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ducated at St Mel's College Longford and
UCD, Harold Browne was among the first Irish
surgeons to be awarded a fellowship to train
at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
before returning to Ireland as a Consultant
Surgeon at the Richmond Hospital. His surgical expertise
made him the choice of his colleagues when they went
under the knife and his wisdom led them to elect him
President of the Irish Medical Council.
On his return from the US in 1953, he began teaching
anatomy in RCSI part-time and, when he retired from
surgical practice in 1987, he became a Surgeon Prosector in
the Department of Anatomy.
Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons, Honorary
Fellowship of RCSI and the College Medal, as well as the
naming of operating and lecture theatres and a board room
in his honour, are among his glittering prizes. Harold helped
steer anatomy in Ireland for more than 60 years and the
Anatomical Society were delighted to confer him with an
Honorary Fellowship in July 2013. But, I suspect it is the
high regard in which he is held by generations of students
that mattered most to him the students elected Harold
as President of their Biological Society in its 80th year and
his 90th year, which was also his 60th year teaching in the
Harold's knowledge of anatomy, medicine and life, together
with his wit, made him a legend in his own lifetime. Who
can forget the role of the gubernaculum having heard him
remark that it leads the testis into the scrotum, as Moses
lead the Israelites into the promised land? His lectures
were delivered with style and peppered with stories from
his clinical practice, which made them both credible and
He has left his mark on generations of students and
surgical trainees, many of whom are now prominent in the
profession in Ireland and around the world, including several
Presidents of the College, and our Registrar, Professor
Cathal Kelly.
May he rest in peace.
Harold J. Browne,
Professor Clive Lee, RCSI Professor
of Anatomy, pays tribute to Harold
Browne who sadly passed away on
January 5, 2015
Harold Browne, with his wife, Vivienne, at the Alumni
Gathering Gala Dinner in September 2014.