Director of the National Gallery in Dublin. Furlong was orphaned at nine years old and educated by Jesuits at Clongowes Wood. He attended University College, Dublin and his graduate studies were at Grenoble, Paris (the Sorbonne), Munich. He received his Ph.D. in Vienna writing on the topic of 10th and 11th century Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination. As a student in Munich he observed Hitler's 1923 abortive putsch. A homosexual, Furlong developed strong antipathies to Nazism.