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Statement by President Higgins on the death of Prof. David Fitzpatrick

Date: Wed 20th Feb, 2019 | 11:59

“I have heard with great sadness of the death of the distinguished historian and member of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor David Fitzpatrick.

Professor Fitzpatrick’s work was a major contribution to Irish historical scholarship.  His ground-breaking work on the War of Independence and the Civil War in County Clare became a model for the many local studies of this period which followed.  His insightful work on the First World War and its legacy, including its Irish dimension, was the work of a brilliant historian who never evaded the contestation of ideas.

His work was original, courageous, research-based and challenging.  His work on Irish migration was an early source for scholars in a field that would go on to be a major part of Irish social science research.

A dedicated academic, the many seminars he organised, and the publications they generated, provided a focus for new work and he was widely respected for his work with other scholars as an editor and fellow researcher.  

His studies of a number of major figures of the revolutionary period showed an indefatigable and scholarly curiosity with his latest work on Ernest Blythe recently published.

He leaves a rich legacy of work.  Irish academic life has suffered a great loss with his passing.  Sabina and I offer our deepest sympathies to his family, his colleagues and his many friends.”