Unquiet Spirit is the first book to focus on this remarkable broadcaster, politician and academic; published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of his untimely death.
David Thornley was born in England in 1935 to an Irish mother and an English father. He was awarded a scholarship to St Paul’s but chose not to enroll, returning with his family to Ireland where he earned a PhD from Trinity College by the age of twenty four, enjoying not only a successful academic career there but publishing a highly respected book on Isaac Butt.
He married in 1958 and went on to work as a broadcaster with RTE in the mid sixties, on TV programmes The Professors and Division before joining 7-Days (a predecessor to Prime Time) as a presenter. No longer content to fulfill a passive roll, he was elected as a Labour Party TD for the constituency of Dublin North-West in 1969, topping polls. He was then re-elected TD for Dublin North-West in 1973 with a reduced vote and served as a MEP for a further four years, before losing his seat in the 1977 election. He died in Dublin in June in 1978, his ambitions only partly realised.
David’s daughter Yseult has assembled a highly-respected coterie of people who knew, worked with and admired David Thornley and they contribute, here, assessments of his various careers, as well as providing valuable insights into this complex and gifted man who passed away before his time- now fondly remembered.
Contributors include: Rodney Rice, Garret FitzGerald, John Bowman, Dr Miriam Hederman, Michael D. Higgins, Edward Thornley, Muiris Mac Conghail and Professor Enda McDonagh.