Browne, Thomas George (1888–1963), veterinarian, was born 9 September 1888 at Moneymore, Co. Londonderry, third son among four sons and three daughters of John Browne and Jane Browne (née Eakin), both of whose families were farmers for generations in the locality. He was educated at the Intermediate School in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, and at Cookstown Academy. At 18 he set out for Edinburgh to study medicine, but the following year he registered as a student at the Veterinary College in Dublin, where he won prizes in each year and accumulated an impressive collection of medals. Qualifying (MRCVS) in 1913, he was appointed a demonstrator in pathology and anatomy in the college. Two years later he became professor of anatomy (1915–53) and in 1941 was appointed as principal of the Veterinary College of Ireland (1941–53), the only graduate of the Royal Veterinary College of Ireland to occupy the latter position. As the principalship was an office to which the government appointed, Browne had feared (needlessly, as it turned out) that his lack of any knowledge of Irish would militate against his appointment. In fact his devotion to duty won him the respect and friendship of Eamon de Valera (qv), who in 1963 would send his ADC to Browne's funeral.
When the veterinary course was extended from four years to five years in 1930, Browne developed aspects of subjects which are far more important in veterinary than in human medicine. His most important contribution was in the development of local and spinal anaesthetics. Another of his interests was the digestive system of the horse. His publications included Atlas of the horse: its anatomy and physiology (1918) and Atlas of the anatomy and physiology of the ox (1927). He also published on the anatomy and physiology of the fowl.
Browne was president of the Veterinary Medical Association of Ireland, president of the Irish Veterinary Council, and a member of the council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He served as extern examiner in the other veterinary colleges in Britain and Ireland: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, and Liverpool, QUB, and Dublin University. During the forty years of his academic career the number of prizes won by students of the Dublin veterinary college (when the five affiliated colleges in Britain and Ireland competed for prizes presented by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) reflected favourably on that institution and its staff.
The second report of the Loveday committee on veterinary education in Great Britain (1944) was a turning point for veterinary education, not only in the United Kingdom but also in Ireland, since the Dublin college was intimately linked with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. The report's suggestion that veterinary education should be transferred to the universities meant that the RCVS would cease to function as an examining body. Browne initiated the delicate task of negotiating with the two universities in Dublin and with the Department of Agriculture, which led in time to the affiliation of the Veterinary College of Ireland with both universities. The National University granted him the degree of M.Vet.Sc. (official), an honour rarely if ever given, and the degree conferred by Dublin University, M.Sc. (jure officii), in 1946 was equally rare. In retirement he was elected to the board of the First National Building Society (1957) and was made chairman in 1961. He died on 9 April 1963.
Browne was an enthusiast for golf and tennis, and a very kindly man who gave special attention to weaker students. A student who told Browne he was to portray him in the college pantomime came away with an offer of a large gold watch as a prop. Nobody in the audience enjoyed the show more than Browne. He married (1924) Margaret, daughter of George Power. They lived in Rosmeen Gardens, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. They had a daughter, Ruth, and a son, Norman Power, who became a medical practitioner and played hockey for Ireland. A drawing of T. G. Browne was (2002) in the premises of the Irish Veterinary Council, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.