsteps in medicine and as a member of Waterford Corporation.

The mantle was picked up by two of Joseph’s sons, who continued the family tradition in politics and medicine.

“This plaque is a reminder of a family that contributed enormously to the city in terms of medicine and in in terms of improving the quality of life for people in Waterford,” Dr Broderick said.

William Lewis Mackesy served as a surgeon in the Leper Hospital, and his brother George Ivie worked in the hospital as well as completing a term as mayor in 1879-80.