Remembering Peter Hart
It is with great sadness and deep shock that we write this message about the tragic and untimely death of Dr. Peter Hart on July 22 at the age of 46.
Peter Hart’s career as an original, spirited, and debate-inspiring Irish historian was much too short but nonetheless prodigious. 1998 saw the publication of his award-winning The IRA and its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923 with Oxford University Press. That ground-breaking work was followed by British Intelligence in Ireland 1920-21: the Final Reports (2002), The IRA at War, 1916-1921 (2003) and Mick: the Real Michael Collins (2005). In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals and essay collections, he was also a valued book reviewer for both the Globe and Mail and the Irish Times. Peter’s work made and will continue to make significant contributions to both Irish history and our understanding of violence, revolution, and nationalism.
Born in 1963 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Peter took his BA at Queen’s University, Kingston, his MA at Yale and his PhD at Trinity College, Dublin. He worked at Queen’s University, Belfast as a research fellow and lecturer from 1997 to 2001 before returning home to St. John’s to take up the Canada Research Chair in Irish Studies at Memorial University in 2002.
Peter’s work as a scholar, researcher and teacher was defined by passion, precision, and dedication. He is remembered by his students as a gifted and inspiring role model. He is remembered by his colleagues as warm, witty and brilliant, and as an resolutely independent voice.
Peter Hart was a gentleman: generous, kindhearted, and courageous. His loss is a tragedy for his hometown and for a worldwide community of scholars and students. We offer our deepest sympathies to Peter’s family and friends and his partner, Robin Whitaker. He will be remembered much like Seamus Heaney’s Architect,
Speculating, intelligent and lanky,
Taking things in his Elysian stride,
Talking his way back into sites and truths