Devane, John Francis (1883–1964), surgeon, was born 8 June 1883 at 29 William Street, Limerick, the son of Cornelius Devane, grocer, and Johanna Devane (née McCormack). He had two brothers and two sisters. His eldest brother was the Jesuit Richard Devane (qv). John graduated MB, B.Ch. (1905) from the RUI. He was then made senior house surgeon at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, and, later, senior house surgeon at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and senior external assistant at the Coombe Hospital, Dublin. He obtained a diploma in public health from University College, Dublin, in 1907, and was elected FRCSI in 1909, obtaining his MD with a gold medal (NUI) in 1911. Devane married Vera Keogh, daughter of Andrew J. Keogh, on 28 June 1916, with his brother Richard officiating. Two of the couple's children followed in their father's footsteps as medical men.
Devane opened a surgical practice at Hartstonge Street in Limerick. For fifty years he was visiting surgeon to Limerick County Hospital and senior surgeon at County Infirmary, Mulgrave Street, and St John's Hospital, Limerick. He served for many years as a member of council of the RCSI, where he gained a reputation as a good listener. A quiet man, he was never afraid to express his views, and when problems concerning the west of Ireland came before the council his advice was readily given, and always sensible. He became a fellow of the Royal Irish Academy of Medicine.
Devane had many friends who shared his interest in the history of medicine, including fellow Limerick man Richard Hayes (qv), William Doolin (qv), and J. B. Lyons (1922–2007). He was tall and handsome, and enjoyed walking, making extensive tours of Germany, Austria, and Italy; he also enjoyed swimming up until very late in life. A scholarly man, he contributed to the lectures and outings of the North Munster Archaeological Society whenever he could. When he wrote a history of the hospital he had worked in all of his life, A history of St John's Hospital, Limerick (1970), the hospital ensured the manuscript was published posthumously. Devane died 20 January 1964, aged eighty, at his home.
His brother James Devane (1886?–1958), who had taken a degree in medicine after a short career as a civil servant, was an anaesthetist in Dublin. Educated at the Christian Brothers’ School, Limerick, and at St Munchin's College, he won exhibitions in all grades of the intermediate examination and obtained first place in Ireland in classics. He entered QCC (1903) aged seventeen and graduated BA (1906), obtaining scholarships each year for receiving an ‘A’ in literature. Later he took an honours degree in classics in the RUI, from where he entered the Ceylon civil service. After several years in Ceylon he retired from the civil service and entered TCD to study medicine, graduating MB, B.Ch., BAO (1922). Appointed assistant physician in Temple Street and anaesthetist at the Meath Hospital in Dublin, Devane was also the medical officer for the Bride Street dispensary and physician at St Anne's City Skin and Cancer Hospital, Dublin. He obtained a diploma in public health from the RCPI (1924). A frequent contributor to the press on social subjects, he was the author of Isle of destiny: the clash of cultures (1937), a history of Ireland. He died, unmarried, in Mount Carmel Hospital on 21 April 1958 and was buried in Limerick.