Drury, Michael Ivo Francis (1920–88), physician, was born 17 July 1920 at Mountrath, Co. Laois, the son of Thomas Francis Drury, victualler, and Bridget Drury (née Dunne). Educated at the Patrician School, Mountrath, he later entered University College, Dublin (1937), where he studied medicine. He had a brilliant undergraduate career, graduating MB, B.Ch., BAO in 1942 with first-class honours and a gold medal in surgery. He proceeded MD and became a member of the RCPI in 1946.
As physician in charge of the diabetic and endocrine unit at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital (1947–87) Drury was instrumental in setting up the hospital's diabetic day-care centre. While attending St Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire (1948), and the National Maternity Hospital, he developed an expertise in the treatment of diabetes in pregnant women. This led to his appointment as a consultant physician, endocrinologist, and diabetes specialist at the Coombe and the Rotunda. The care of his patients was of utmost concern to him and he made considerable efforts to collate their records in his early days at the Mater, when record-keeping was less than perfect. His attention to detail was legendary. Drury believed strongly that people were entitled to proper medical expertise delivered in a caring, considerate manner and was a strong opponent of the use of strikes or threats of strikes by doctors. In 1981 he was appointed professor of therapeutics and clinical pharmacology at UCD. He regarded himself as the last of the general internal physicians, and his special interests were diabetes and thyroid problems. He wrote about 150 papers on these subjects and several books on diabetes, including Diabetes mellitus (1979, 1986), Manual for diabetes (1982), and Understanding your diabetes (1984).
Drury was a fellow and later president of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and a member of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland. He played an active part in various European and international diabetic societies and was also a member and president of the Irish Endocrine Society. Awarded many honours, he was made an honorary fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Australian Physicians, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and was invited to give the prestigious Banting memorial lecture to the Diabetes UK Society (1988). He was president of the medical graduates’ association of University College, Dublin (1984–6). Elected FRCPI (1951), he was later president of the college (1986–8). As president he was determined to revitalise the organisation and set up committees to review in every detail the college's structures and its plans for the future. He was selected to give formal addresses at various medical colleges, including the Graves (RAMI), Haughton (RAMI), Falkiner and Corrigan (RCPI) lectures, and was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from QUB and an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (1984).
Drury is remembered by his friends as the co-founder, with Desmond Montgomery (1916–2003), of the Corrigan Club, a cross-border group which facilitated communication between doctors north and south of the border and encouraged northern doctors to look south for postgraduate training. His colleagues admired him, enjoying his keen intellect, his warm and friendly nature, and his compassionate approach to medicine. Unlike many of his contemporaries he did not work abroad for any lengthy period. In his youth he was a keen footballer and hurler, and in later years he took up jogging and tennis. In the latter sport he was an intensively competitive player, winning the veterans’ cup three years running in the Fitzwilliam tennis club. On overcoming a phobia of air travel, he enjoyed travelling to new places. He was passionately interested in books, particularly historical biographies. He died 30 December 1988. A very private person, whose family was very important to him, he married Roisin Connolly (1949) and they had seven children, four girls and three boys; their son Fintan Drury became a well-known entrepreneur.