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Northern Ireland
  1. V Patterson
  1. Retired Consultant Neurologist, Chairman, Synapse Teleneurology Ltd, Belfast, UK; vhp498{at}

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Northern Ireland is dead small

1.6 million souls in all.

Half of them round Belfast town,

The rest scattered up and down

In towns and townlands big and small

Some hardly any size at all.

We’ve Nobel winners very many,

Four for Peace and Seamus Heaney,

Who’s touched upon our Troubles past

In better verse than this alas.

And in his poems he describes

A complex seizure very mild.1

Better than in any book;

You really ought to take a look.

And so since we have just begun

You’ll see his picture, figure one.

Figure 1

The poet, Seamus Heaney, who was born in County Derry, Northern Ireland, and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. He regarded himself as Irish rather than British, once writing: "Be advised, my passport's green/No glass of ours was ever raised/To toast the Queen."

We now have twelve neurologists.

Or more? My maths is in a twist.

Our Health Department, in a daze,

Said we should all be Belfast-based,

Cover the province with a cloak

Or if you like by hub-and-spoke

A model which is tried and tested

And probably cannot be bested.

Before the ink was barely dry

On …

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