Terrence McDonagh, RIP

Terry McDonagh passed away this week. A professor at NUI, Galway for many years, he was an inspiring teacher and a key researcher in more heterodox approaches to economics. I studied under him and recall his clear lecturing style, his wit, and his dedication to the ideas he thought most important. Readers may wish to submit their own tributes to Terry in the comments below.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam dílis.

By Stephen Kinsella

Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick.

5 replies on “Terrence McDonagh, RIP”

See here for a taste of Terry’s work — an incalculable loss for the progressive and radical left economics community on both sides of the Atlantic — note in particular his influential work on the Irish Famine (his family lineage traces back through famine-era emigration to the States):


I had the honour of having Terrence as both my professor and thesis advisor at NUIG. Deeply sadden to hear of his death. He was an amazing person- extremely dynamic, empathetic and very impressive at putting forward what would be some more radical ideas for a standard economics course in an extremely logical and understandable way. He was my first introduction to truly progressive economic theory, and I think this is the case for a number of the students he taught. He will be deeply missed.

I was very saddened to hear of Terry’s passing. As others have so eloquently noted, he made major contributions to his chosen fields and was greatly respected for his scholarship. He was also a gentleman. Even on occasions where we happened to disagree on some question or other in economics, he was a model of how to disagree without being in any way disagreeable — and I always learned a lot. One of the classes he taught was “How to Argue with an Economist”. I have no doubt it was one of the high points for any student who had the good fortune to take it. He also made huge contributions to the development of economics at NUIG, contributing to a department with a diversity of views and debate, much to the benefit of both students and colleagues. He has left us far too early and will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

As with all his former colleagues at NUI Galway, I was shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Terry. He was a great teacher and an academic scholar who made a significant and lasting contribution to his field. While he retired a number of years ago, he remained, and always will, an important part of the economics community in Galway.

Every single time , when he saw me during my six years courses of PhD at NUI Galway, he smiled, gazed for a few seconds and spent silent. That was every thing of his kindness, concern and compassion.

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