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Former RCS England Director for NI Simon MacGowan has passed away

04 Aug 2023

The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Mr Tim Mitchell, has expressed his condolences on the death of Belfast cardiac surgeon and former Northern Ireland College Director Simon MacGowan.

Simon was a leading cardiothoracic surgeon at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital and was a Director of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in Northern Ireland from 2015-17. He died suddenly during a cycling holiday in France at the weekend.

President Mr Tim Mitchell said: “I would like to express my deepest sympathies on Simon’s untimely passing, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his wider family circle and professional colleagues.”

The outgoing Director for Northern Ireland, Professor Mark Taylor, said he was deeply saddened by Simon’s death. “It is with great sadness that we have received word of Simon’s sudden death. He was a wonderful cardiac surgeon, colleague, and friend. It was a huge privilege to take over the role of college director after his period of sound leadership. I extend my deepest sympathy to his family and friends at this time.”

Simon MacGowan was a member of the Bray Wheelers and North Down cycling clubs and was part of a group on a cycling trip in the French Alps. Mr MacGowan passed away in the French city of Nice over the weekend. He was a native of Bray and regularly split his time between the County Wicklow town and Northern Ireland.

He was considered one of the leading cardiothoracic surgeons on the island of Ireland, having graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1983 and taken up the position of consultant cardiac surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast in 1996. He was also a Fellow of the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

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