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Biographical entry Keane, Brendan (1926 - 2005)

MRCS and FRCS 1964, MB BCh BAO Dublin 1950, LRCP 1964, MRCOG 1960.

9 May 1926
Dublin, Ireland
22 October 2005
General surgeon


Brendan Keane was a surgeon at the Whakatane Hospital, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. He was born in Dublin on 9 May 1926, one of six children. His father rose to become private secretary to Eamon de Valera and head of the Irish Civil Service. His mother was a teacher from the Aran Islands, where the family spent their summers in thatched stone cottages. His early schooling was at Roscrea, a Cistercian monastic boarding school where the examinations were all in Gaelic. From there he went to University College, Dublin, to study veterinary surgery, but changed to medicine after a year.

After a period as house surgeon at Coombe Hospital, Dublin, he went to England, to work at Sefton General Hospital, Liverpool, as a casualty officer. He then joined the RAMC, spending two years in Malaya, rising to the rank of major, treating British and Gurkha soldiers and their families. He returned to Halifax General Hospital, Yorkshire, to complete a series of training posts in surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology.

In 1965 he moved to Gibraltar, where he remained for six years. During this time he became a passionate lover of the Spanish language. He then sailed for New Zealand, working as a consultant surgeon at Whakatane Hospital in the Bay of Plenty.

On retirement he continued his study of Spanish, enrolling on a short course at the University of Zaragoza, and began to learn French from scratch. His other hobbies included golf, snooker, Irish history and jazz. He married Christine in 1957 and they had four children. He died on 22 October 2005.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Christine and Michael Keane].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England