Aidan Clarke 1933-2020

Monday, January 11, 2021 - 10:15

The History Department has learned with regret of the death of Aidan Clarke on 18 December 2020. Aidan was one of a generation that transformed the study of Irish history as teacher, scholar, writer and administrator. His own interest was in the seventeenth century. His chapters in the third volume of the New History of Ireland sum up his profoundly revolutionary view of those years dealing not only with the practical problems of those years but also their philosophical underpinnings. His own particular fascination with the 1641 rising and its consequences coalesced in the multi-volume edition of the 1641 depositions, completed before his death though not yet published. However, his contributed more widely to the study of history in Ireland as one of the editors of the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography, as president of the Royal Irish Academy and as Erasmus Smith’s professor of History in Trinity College, Dublin. In this Aidan Clarke strove to make history relevant not only to students but to a wider world and in doing so made the world a better place.