He is the Irish economist and sage who predicted the decline in property prices and also predicts future political chaos in Ireland. The profile, unnecessarily snarky at points, is here. We again see that economists who have studied economic history are proving especially wise during difficult times:
He was described by the Herald Tribune as "a specialist in medieval demographics"… "whose eyes burn with the passionate intensity of his prophesy".
Now he is forecasting mass mortgage defaults and an ugly popular uprising. The first stirrings are already visible, he says, with "anxiety giving way to the first upwellings of an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America", giving rise to a new "hard-right, anti-Europe, anti-traveller party".
I've already linked to this first-rate Kelly piece on the coming collapse in the Irish housing market. He does not follow every current academic fashion, but here are his (consistently interesting) academic papers. I find this one, about the Industrial Revolution, to be of special import. Here is his potentially important but hard for me to assess paper on the economic impact of the Little Ice Age in European history (or ungated here).
File under "Underappreciated and indeed Hated Economist!"