Joynt, Richard Lane (1867–1928), orthopaedic surgeon, metallurgist, and X-ray pioneer, was born on 18 May 1867 at the Grange, Raheny, Co. Dublin, the sixth child of William Lane-Joynt (1824–95), a prominent barrister who served as crown and treasury solicitor for Ireland, mayor of Limerick (1862) and lord mayor of Dublin (1867), and his wife Jane (née Russell), of Limerick. Part of Richard's childhood was spent in Limerick, his father having trained as a solicitor under Sir Matthew Barrington (qv). Through his paternal line, Richard was a cousin of Lady Augusta Gregory (qv), of Coole Park, Co. Galway. He was also related to the eminent surgeon Sir Thomas Myles (qv) and was a colleague of Oliver St John Gogarty (qv).
Richard was educated at the Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. He continued his education at Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained his LM diploma in 1889 and graduated MB, B.Ch. and BAO in 1890. The following year, he undertook the practical phase of his training at Vienna General Hospital. He received his MD in 1893 and his fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in 1894, and was elected to the Meath Hospital and the County Dublin Infirmary. He was a senior member of the council of the RCSI.
By 1897 Lane Joynt was experimenting with X-ray, just two years after its invention by Wilhelm Röntgen in Germany. As his experiments took place long before the dangers of radiation were known, his hands bore the physical scars of his prolonged exposure to radium and were often heavily bandaged. In 1900 he was among the first radiologists to be appointed in Ireland when given the post in the Meath Hospital. In 1902 he delivered an address to the meeting of the winter session of that institution, in which he described the benefit of 'X- rays to the advancement of surgery … and to the discovery of injuries to the bony framework of the body, hitherto undiscovered' (Ir. Times, 14 October 1902). During the same session, Thomas Myles stated that 'Dr Joynt has made the study peculiarly his own, and was the pioneer of X-ray photography in Ireland' (ibid.).
Lane Joynt served as medical officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1898–1906). He published widely in the field of medical research, most notably in the Dublin Journal of Medical Science. His publications included articles on the use of lantern demonstrations of X-ray photographs (1897) and on the treatment of fractures (1910). In addition, Lane Joynt's contributions to the British Medical Journal focused on scholarly research into the application and use of Thomas extension splints.
In addition to his interest in radiology, Lane Joynt was recognised as a skilled metallurgist and technician. He carried out vital research into the design of practical apparatus which increased the mobility of severely injured victims of the first world war. His practical inventions met with much acclaim and led to his appointment as general inspector of orthopaedic factories in Great Britain and Ireland at the conclusion of the war. In his private workshop, Lane Joynt crafted numerous surgical instruments designed for performing skin grafts, which both he and his colleagues used in the Meath Hospital. During the war he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and was also active in the Red Cross. In April 1920, to mark his services during the conflict, Lane Joynt received an OBE from King George V, an award which recognised his pioneering research in the field of orthopaedic surgery.
During his time at the Meath, Lane Joynt initiated charitable events designed to meet some of the running costs of the hospital. Most successful of these country-wide appeals were the 'tinfoil and silver-paper collections', which raised funds from the mid 1920s and enabled the Meath to invest in X-ray machines and to increase its bed capacity.
Dr Richard Lane Joynt resided at 84 Harcourt Street, Dublin. He died unmarried at home on 8 April 1928, and was buried in St. John's churchyard, Limerick city.