The second son of the famous Irish Jewish politician Robert Briscoe Joseph Henry was born in Dublin in 1928. He was educated at Willow Park (Blackrock College), Avoca School and St. Andrews College. He attended the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin to study dentristy. In 1954 he qualified as a dentist and established a renowned dental practice which he continued until 1988.
Joe had a youthful interest in Boxing and was a member of the Jewish Boxing Club, Maccabi, Honoar and an original member of B’nai Brith with which he had a very long association. He was also an active member of the Jewish Student’s Union of which he was President for two years and a member of the Pillar of Fire a group which strove for understanding between Christians and Jews. However his major interest became sailing and in 1964 together with friends he founded the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club to cater for the needs of those who because of religious affiliation or whose boat had an engine were excluded from the existing Sailing Clubs.
Joe’s military associations began during the second world war. As a youth of 14 he joined the ARP ( Air Raid Preservations ) to protect civilians giving his age as 16. He also joined the Red Cross and the Medical Corps of the L.D.F., the reserve army. After the war he was commissioned and became an F.C.A. (LDF) Captain in 1977. In 1982 he became a Commandant in the FCA and on his retirement in 1993 he became the longest serving soldier in the Irish Defence Forces, a record which is unlikely to be broken.
A leading member of the Irish Jewish Community he served for many years on the Representative Council becoming its spokesman before his retirement.
Joe Briscoe married Deborah Black of Manchester in 1957 and they had two sons David and Daniel both became doctors. Together Debbie and Joe served the Irish Jewish Community with distinction and loyalty and left a proud heritage for their family. His sense of the importance of family, of dignity, honour and service are a lasting memory to a proud patriotic Irishman and fine Jew.