Dr. Dara with Dr. Maureen Bonar-Scally.
The epigram, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ comes to mind as family, friends and many former patients come together on Thursday, March 15 in St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, at 7.30p.m to remember the late Dr. Maureen Bonar-Scally.
A co-founder of Scally Medical Practice, Dr. Bonar-Scally passed away on March 15, 2016 at The Mater Private Hospital, Dublin.
For her family, Dr. Dara Scally, Mary, Sally, Rosie, and sons David, Tommy and Paul, it is a time of deep reflection and appreciation, but most of all pride as they remember, with great fondness, their beloved mother.
Dr.Bonar-Scally was also a loving grand-mother to Andrew and Cristian (Dara’s sons), Rebecca Mooney, Sia Brown, Sara Kavourmas, Cruz Scally. She also has two lovely great-grandchildren, Eli and Jonah Brown.
She is also survived by two brothers, Dr. Tony Bonar and Dr. Bosco Bonar who both live in Horn Head, Dunfanaghy.
Her second anniversary Mass will again rekindle deep affection for a revered, caring and professional doctor who left a lasting legacy.
“We miss her sorely from our lives and have treasured memories of mum and ‘Nana’,” Dr. Dara said.
The passing of Dr.Bonar-Scally was felt across the country. Anyone who had the privilege to make her acquaintance- whether in her role as a family G.P or as a confidante and friend - has their own personal, heart-warming story to tell.
Her innate kindness, compassion and empathy for her patients was matched only by her courteous, kind and professional demeanour.
The esteem and respect in which the family are held was reflected by the huge outpouring of sympathy from across the country and the large crowds that attended the wake and funeral.
“She was like a ‘mother to the whole of Letterkenny’ in so many different ways,” a close family friend said.
“She was such a lovely family G.P, but foremost a real friend to many people, particularly those in need, in this town for years. Letterkenny will never forget the Scally family for the help they have given to so many in our community,” he added.
A native of Gortahork, Dr. Bonar-Scally, along with her late husband Dr Paddy Scally, co-founded the Scally practice in the early 50’s Dr.Bonar-Scally was one of the first female doctors in Donegal (Dr Louise Kelly in Fahan was another) and were pioneers of their time.
Andrew and Christian with their grand-mother, Dr. Maureen
The Scally McDaid Medical Practice, as it is known today, was founded by Dr Paddy Scally, a native of Ballycastle when he came to the town in 1954.
Dr. Paddy Scally, started the practice in 1953-54 at Grattans House (opposite where Ruths Chemist now stands) on High Road and remained their until he moved to 1 Mount Southwell in 1957, which was the family home for almost six decades.
He married Dr Maureen Bonar from Gortahork and they forged one of the country’s busiest practice.
To deal with the increasing workload, Dr Bonar-Scally decided in 1979 to take on an extra doctor and Dr.James McDaid joined at this time. They were very compatible and Dr.McDaid became a full partner in 1981.
The workload continued to increase and the practice continued to develop. The practice opened at Castle Street in 1974 before moving to an 11,000 state-of -the-art surgery at Justice Walsh Road in November, 2009.
Dr.Paddy Scally died suddenly in 1987.
Dr. Dara Scally joined the practice in June 1993 and became a full partner in 1994. Dr Bonar-Scally retired at the end of 1996.
In 2008 it was agreed that a new premises was required to deal with the increasing numbers of patients. The first Primary Care Centre of a Private Public Partnership (P.P.P) in Ireland was opened in November 2009.
It was aptly named ‘Scally Place’ in recognition of the huge contribution the Scally family has made to medicine and the treatment of patients for over 60-years.
The rich legacy for professional and compassionate care, first shaped by Dr. Paddy Scally and Dr.Bonar-Scally, continues with Dr. Dara Scally, Dr.James McDaid and Dr. Ciaran Roarty and the practice staff at Scally House, Justice Walsh Road.
Dr Ciaran Roarty, a native of Manorcunningham, joined the practice in February, 2017 and works alongside Dr.Scally and Dr. McDaid, Nurses Noelle Ryan, Maria McFadden, Jane Corcoran-Godley, Bernie Moran, and Medical Secretaries Laura Galbraith, Erin McLaughlin, Susan Boyle, Emma Mills, Maria Duncan-Gallen and Rhonda Green.
It may be one of the busiest in the country but the practice will always bear the hallmarks of its founder.
As the saying goes “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.