Dorothy Stopford Price
Dorothy Stopford Price was born into an Anglo-Irish ascendancy family. Her maternal grandfather, Evory Kennedy, was Master of the Rotunda from 1833–40. Dorothy followed in his footsteps, studying medicine.
During her first year in Trinity College, Dorothy was invited to spend the Easter holidays as the guest of Sir Matthew Nathan in the Undersecretary’s Lodge in the Phoenix Park. This was to be no ordinary Easter holiday – it was 1916 and she was inside the house of the man ‘at the wheel’ of the British administration. A couple of years later, she became a committed nationalist and a member of Cumann na mBan. She also found time to ‘go on the district’ with the Rotunda as part of her medical training. In 1920, she informed Sir Matthew that she ‘could be seen at any moment of the day or night emerging into the district carrying a small bag’.
Dorothy Stopford Price became a paediatrician with a particular expertise in tuberculosis. Together with Dr Robert Collis, a Rotunda paediatrician, she was a founder member of the Irish Paediatric Club which with its ‘pitifully small but indomitable membership’ was, in the opinion of Dr John Mowbray, responsible for the paediatrician being ‘recognised as the equal of the consultant physician, surgeon and obstetrician.’ Dorothy championed the use of the tuberculin test for more accurate diagnosis and the use of the BCG vaccine for prevention of tuberculosis. She was the first person to use the vaccine in Ireland.