Donal Nevin replaces George Quigley as ESRI President – calls for increased funding for research

September 24, 2002

Donal Nevin replaces George Quigley as ESRI President – calls for increased funding for research

The Economic and Social Research Institute has elected Mr Donal Nevin as President to succeed Sir George Quigley CB. Mr Nevin was a founder member of ESRI in 1960 and has been closely involved with the work of the Institute ever since. A former General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (1982 -1989) Mr Nevin has had a distinguished career of public service serving on a large number of national and international organisations, including the Irish Times Trust and the European Social Fund Committee as well as as a trustee of Focus Ireland. Last year the University of Limerick awarded Mr Nevin an Honorary Doctorate of Law in recognition of his life-long commitment to social justice. He was previously honoured with Doctorates in Law from National University of Ireland and the NCEA. He is the author of the definitive biography of James Larkin – "James Larkin – lion of the fold".

Speaking on his retirement from the office of President, Sir George Quigley said, "It would be easy to take for granted the intellectual leadership which the Institute has given to the economic debate in Ireland. But that pole position has not been achieved without the steady output of work of the highest quality over many years. The Institute’s leadership will be even more important in the future as Ireland addresses some fundamental challenges."

Addressing the Annual General Meeting, the newly elected President noted with concern the growing trend for only part of the cost of research to be funded by national programmes or EU grants. The assumption is that the cost of permanent staff and overheads is already fully financed but this is not the case for the ESRI. "If the Institute is to continue to fulfil its public-good role it will be essential to strengthen its funding base, particularly through increasing untied funding."

Download a full copy of the President’s address PDF.