Emeritus Professor Nial Osborough MRIA RIP

The Dean of Law and the staff from Sutherland School of Law were greatly saddened by the death of our colleague, Emeritus Professor Nial Osborough MRIA, and wish to offer our condolences to his daughters, Sarah and Rachel, and son Conor.

Nial was an intellectual powerhouse who nurtured many scholars of Irish legal history, several of whom we now have as colleagues within Sutherland School of Law.  He was the leading Irish legal historian, a founding member and former President of the Irish Legal History Society which has honoured him through its annual W.N. Osborough Composition Prize in Legal History.  A former editor of the Irish Jurist, his career spanned Queens University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin and, of course, here in UCD.   We were  honoured to have him write a history of the Law School (The Law School of University College Dublin: A History (2014).  He also wrote The Irish Stage: A Legal History (2015); Literature, Judges and the Law (2008); Studies in Irish Legal History (1999); Law and the Emergence of Modern Dublin: A Litigation Topography for a Capital City (1996); and Borstal in Ireland: Custodial Provision for the Young Adult Offender, 1906-1974 (1975). He edited several essay collections, and published numerous articles and essays dealing with vastly diverse areas of Irish legal history. 

Nial is fondly remembered by many staff with the Sutherland School of Law.  Speaking about his passing, Professor Imelda Maher, Dean of Law commented: ‘I feel privileged to have the chance to get to know him, to listen to his fascinating and illuminating discussions on a myriad of historical topics (often at the bicycle racks). He is a huge loss to the scholarly law community on the island of Ireland and especially to us here in UCD.’

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.