The long aftermath
in Stacking the coffins
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What long term repercussions did the flu have in the private, public and medical spheres? How did it influence changes in public health management? What influence did it have on the coming revolution? This influenza pandemic was the last great crisis to face the Local Government Board and a disjointed medical system which had received harsh criticism from its servants over the previous fifty years.

Although no direct mention was made of the influenza epidemic, Ireland’s most recent acute health crisis and the most traumatic since the cholera epidemic associated with the Great Famine, in the report of the Irish Public Health Council (1920), many of the council’s findings were germane to the problems mentioned earlier in this work which were highlighted by the pressure the influenza crisis placed on the medical institutions and systems. But yet again, health care reform was shelved, as the change in governance intervened.

This chapter suggests that the biggest impact the influenza made was not on politics, medicine, Government structures or public health administration, but on the people, and that these memories informed and guided domestic medicine in the ensuing years.

Stacking the coffins

Influenza, war and revolution in Ireland, 1918–19


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