Irish archaeologist who specialized in the prehistory of Ireland. Born and brought up in County Limerick, he studied archaeology at University College, Cork. In 1944 he was appointed curator of the Cork Museum, and in 1946 he succeeded S. P. O'Ríordáin to the Chair of Archaeology in University College, Cork. Amongst his numerous excavations the best known is that undertaken with his wife, Claire, at Newgrange, County Meath, between 1962 and 1975. O'Kelly served on the councils of many learned societies and advisory boards in Britain and Ireland. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1947.
The Times, 27 October 1982