Sunday 17 December 2017

Tributes paid after sudden death of UCD economics professor Brendan Walsh

Professor Brendan Walsh
Professor Brendan Walsh
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Tributes have been paid to economist Professor Brendan Walsh, whose death was announced yesterday.

Professor Walsh died suddenly at his home in Dublin, on Thursday.

Professor Walsh had been chairperson of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), set up to support and enhance public confidence in the accountancy profession.

He had also been Professor Emeritus in the School of Economics at University College Dublin and was the author of several studies of the Irish economy.

Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor offered her condolences to Prof Walsh’s family.

"Although I did not have the opportunity to work with Professor Walsh directly, I understand that throughout his term of office he brought his vast knowledge and wealth of experience to the role and that his leadership will be greatly missed both in IAASA and in my Department. I would like to offer his family and friends my sincere condolences,” Ms Mitchell O’Connor said.

Prof Walsh had served as a consultant on numerous public bodies in Ireland and had worked for the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the Harvard Institute of International Development.

He was appointed Chairperson of IAASA in January 2013.

Peter Clinch, chair of the National Competitiveness Council, described Prof Walsh as a “fantastic mentor, colleague and friend".

Mr Clinch co authored a book with Prof Walsh in 2002 entitled After the Celtic Tiger, Challenges Ahead.

“He was unique in the breadth of issues in which he had expertise,” Mr Clinch said.

“It is a regular occurrence for many of us economists that, when we search for information on a topic, we tend to find that Brendan had written a journal article about it. He was unquestionably the leading authority on applied economics in Ireland for several decades, inspired thousands of students and made many valuable policy contributions.

“However, he was also the most modest of academics. His co-authored book, After the Celtic Tiger, published in 2002, was prescient and should have had more attention paid to it yet he never claimed to have predicted anything, His expertise, warmth and humour will be greatly missed.”

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