Midwife Mary Anne Fanning
Garristown County Dublin
Midwife Mary Anne Fanning (nee Halligan) 1880-1964
Mary Anne was born in Skerries in 1880. She became a midwife in 1898 and recieved her first post in Caherdaniel County Kerry. She got her next post in 1900 in Garristown County Dublin which was nearer her home. She met Patrick Fanning who was eleven years her senior and married him in 1901 just before her marriage she had to write a letter to the Chairmen of the Board to ask permission to retain her position as a midwife from the Garristown Dispensary as she will be living in the same area. Thankfully she was allowed retain her position. A copy of this letter is in our gallery.
She then went onto having eight children of her own all the while still working as a midwife and farming. After her last son was born in 1916. She was one of the first to render medical aid to the volunteers during the Thomas Ashe raid in Ashbourne during 1916 rising this is also stated in her obituary.
Like many midwives during this period Mary Anne rode her bicycle to attend her patients. After some years she got a car and it did land her in trouble for moving farm labourers around as petrol was rationed during this time and she had her priviledges revoked. However after some months they reinstated her petrol allowance and that letter can be seen below in the gallery.
Mary Anne’s family still have her midwifery bag and all her items in it as well as all her certificates documents and memorabilia. Mary Anne is now going to be highlighted as part of a project with her families permission between Irish Community Archive Network, The Heritage Council and The National Museum of Ireland.
Launch date for this project will be October 2024