TRIBUTES have been paid to an ‘amazing’ family doctor who was ‘a breath of fresh air’ and always put his patients first.
Dr Eddie McHugh, 54, formerly of Bradley’s Medical Practice in Buckley, died suddenly on October 5 in Donegal, Ireland.
The father of two, who was born and educated in Scotland, lived in Carrigart, Donegal and was working as a GP at Falcarragh Medical Centre in Donegal when he died.
Dr Phil White, North Wales Medical Committee secretary said Dr McHugh had been highly respected and admired by all who knew him.
“He always put his patients first,” he said. “He’ll be sadly missed by patients both in Flintshire and Ireland.
“I knew him for over 25 years, since he first moved to North Wales from Glasgow where he was born,” Dr White said.
After working in Wales, his friend had decided to move to Ireland near his grandparents.
“He wanted to return to his roots, to his ancestral home,” he said. “He loved Ireland and moving there was something he was always considering.
“He’d often visited. He used to walk there and took thousands of photographs of the countryside.”
Dr White said his friend had also been a caring father to his two daughters Amelia and Helena and remained a good friend to his former wife Judith.
Former patient Karen Ellis-Cosstick from Buckley said she had been ‘absolutely devastated’ when she learned her former GP had died.
“He was an amazing doctor,” she said, “one of the old school. He went above and beyond. If his patients were in hospital or ill at home, he’d stop in and visit them after he’d finished at the surgery.
“When my mum was in Walton, he rang up every day to see how she was. He just did an enormous amount.”
Flintshire councillor for Buckley Bistre West Neville Phillips described Dr McHugh, who had been his own GP, as “a very good doctor who was appreciated by all his patients”.
“Everyone who came across him will say he was always prepared to help,” he said.
“He was very popular. He was a no-nonsense man who you could go to to speak to,” he said.
“When we were growing up, it could be hard to speak to doctors. You looked up to them and it was ‘Yes sir, No sir.
“Eddie was a breath of fresh air. He had a conversation with you. With Eddie you could say things, people felt comfortable with him.”
Dr McHugh resigned from his Buckley post in 2006.
Cllr Phillips said those who had known him would be sad to hear of his death but would be glad to know he had been practising in his beloved Ireland before he died.
Dr White confirmed Dr McHugh had died of a heart attack.
An obituary in the Herald Scotland newspaper, where Dr McHugh had family, paid tribute to him as “the beloved son of Theresa and the late Owen, dearly loved dad of Amelia and Helena, much loved brother of Owen Christopher, Lawrence and Catherine, former husband of Judith and dear partner of Cathy”.
A funeral service took place in Brinlack, Donegal.