Father’s Day: Irish Son Begins Hunt For Dad’s History In Cross River

In Breaking News, International News, National News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Late Dr. Robert Costello
Late Dr. Robert Costello

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Father’s Day, the son of a late Irish missionary doctor who worked in Cross River State between 1949 – 1958 has began the hunt for his father’s track record in the state as part of a compendium for the father’s 25th year anniversary memorial.

Len Costello, son of Dr. Robert Costello, who was better known as Bob, in his online research into the work that his father did with leprosy patients in Cross River state contacted the facebook group “Cross River Watch” hoping someone will be of help.

According to him, “I am researching my father’s career as a medical doctor in your state in the 1950’s. One thing I know about is that he established a hospital for leprosy patients at Ikom, having personally negotiated with the Chiefs for the land to build the hospital on, and for help from local people in clearing virgin bush.

“The plight of leprosy sufferers was especially close to his heart and I would love to know if the hospital still exists and if there are any pictures of it. Also can anyone advise me how I might research archives or records etc?

Dr. Robert Costello arrived Nigeria in Jan 1949 and remained [apart from short holiday leave] until 1958.

His first year was with the Holy Ghost fathers and the remainder of the time was with the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society of Kiltegan, Wicklow, Ireland.

According to his son, Dr. Costello’s work “took him all over the South East of the Country including Enugu, Abakaliki, Kakwagom, Obudu, Ogoja, Adazi, are all names of places I heard him speaking of as a child. He loved his time in Nigeria and always spoke fondly of the people there”.

He died in 1990 in the Republic of Ireland.

Any one with useful information could contact Len Costello at len@eircom.net

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