Tribute: Patrick Boylan

Writer : Alissandra Cummins
Year : 2024

Patrick John ‘Paddy’ Boylan left an indelible mark on our professions and careers, our lives and our hearts. Much more than a colleague, he was both a mentor and muse, a source of wisdom and of inspiration, a committed educator and agent provocateur. Patrick was deeply curious, consistently rigorous, and always courageous in exploring and interpreting the unending opportunities which history, heritage and human endeavour afforded him to research and reveal, interrogate and celebrate. To say that he was the first Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage does not truly do justice to his legacy. He was in many ways the architect and advocate for significant change in the missions and mindsets of museums and heritage workers. In his view ICOM’s active support in ensuring the essential exchanges about living heritage between researchers and tradition bearers, was a new approach that was arguably “one of the most important steps forward taken by [ICOM] since its creation in 1946”.