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Limerick Health Inquiry Reveals Concerns About Milk Supply |

Limerick Health Inquiry Reveals Concerns About Milk Supply

In an ongoing inquiry at the Town Hall in Limerick, Ireland, officials are delving into the intricacies of the city’s milk supply, particularly in relation to public health. The investigation, which commenced today, is expected to run until Friday, with a focus on ensuring the safety and adequacy of the milk available to the citizens of Limerick.

Present at the inquiry were notable figures such as Dr P. J. O’Neill, J.P., Chairman of the County Council, Dublin; Lady Everard; Miss Maunsell; Mr Dermot O’Brien; Mr John R. Campbell; Mr Alec Wilson; and Dr G. E. Moorhead. Dr S. McGrath, Superintendent of the M.O.H. in Limerick, provided significant insights into the state of the milk supply in the region.

Dr McGrathemphasized the importance of both internal and external monitoring of the milk supply. The Corporation, he noted, employs a milk inspector and a veterinary inspector to ensure compliance with dairy regulations. He expressed concerns about the lack of authority for Medical Officers to intervene outside their districts, recounting a past incident where an outbreak of typhoid fever was traced back to a supplier outside his jurisdiction.

Highlighting a significant event in 1905, Dr McGrath pointed out that an epidemic of typhoid fever was directly linked to the milk supply. He urged the need for additional powers to conduct thorough investigations, including the application of Widal tests, to identify the causes of outbreaks.

The scarcity of milk, especially in winter, emerged as a prominent issue. Dr McGrathacknowledged that while milk was available, it often remained inaccessible to poorer families. He suggested potential legislative measures to address the scarcity, possibly involving grants to ensure a more equitable distribution of milk, particularly for children.

Tuberculosis prevalence in Limerick was another pressing concern discussed during the inquiry. Dr McGrath linked the disease mainly to contaminated milk and food, stressing the need for awareness and preventive measures. He presented alarming statistics, indicating 1,387 deaths from tubercular disease in the city over the past eleven years.

The Women’s National Health Association received commendation for its efforts in providing pure milk to the community, with reduced rates facilitated by philanthropic contributions. However, Dr McGrath underscored the need for sustained initiatives, proposing potential public funds to support the provision of nutritious substitutes for milk to children.

In response to suggestions about licensing for milk sales, Dr McGrath expressed cautious support, emphasizing the importance of effective enforcement. The possibility of Municipal Dairy Farms was also discussed, with the need for a comprehensive analysis of existing conditions in Limerick.

As the inquiry continues, it is becoming evident that the issues surrounding Limerick’s milk supply extend beyond mere accessibility, touching on broader public health implications. The testimonies and discussions highlight the necessity for robust regulatory measures and a concerted effort to ensure the well-being of the community, particularly in the face of health challenges linked to the milk supply.

Freeman’s Journal – Tuesday 23 April 1912

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