Tributes have been paid to Professor Kevin Boyle— a founder of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI, Galway — who died this week.
Professor Boyle, who was originally from Newry, Co Down, is regarded as one of Ireland's and the UK's leading human rights academics.
He was one of the inspirational figures behind the original civil rights movement which sought progress and democratic reform in the North through peaceful means.
Galway West TD Michael D Higgins said that Prof Boyle was an inspiration who was respected the world over.
“His courageous leadership in the human rights movement has placed so many in Ireland in his debt. Kevin Boyle was a champion of civil and human rights for more than forty years. He was one of the inspirational figures behind the original civil rights movement which sought progress and democratic reform in Northern Ireland through peaceful means.
”I had the great privilege of working with Kevin Boyle as a colleague in NUIG where he was an inspiring figure and teacher on the importance of human rights in law.
”His background in sociology meant that his interdisciplinary contribution was original, generous and ground breaking.
”On his move to Essex he retained all his connections with colleagues in Ireland and went on to serve as advisor to President Mary Robinson during her period as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
”Those of us who knew him personally will feel the loss of a warm friend with a great sense of humour and enormous courage in bearing his illness.