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Jonathan Bardon 1941-2020

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Jonathan Bardon, historian and author. He was 78 and had been suffering from lung cancer, and is survived by his wife Carol and children Jane and Dan. Jonathan is best remembered for his critically acclaimed book The History Of Ulster, (Blackstaff Press, 1992) which charted its history from ancient times to the establishment of Northern Ireland and the outbreak of the Troubles, as well as his History of Ireland in 365 episodes, which was broadcast on Radio Ulster every evening for a whole year. He also wrote many radio and television programmes on the history of Northern Ireland, and contributed to many newspapers over the years. His last book was A Narrow Sea: The Irish-Scottish Connection in 120 Episodes (Gill Books, 2018). His most recent work was a Short History of Ireland for BBC radio. He received an OBE in 2002 for services to community life.

Born in Dublin in 1941, Jonathan was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Queen’s University, Belfast, where he lived since the 1960s. His first post was history teacher at Orangefield Boys’ Secondary School in east Belfast in 1963. He went on to become a lecturer at the Belfast College of Business Studies (now Belfast Metropolitan College) and then at the School of History at Queen’s University.

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On a personal note,  I regret the loss of a friend and colleague. I knew Jonathan over many years beginning with my time at the Newry Museum. He was always great company and ever generous with his time and advice. I shall miss him. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam.

Tony Canavan

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