Seanad Éireann - Volume 168 - 14 November, 2001

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy.

  Mr. Cassidy: As Leader of the House and on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party, I express sympathy on the occasion of the death of Dr. Patrick Quinlan, a former Member of this House who passed away at Cork University Hospital last week. Patrick, who was a Member of Seanad Éireann from 1957 to 1977, was elected to the National University of Ireland panel and served on the Committee of Procedure and Privileges between 1965 and 1973. He was also a member of the Library Joint Committee from 1957 to 1965.

  Patrick was professor of mathematical physics at University College, Cork, and a leading figure in the academic world. He was a member of the governing body of the college, chairman of the Cork branch of the graduates association between 1960 and 1964 and a fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies from 1971. Perhaps he will be most remembered for his many publications, of which A Dynamic Model of the Irish Economy, published in 1961, and The Edge Function Method, published in 1968, were but two.

  On my own behalf and that of Members of this House, I offer sincerest sympathy to his beloved [737] wife, Jane, and children, Michael, Rosarie, Gail, Josephine and Jeannie. I offer our deepest condolences to his many friends and colleagues in the academic world, which has lost a loyal and dedicated member. Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam.

  Mr. J. Doyle: I join my colleague in expressing sympathy on the death of the late Professor Quinlan, who was a representative in this House between 1957 and 1977. He was a brilliant mathematician and used his expertise in this field in the design of aircraft wings. When America set up its space centre in Cape Canaveral, it was anxious to recruit Professor Quinlan because of his expertise. He was highly regarded in the academic world. He was also a traditionalist in the very best sense of the word. He held very strong views on many social issues, but nevertheless was very tolerant of other people's views.

  On behalf of the Fine Gael Party, I join the Members of the House in offering my deepest sympathies to his wife and family. His loss is saddening.

  Mr. Quinn: I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Quinlan in 1973 when I decided to run for the Seanad at a very young age. I was well defeated by Dr. Quinlan. I was very much in awe of him as a Senator, professor and doctor of mathematical physics. I met a man who was fun and strongly opinionated about the lovely island of Ireland. He served in the Seanad for 20 years – I did not realise he was here for so long until I read of his death. Those who got to know him in the university area of Cork admired him for his good nature as well as his wonderful abilities, which were outlined by Senators Cassidy and Joe Doyle. His wife, children and friends will miss him a great deal for the great person he was and the great ability he had to touch everybody with whom he was in contact.

  Mr. Costello: On my own behalf and on behalf of the Labour Party, I would like to be associated with the expressions of sympathy. Certainly, Professor Quinlan was a man of considerable academic distinction, which reflects very well on the Senators we have had from the NUI ranks. He was an academic person who got very much involved in committee work, published various works and had an enormous contribution to make in an intellectual fashion with regard to the workings of this House. We are certainly saddened very much by his passing. I want to be associated with the expressions of sympathy to his wife and family. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

  Miss Quill: On behalf of my party, I express sympathy to Mrs. Jane Quinlan and to the members of the Quinlan family. In my time in UCC, Professor Quinlan was affectionately known as “Tubby”. He was called Tubby Quin[738] lan, which was a term of endearment as much as anything else. He died in the fullness of his years. He had a long and very productive life. He was a fine scholar and academic, but he was a great deal more than that, as was said by others, particularly Senator Joe Doyle. His academic ideas were more than theories in a textbook. They were applied practically. He oversaw the practical application of many of the theories he and his colleagues worked out.

  His contribution to the development of science and engineering was immense. During his time in UCC, the faculty of engineering was the envy of every university in the world, and I hope and believe it still is. That was due in no small part to the leadership he gave. Like a number of people who came to this House from that college – such as Professor Dooge, Professor John A. Murphy and Professor Joe Lee among others – he made a great contribution to political life. That, I suppose, is why we particularly remember him today. Very often, his ideas were those that may have sparked off a good reaction in others, but they were always very worthwhile.

  In essence, he made a great contribution to scholarship, learning and civic, political and cultural life, and his legacy will endure.

  Mr. R. Kiely: I would like to be associated with the expressions of sympathy. The late Professor Patrick Quinlan was born in Dromin near Kilmallock, not far away from where I was born. I met him only a couple of months ago and found him most interesting. He was a great sportsman and a great follower of Limerick hurling. He always inquired about how the Limerick team was doing. I knew his late brother, Michael, a farmer at the family homestead in Dromin. We were great friends – a friendship developed through farming.

  As I said, I found Professor Quinlan most interesting. He was always interested in what was happening in this House and used to make inquiries in that regard. I think he retired from this House the year I entered it so I had not the privilege of serving here with him, which I regret. I would like to be associated with the vote of sympathy.

  An Cathaoirleach: I would like to be associated with the tributes that have been paid to the late Professor Quinlan and join in the expression of sympathy to his wife and family. I ask Members to rise in their places as a mark of respect for the late Dr. Quinlan.

  Members rose.