NOTICE: Professor Christopher Murray

The IASIL executive committee would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Christopher Murray, Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre History in the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD. A long-time supporter of IASIL, Professor Murray served as Secretary from 1973 to 1976 and as Chairperson from 2000 to 2003; he was also editor of the Irish University Review from 1986 to 1997, after which he continued as chair of the IUR management board for many years. A special issue of the IUR with essays in honour of Professor Murray was published in 2015; the editors there give a sense of Professor Murray’s significance to the field of Irish Studies:

His always considered, balanced opinions and judgments have proven a sure guide to scholars, students and readers/theatre-goers of generations[;] his ability to draw on his encyclopedic knowledge of Irish and international drama, theatre, literature, philosophy so evident in his writings, is an inimitable but inspiring model for all of us.[1]

Professor Murray’s publications will be well-known to IASIL members. They include Twentieth-Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to Nation (1997) and Sean O’Casey Writer at Work: A Biography (2004). In addition to these important works, Professor Murray published a number of impactful critical editions and essay collections, among them Brian Friel: Essays, Diaries, Interviews 1964-1999 (1999), Beckett at 100: The Centenary Essays (2006), Selected Plays of George Shiels (2008), and Alive in Time: The Enduring Drama of Tom Murphy (2010).

Professor Murray will be remembered for his scholarly excellence, the enduring impact of his outstanding work on Irish theatre, and his professional and personal generosity and warmth, from which so many IASIL members have benefited.

A funeral mass for Professor Murray will take place tomorrow, Wednesday (27 March 2024) at 10am at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Killiney. Further information, and a link to attend the service online, can be found here

Christina Morin


[1] Csilla Bertha and Cathy Leeney, ‘Introduction: Christopher Murray – Scholar, Critic, Teacher’. Mirror up to Theatre: Essays in Honour of Christopher Murray, special issue of Irish University Review, vol. 45, no. 1, 2015, p. 3.