Sir Dominic Corrigan (b. 1802, in Thomas Street, Dublin d. there, 1880) was a physician, known for his original observations in heart disease. The abnormal “collapsing” pulse of aortic valve insufficiency is named Corrigan’s pulse after him.
Birth and Education:
The son of a poor shopkeeper, his early education was obtained at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, which then had a department for secular students apart from the ecclesiastical seminary. He was attracted to the study of medicine by the physician in attendance. After several years of medical study in Dublin he followed the prevailing custom of the time and went to Edinburgh where he received his degree as M.D. in 1825.
After his return to Dublin he was appointed physician to the Jervis Street Hospital, which had only six medical beds. During the next four years he studied certain forms of heart disease to such good purpose that he recast the teaching of diseases of the aortic valves. His article on “Permanent Patency of the Aortic Valves” appeared in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal for April, 1832. In 1842, the London Royal College of Surgeons conferred on him its diploma. In 1849, he received from the University of Dublin the honorary degree of M.D. He was known as a very hard-working physician, especially during the Irish Potato Famine.
He was created a baronet partly as a reward for his services as Commissioner of Education many years. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament for Dublin for five years after 1869, before being replaced by Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun. Corrigan had supported the Sunday Closing Bill, and it is suggested by some that this had antagonized alcohol companies. He was President of the Royal Zoological Society of Dublin, the Dublin Pathological Society, and the Dublin Pharmaceutical Society, and unprecedentedly was five times elected President of the College of Physicians in Dublin, there is a statue of him in the Great Hall, Royal College of Physicians by John Henry Foley. Armand Trousseau, the French clinician, proposed that aortic heart disease should be called Corrigan’s disease. He was a member of the Board of Glasnevin Cemetery.
He died on the 1st of February 1880 and is buried in the Crypt of St. Andrews Church on Westland Row.