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Posted 10 November 2014

Professor Brian Farrell, 1929-2014

The sad death of Brian Farrell marks the departure of one of the most central figures in the evolution of what is now the School of Politics and International Relations in UCD. 

Professor Farrell played a major role in the academic study of Irish political development and Irish political culture, setting these in comparative perspective.

His many publications exerted a wide influence, and his model of prime ministerial office as varying between the role of “chairman” and the role of “chief” was taken up in the comparative literature.

His academic achievements were all the more remarkable in the context of his commitment to public sector broadcasting, and in bringing political analysis to a nationwide audience through RTE.

After studying in UCD and Harvard, he joined UCD’s administration in the mid-1950s, and in 1966 he became a member of what was then the Department of Ethics and Politics. He played a central part in developing the study of Irish and comparative politics in this small department. As the department expanded, he played a critical leadership role as head of department for several years.

He is remembered by generations of students as a kind, accessible and conscientious mentor and lecturer. The members of the school and the wider UCD community, convey their sincere condolences to the Farrell family, not least to Brian’s son, David, who is Professor of Politics and daughter, Naomi, who works in Human Resources at UCD. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.



(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Professor Brian Farrell, 1929-2014 - Photo: RTÉ Stills Library
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