Miriam Meets... Professor David Farrell and Professor Theo Farrell
This week, Miriam O'Callaghan interviews Professor David Farrell of the School of Politics and International Relations at UCD and his younger brother Theo, Professor of War in the Modern World at King's College, London.
They recall growing up in a busy house in Dublin. Their father Brian was a well known academic and current affairs broadcaster while their mother Marie Therese created a welcoming home. They recall Summers spent in County Clare and their mother's restaurant run from their Summer home.
Niether David nor Theo thrived in school, but found University more conducive to learning. David tells Miriam about the positive influence of his peer group on him while Theo recalls the importance of his father and brother in inspiring him in his career.
Theo now lives in London and studies the war in Afghanistan. As well as studying from books, Theo has spent time on the ground in Afghanistan and has met the Taliban outside Afghanistan. He discusses the treatment of women in that country and the prospects for peace. As part of the security requirements for his work, Theo has become a British citizen. Given the long connection between Ireland and Britain, he doesn't find this a difficulty.
In contrast, David spent twenty one years in Manchester before returning to Dublin in 2009. Although he lived in Britain for many years, he never settled and always considered himself Irish. He talks to Miriam about his work on the Constitutional Convention and the resilience of Irish institutions in the face of the challenges posed by austerity.
Both men reflect on the resilience of their father Brian in facing the challenges of Parkinson's Disease. David is glad to spend time with his father, who despite physical fraility, is still able to give him the kind of advice that a father might give his son. Theo is always pleased to see his parents on his trips to Ireland and he appreciates the support his siblings who are based in Dublin give to his parents, singling out Naomi for particular mention.
They chose Amoreena by Elton John; Let Me Go by Cake and Visions of Johanna by Bob Dylan from the soundtrack of No Direction Home.