Monday 21 October 2019

Professor Noel Mulcahy was a 'visionary' man

The late Professor Noel Mulcahy
The late Professor Noel Mulcahy

The late Professor Noel William Mulcahy of Druid's Glen in Kilcoole and late of Limerick, died peacefully last Thursday in St Vincent's Hospital.

Prof Mulcahy (89), was a former senator, a long-standing member of the Fianna Fáil party, and Emeritus Professor of Industrial Strategy at the University of Limerick, where he also served as executive vice president.

He will be very sadly missed by his wife Caroline, his children Daragh, Colm, Aisling and Garech, his children-in-law, and 11 grandchildren, as well as his sisters Phil, Majella and Anna, and his many other relatives and friends.

He was appointed to Seanad Eireann in 1977 by Taoiseach Jack Lynch and served until 1981. He previously worked for Raidio Eireann, where he helped to set up the first TV system.

Prof Mulcahy's funeral took place last Saturday in St Patrick's Church, Kilquade, followed by burial in Kilquade Cemetery. President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide de camp. Deputy Pat Casey and Deputy Stephen Donnelly were part of the guard of honour, as were Cllr Gerry Walsh, cathaoirleach of FF Wicklow CDC Malachaí Duddy, and Kathleen Kelleher, who is secretary of Fianna Fáil Wicklow CDC. Family members, children and grandchildren all participated in the Mass.

He and his wife, Caroline, were previously living in Killaloe but moved to County Wicklow to be closer to their children.

They lived in a small private development on the grounds of Druids Glen. They were very happy there and always received a great welcome at the hotel.

Kathleen Kelleher said that she got to know the professor over the past four years that he was living in County Wicklow.

'He has been called a "renaissance man". I would also call him a visionary,' said Kathleen.

'Although he had been a Senator and a Dáil candidate, his best work was done behind the scenes.'

Education was Professor Mulcahy's great love. He did ground-breaking work on setting up the institutes of technology throughout Ireland. He was particularly influential in the establishment of the Letterkenny IT.

The professor was also involved in housing programmes and the building of social housing, especially in the inner city.

He became very involved in local Fianna Fáil affairs and was very supportive to the local party branch. 'He joined right in, attending meetings and offering help and advice,' said Kathleen. 'He was very supportive of us who were involved in the party organisation. He never lost sight of the Republican aspect of Ireland, in the very real meaning of that word. He was an inspiration to us all and he will be much missed.'

Bray People