Northern Ireland news

Respected Irish historian Keith Jeffery dies aged 64

Professor Keith Jeffery, who died last week
Staff Reporter

TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of Professor Keith Jeffery, one of Ireland's leading historians.

The Belfast-born academic, an expert on Irish involvement in the First World War, had retired as Professor of British History at Queen's University Belfast last month.

He passed away on Friday aged 64.

A member of the Royal Irish Academy, Prof Jeffery was the author of several books including last year's 1916: A Global History, which examined how a series of key events that year – including the Easter Rising – impacted upon the world, as well as his acclaimed officially commissioned work MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949.

Prof Jeffery took up his position at Queen's University in 2005, after teaching at the Ulster Polytechnic and the University of Ulster for over 20 years.

He was an alumnus of St John's College, Cambridge, where he won the Prince Consort Prize and Seeley Medal.

Tributes have been posted online since news of his death.

Queen's Professor of Education Tony Gallagher tweeted: "Deeply distressed to hear of the death of Professor Keith Jeffery, a great historian", while Deborah Sugg Ryan said: "Very sad to hear about the death of historian Professor Keith Jeffery. I worked with him @UlsterUni – a kind, wise & very witty colleague".

"Very sad to hear Keith Jeffery has passed away; an inspirational historian of Ireland, war, empire, and intelligence," wrote Huw Bennett.

BBC NI political correspondent Stephen Walker also described him as "one of our best historians. A kind, decent, lovely man".

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