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Plans to demolish the birthplace of one of Malta’s favourite surgeons are underway
The historic Moynihan House has been standing since the 1860s.

Vanessa Conneely

It’s been a part of the skyline of St George’s Bay for more than 150 years, but now, plans to redevelop the area in which the historic Moynihan House stands have begun. 

Moynihan House 1

Laurence Zerafa via Id-Dar Maltija / Facebook

The two-storey building was the birthplace of Dr Berkeley GA Moynihan, who was born in Malta in 1865.

Who was Dr GA Moynihan?

Dr Moynihan

Dr Berkeley GA Moynihan / Wikimedia Commons

He moved to Leeds at the age of two and went on to become a major-general in the British Army during World War I, as well as an internationally acclaimed abdominal surgeon, who served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 1926 to 1932. 

He’s also the man who came up with the ingenious idea that doctors should wear rubber gloves while operating!

Campaigners have been working for years to have his first home saved, but plans for the building to be replaced by a five-storey development that includes more than 6,000 square metres of office space, a language school and a restaurant are underway. 

According to a MEPA survey conducted in 1992, the characteristics of an austere Victorian building rendered in Maltese stone makes the house a rare occurrence in Malta.

Moynihan House 2

Laurence Zerafa via Id-Dar Maltija/Facebook

In the past, the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage said the building was not worthy of saving, a statement that has angered many people. The argument was counteracted in a study carried out by Archaeology Services Limited, which said that the building deserves to be protected as a Grade 2 building, so it's safe to say that its demolition is somewhat controversial.

Memorial

Conrad Chircop via Id-Dar Maltija/Facebook

If it’s torn down, all that will remain of the birthplace of Dr Berkeley GA Moynihan will be a memorial plaque that’s currently attached to the house's facade. While the promise is to remount the plaque in the ‘immediate vicinity’ , the same can never be done for the house itself.

What do you think about the demolition of Moynihan House? Is all fair in the name of progress?


Vanessa Conneely
Written by
Vanessa Conneely
Vanessa is an Irish writer whose travel lust has led her to Malta. She loves running, reading and finding new restaurants, as well as trawling Malta for vintage furniture and home décor.

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