Dr. Michael Hayes R.I.P.

First President and Founder of Navan Rotary Club 1980-1981

The President and members of the Rotary Club of Navan were deeply saddened by the death on June 16th 2006 of Dr. Michael Hayes, aged in his 80s, late of ‘Lisheen’, Kells Road, Navan, Co. Meath, founder member and first President of Navan Rotary Club, and extend our deepest sympathy to his children and family. Dr.Michael was predeceased by his beloved wife Bridget (Bid) just three weeks earlier; deceased is survived by his children, James, Mary and Breda; daughter-in-law, Geraldine; son-in-law, John; grandchildren, sisters-in-law, Jeannie and Joan, and other relatives.

Dr. Michael was a quite remarkable man with a wide range of interests and accomplishments devoted his life to the medical care of patients in Navan and the Meath area and made a major contribution to the community life of the town. He was born in Dublin, his father Patrick Hayes was a pharmacist there and his mother was Mary Hogan from Tipperary, he went on to study medicine in U.C.D. and qualified in 1947. After which he worked for a while in St. Kevin’s hospital in Dublin now known as St. James’s hospital and in 1948 he went to work in his cousin James Hayes practice while his father was unwell. After that he went to work in the Meath/Westmeath area for a year, carrying out the BCG vaccination programme.

He married Bid in 1954 and they lived and worked in Oldcastle for a year. He moved to Navan in 1955, and established his medical practice at his home at Trim Road. In 1963, he was appointed Meath County medical officer, a position he held until 1993 when he joined the General Medical Services Board. He took over Dr Dorgan’s surgery at Bedford Place, Navan, in the 1960s, and was joined by his cousin, Dr James Hayes in 1969. For some years, he acted as anaesthetist at Our Lady’s Hospital in the town.

The late Dr Hayes was held in high regard by his patients and the wider community. During his many years in the town, he contributed enormously to its community life. In 1979 Michael was approached by the Drogheda Rotary Club and asked to consider setting up the Navan Rotary Club. He subsequently became the founding President and the instigator in the formation of the Rotary Club of Navan in 1980. He gathered around him men from all walks of life, which became the founder members of the club. They met regularly and travelled to the Drogheda club in order to learn the rules and regulations of Rotary. He had an extremely successful year and one of the many highlights of that year was the performance of a gala concert, which featured among the artists the famous Joe Lynch. The proceeds of the concert were quite considerable and were donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was a highly respected President and by his example, showed to his successors, how a Rotary Club meeting should be conducted. Dr. Michael was awarded the ‘Paul Harris’ medal in May 1987 for his contribution to Rotary. He was also heavily involved with the horse racing fraternity, and acted as medical officer at the Proudstown Park racecourse.

He was also a member of a group of doctors who were active within the racing industry at courses throughout the country.

For more than 30 years, the late Dr Hayes acted as chief medical officer for the Meath Pilgrimage to Lourdes, stepping down from that role in 1993 but continuing to act as assistant doctor

There was also a strong association with the Order of Malta organisation and he acted as its medical officer from the 1960s

From 1969 to 2003 he was medical officer at the County Infirmary in Navan where he earned the respect and affection of patients and staff who admired his prodigious work ethic and dedication to his profession.

Dr Hayes was a member of Royal Tara Golf Club, and also a member of the Knights of St Columbanus.

His funeral took place from St Mary’s Church, Navan, to St Mary’s Cemetery.

Story by: Rowe


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