Irish composer and prolific broadcaster and writer best known for his orchestral pieces and chamber music. He was also a successful painter, primarily of surrealist works, and joined The White Stag group in the 1940s.
He studied natural science at Clare College, Cambridge. He studied music at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Patrick Hadley, Herbert Howells, and Vaughan Williams.
He was a professor of music at Trinity College, Dublin, for 20 years and also served as conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Players, succeeding Havelock Nelson.
His family was very wealthy thanks to an established maltings business. His mother Eileen Collins was among the first female graduates of Trinity College. He was married to his wife Mary for 56 years.
His 1948 piece "In Memoriam Mahatma Gandhi," Op.30, was his breakthrough success.