Death of Former IGRS President

The Council was sorry to hear of the death of the Society’s former President, Sir David Goodall. He died peacefully at his home on the morning of Friday, 22 July, aged 84.


Sir David Goodall, GCMG, KSG, LLD(h.c), FIGRS.

Arthur David Saunders Goodall was born in Yorkshire in 1931. He was educated at Ampleforth and Trinity College, Oxford where he studied Classics. He entered the British Diplomatic Service in 1956 and his career took him to serve in Austria, Germany, Indonesia and Kenya.  He later became Deputy Secretary at the Cabinet Office and was a senior UK representative during the negotiations that led to the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985.  In 1987 he was awarded the plum position of British High Commissioner in India, a post he held until his retirement 1991.

Sir David served as the Society’s third President, from 1992-2012.  In truth, he had been much involved with the Society before becoming its President, and served on its Council as an active and enthusiastic member from 1972, whenever he was stationed in England and his position allowed him to attend Council meetings.

His commitment and interest in Irish genealogy led to many scholarly articles in the journals of both the IGRS and the Wexford Historical Society.  He attached great importance to IGRS’ unique research library and the quality of its annual journal, The Irish Genealogist, with its reputation for serious scholarship and readability.  His view that both should be allowed to develop and flourish was in keeping with his express hope that the Society would be able to make an increasingly valuable contribution to Irish historical studies.

In recognition of his diplomatic work and contribution to national life he was appointed CMG in 1979, KCMG in 1987 and GCMG in 1991.

Obituaries for the Sir David can be found in the edition of The Daily Telegraph for Monday, 25th July 2016, and in The Irish Times for Saturday, 6th August 2016. In addition, an obituary will appear in the 2016 edition of the Society’s annual journal, The Irish Genealogist.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Lady Goodall, to their three children, and the extended family. He will be missed greatly.

Requiescat in Pace.


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