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Biographical entry McMullin, Joseph Patrick O'Byrne (1921 - 2003)

MRCS and FRCS 1954; MB BCh BAO NUI 1947; MCh 1954; FRCSI 1952; LRCP 1954.

10 May 2003
General surgeon


Joseph Patrick O’Byrne McMullin (initially known as ‘Shos’) was a general surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital, St Stephen’s Green/Elm Park, Dublin. He was born in 1921, the eldest son of Joseph Columba McMullin, a surgeon at the Shiel Hospital, Ballyshannon, and later county surgeon in Cavan, and Mary Frances O’Byrne. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College, for which he played scrum half, and University College Dublin. After qualifying he was a house officer at St Vincent’s, St Stephen’s Green. He then went to London, where he was casualty officer at the Westminster Hospital and surgical registrar at St John and Elizabeth’s Hospital.

In 1956 he was appointed surgeon to St Vincent’s Hospital, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, from which he won a travelling scholarship to the Lahey Clinic in 1957. He was also general surgeon to St Luke’s and St Anne’s hospitals. He was president of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology from 1983 to 1984. In Dublin he was generally known to his colleagues as ‘Joe Mac’.

After he retired he went to Baghdad as medical director and general/transplant surgeon at the Ibn Al Bitar Hospital until 1990. There he carried out more than 300 live donor renal transplants, as well as a large range of complicated general surgery, especially of the thyroid and biliary tree.

Apart from surgery, his passion was his home, ‘Hawthorn’ in Blackrock. There he designed and built a tennis court and swimming pool, and re-roofed and redecorated the entire house with his own hands. An avid skier, he continued into his seventies, and was devoted to classical music and opera. He married Raphael Aglaia Devlin in 1949. They had two daughters, Daireen and Raphael (both nurses), and three sons, one of whom, Liam, is a general surgeon at the County Hospital, Roscommon. McMullin died on 10 May 2003.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Liam McMullin FRCSI].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England