Dr. Patrick Neligan, 88, an Irish-born physician who rose to leadership positions at Norwalk Hospital and served for 34 years as Ridgefield’s director of health, died Friday morning, June 27, in Redding.

Dr. Neligan and his wife, Vera, lived in Ridgefield for decades, raised a large family in town, and were very involved in the community. They moved to the Meadow Ridge community in Redding in 2013, after selling their 88 acre estate off West Mountain Road.

Dr. Neligan took his medical training at University College in Dublin, Ireland, and studied and practiced at London and Oxford in England before moving to the U.S.   He had a long medical career in Ridgefield and the surrounding area, and eventually served as Norwalk Hospital’s chief of staff from 1975 to 1981. He retired from the hospital in 1996 and started a community health center in Norwalk to serve the poor.

Dr. Neligan was appointed Ridgefield’s director of health in 1970 and significantly built up the department, improving record keeping, adding the town sanitarian position. He challenged the town to tackle long-neglected problems that ranged from neighborhoods plagued by failing septic systems to the town dump’s location in the Great Swamp, and air pollution from fall leaf-burning.

He retired as Ridgefield’s director of health in 2004.

For decades Dr. and Mrs. Neligan owned the grand Innisfree estate, which they sold in 2013.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield.