Designatory Letters: 
MB Dublin 1968, MD Dublin 1978, FRCP Lond 1980, FRCP Irel1980, FRCP Edin 1992

The death on July 18th 2010 of Finbarr Patrick Kiernan (Barry) Bresnihan, as a result of a brain tumour, brought to an end a dazzling career. Thousands will remember him for his outstanding rugby talents, others for his pioneering work as a rheumatologist. Both made him famous and deeply admired worldwide.

He was born in Waterford, Eire, the son of a doctor. He qualified in medicine in Dublin and pursued post-graduate studies in London at Guy’s, then MRC Rheumatism Research Unit at Taplow followed by the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Hammersmith, London. Later he went on a two-year fellowship to the University of Texas, at its South Western Medical Center in Dallas before returning to set up a laboratory at University College Dublin medical school and St Vincent’s, its teaching hospital. He published extensively and in 1991 became Professor of Rheumatology at UCD. Later honours included Visiting Professorships at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the University of Geneva and, in 2009 being given the lifetime achievement award by the Irish Society for Rheumatology.

He played rugby at all levels – school, university, club, international - playing for Ireland and for the British and Irish Lions. This took him to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. His last game for Ireland was in 1971 playing against Wales. In all he scored five tries in his 25 games for his country.

He is survived by his wife Val and their three daughters and one son.