Tributes have come for prominent political scientist and elections commentator Prof Richard Sinnott who has died after a long illness.
He was an emeritus professor at University College Dublin and father of two children. Moreover Sinnott has been praised for his decades-long career as an academic and broadcaster.
The pair worked together at UCD’s School of Politics and Dr Manning described Sinnott as “a wonderful colleague . . . always close to his students”.
He added: “ He was a person of great warmth and integrity. He played a pioneering role in the development of political science in Ireland.”
UCD Prof David Farrell said Sinnott was a “mentor, colleague and friend” who will be remembered for many appearances as an election pundit on RTÉ. “He was a pioneer in introducing data-led, political science expertise to the airwaves.”
Prof Farrell also said Sinnott was an “outstanding researcher” who led several significant European-funded research projects, collaborating with the top names in political science across Europe and the United States.
Prof Farrell identified People and Parliament in the European Union and Irish Voters Decide among Sinnott’s most significant books.
He said his career was defined by his time at UCD having moved from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to become a lecturer in politics in the mid-1970s.
“He trail-blazed the teaching of quantitative politics at a time when computer access was limited and rather more primitive than today,” said Prof Farrell. Moreover, he added that Sinnott introduced the teaching of international relations at the university. “Half a century later these two subjects are core to our curriculum.”
He added: “Perhaps his most notable UCD contribution was the establishment of the Centre for European Economic and Public Affairs, including the interdisciplinary masters of Economic Science in European Economic and Public Affairs – a huge innovation at the time.”
ESRI chief executive Alan Barrett said, “I’m saddened to learn of Richard Sinnott’s passing. I know many of Richard’s [ESRI] friends will feel the same.”