Mr Griffin, who was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University in 2005, was one of America's most popular television entertainers and an astute media entrepreneur, with a global network of companies and interests. He was a key supporter of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway and was a true friend of the University.
Dr Ó Muircheartaigh, who will attend the invitation-only funeral in Beverly Hills on Friday 17th August, was invited by Mr Griffin's son, Tony to participate in the funeral service and to say a prayer in Irish and English. Among the other participants in this service will be Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The NUI Galway President said: "Over a number of years, Merv developed a warm and close relationship with NUI Galway. He was interested in and supportive of developments here, especially of the Huston School which he visited in June 2005. He was a warm, funny, larger than life individual who retained a deep interest in the West of Ireland. On a personal level and on behalf of NUI Galway I extend my sympathy to his son Tony, his extended family and to his many dear friends."
Merv Griffin was the son of Mervyn and Rita Griffin, nee Robinson. Both parents were Irish-born, tracing their origins to counties Clare and Tipperary. While enjoying a life-long relationship with Ireland, Griffin s links with the West of Ireland were further strengthened with his purchase of St Cleran s in Craughwell, former home of Hollywood legend John Huston. His painstaking restoration of St Cleran s saw it transformed into one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe.