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On 2 November the Institute of Population Health, located in the new purpose-fitted building at Tallaght Cross, held its first event - the dedication of one of its seminar rooms in memory of Dr Ellard Eppel and his wife, Beth (nee Abrahamson). Sons Michael and Alan, both School of Medicine graduates living in the US and Canada respectively, and daughters Melanie, also based in Canada, and Shireen, from Dublin, (pictured) welcomed a gathering of family and friends, including members of the Dublin Jewish Community and representatives of the Irish College of General Practitioners. Tom O’Dowd, Emeritus Professor of General Practice, and Dr Richard Brennan, President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, spoke warmly about Ellard and Beth and son Michael added to the reflections. It was an evening of memories of an extraordinary couple who were genuinely beloved members of the community.

Ellard Eppel was born in May 1923 in Dublin where he obtained his primary and secondary education. He attended Trinity College Medical School graduating in 1949 and then trained in the Richmond and Rotunda Hospitals. He particularly enjoyed Midwifery (Midder) carrying out home deliveries in the surrounding district, which was the practice at the time. Later, it was not unusual for him to attend the birth of a baby whose mother he had also delivered.

He married Beth Abrahamson in 1947. She was his confidante, advisor and love of his life for their entire 55 year marriage. They had four children.

After initially setting up practice in Walkinstown, an area then developing near Dublin, he moved the surgery to Kimmage where he was to practice as a GP for the next 50 years. He served as Vice Chairman of the Irish Red Cross, and was President of the Dublin Jewish Board of Guardians, the Terenure Hebrew Congregation and the Dublin Jewish Students Union and was a member of the Irish Council of Christians and Jews and Medical Council. He was elected to the Council of the Irish Medical Association and was instrumental in helping to amalgamate that organisation with the Irish Medical Union to form the Irish Medical Organisation of which he later was a trustee. In 1991 he became President of the Irish College of General Practitioners, which he considered the highest accolade that a General Practitioner could receive. He was keenly aware of the relationship between societal ills and health and encouraged the College to undertake research projects amongst the population.

The spirit and ethos of care for individual patients and for the community at large, which Ellard and Beth demonstrated throughout their lives, will be an inspiration for the Institute of Population Health and the School of Medicine.