Sam Hanna Bell Samuel Beckett John Hewitt Bernard (Barney) Hughes James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker William Carleton Rosamond Praegar

Mr Peter McLean (1934 - 2010):

Peter McLean was one of the leading urologists in Ireland, who performed the first “live” kidney transplant in Ireland. 

McLean was born in Murroe, Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, youngest of seven children. He was educated at Murroe National School (that is, a state-funded primary school) followed by St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny. He studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Hammersmith Hospital, London, famed for its renal expertise, and in the United States, at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, where he was awarded the John Noble Foundation Award. He returned to Ireland, to Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin (which later formed part of the new Beaumont Hospital in that city), where he was in charge of the renal transplant programme. When Beaumont Hospital was formed in 1987 he was appointed to the board of management, and was involved in settling some personnel problems, as well as proving a successful fund raiser for the institution.

It was in July 1972 that he carried out the groundbreaking operation of “live” kidney transplant. This involved transplanting a kidney directly from the donor; before that, kidneys donated were kept in frozen storage before transplantation. 

In 2000, he advised the Moriarty Tribunal that former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Charles Haughey should no longer be compelled to give evidence due to medical, specifically renal, problems, though he was partly overruled: Haughey still had to testify but was allowed to do so on oath in private. (This tribunal was established in order to investigate alleged, later proved, tax evasion by a number of politicians including Haughey.) 

McLean was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1979 and served as Vice-President, and later President (the latter 1996-1998).

McLean was, all his life, proud of his Donegal roots, he always kept a house there, and was pleased to be elected “Donegal Person of the Year” in 1985. He was interred at Dunfanaghy, close to his birthplace.

Born: 23 April 1934
Died: 8 September 2010
Richard Froggatt

Irish Independent, 13.9.2010; obituary, The Irish Times