McCafferty quells website discussion by detailing ‘rudeness’ at hospital

WRITER and broadcaster Nell McCafferty does not want to be depicted as curmudgeonly in recent dealings with medical staff at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

She ate the face off a doctor, she apologised, she ate the face off him again when he declined the apology and she thought that was the end of the affair.

But the matter has been the focal point of much to-ing and fro-ing in forum discussions on

In response to the lively forum debate, in the wake of press reports about Nell’s spat with a neurosurgeon, the 65-year-old campaigner for civil rights, gay and feminist issues posted the following: “I was indeed rude to the senior house officer who took my questions about my condition – he was unable to say if the condition was actually life threatening. I ate his face off.

“Half an hour later, I rang him back and said I was sorry for eating his face off, that I was out of order, and had embarrassed myself. He said there was no need to apologise, that a patient with an aneurysm who had had a mini stroke and had been unsuccessfully seeking information was bound to be tense.

“I then ate his face off for not accepting my apology. And then we laughed about his difficulty understanding my accent. I told Pidgeon (surgeon Chris Pidgeon) all this in my written response to him about his allegations of bullying. Pidgeon replied that the matter was closed and he had no intention of responding.”

Ms McCafferty said “of course” she was brusque and nervous in her dealings with staff at the hospital having been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm in May.

“But I wouldn’t like you to adopt a tabloid approach along the lines – ‘Nell admits she was rude’ or ‘Nell’s apology for being rude’ because of what I said on the website,” she said.

Replying to Nell’s forum entry, another account holder wrote: “I do not think that the people in the hospital know you, I have met you on several occasions and I noticed that even if you were saying something nice, the impression was that you were being rude. It’s that droll and magnificent use of words that you possess.”

Nell is due to undergo surgery later this month.


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