Obituary: Dr Harold Browne taught medicine for over six decades

The late Dr Harold Browne, formerly of Battery Road, Longford, pictured in June of 2014 when he visited St Mels College. where he was a student 75 years earlier. Also in the photo are his sons Richard and Michael.
The death has occurred of Dr Harold Browne, Dublin, and late of Battery Road, Longford, on Monday, January 5.

The death has occurred of Dr Harold Browne, Dublin, and late of Battery Road, Longford, on Monday, January 5.

Born in Dublin on November 15, 1922, to Fred and Nellie Browne, he spent the first five years of his life at the family farm in Clonbroney, near Ballinalee. He was part of a family of eight children, along with his sister Vera, and brothers Fred, Michael, Henry, Charlie, Willie and Raymond.

Dr Browne fondly remembered driving into Ballinalee each morning with his father to buy a newspaper from Mrs Lee’s shop in the village, passing by Dr Keenan’s and the forge of his father’s good friend Seán Mac Eoin along the way.

The family then sold the farm and moved to Battery Road in Longford town, where Dr Browne attended national school before progressing to St Mel’s College. In 1940 he began studying medicine at University College Dublin (UCD), where he studied for six years and graduated second in his class.

Dr Browne then joined the staff at the Richmond Hospital in Dublin, before being awarded a fellowship to train at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA, where he spent three years. While there he gained a Masters degree in surgery from the University of Minnesota.

On his return from the USA in 1953, he returned to the Richmond Hospital, where he took up the position of surgical registrar. At the same time he began teaching anatomy part-time at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

The following year, Dr Browne received a Masters degree of Surgery, M Ch, from UCD, and in 1955 he was appointed a general surgeon at the Richmond.

In 1961 he became a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and in 1977 he received an honorary fellowship from the RCSI. In 1984 he was elected to the Medical Council, becoming chairman of its fitness to practice committee, before being elevated to president of the organisation. He also served as a member of the Bar Council of Ireland.

Dr Browne retired from the Richmond Hospital in 1987, after which he was approached to become a Surgeon Prosector at the RCSI’s anatomy department. In total, he taught at the institution for more than 60 years.

Dr Browne married Aileen Mac Clancey, a graduate of the RSCI, and the couple had five children together. She passed away in 1982, and in 1999 he married Vivienne Nash.

In his spare time, he was a keen golfer, and was a member of Milltown Golf Club in Dublin. He was an avid supporter of Arsenal Football Club and also loved reading, especially biographies and history.

Dr Browne passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, on Monday, January 5, surrounded by his family. His funeral mass took place at 10am last Friday, January 9, at the Church of Our Lady of Peace on Merrion Road, with burial afterwards in Deansgrange Cemetery.

Dr Harold Browne is pre-deceased by his late wife Aileen, and his loss is regretted by his wife Vivienne; sons Michael, Philip, and Richard; daughters Elizabeth and Ingrid; brothers Fred, Michael, and Charles; daughters-in-law Anne and Marie; sons-in-law Michael (Foley) and Michael (Alexander); grandchildren William, Charlotte, Joseph, Isabelle, Lily, and Harry; brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, colleagues and his many friends.