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Frederick Henry Boland (11 January 1904 – 4 December 1985) was an Irish diplomat who served as the first Irish Ambassador to both the United Kingdom and the United Nations.[1] Boland was married to the painter Frances Kelly and had five children including their daughter, Eavan Boland, who is a leading Irish poet.

Frederick Boland
Frederick H. Boland portrait.png
Boland, who was Ireland's Ambassador to the United Nations, in 1958
Frederick Henry Boland

(1904-01-11)11 January 1904
Died4 December 1985(1985-12-04) (aged 81)
EducationClongowes Wood College, St Olave's Grammar School, Trinity College, and King's Inns
OccupationPresident of the General Assembly, Ambassador for Ireland to Britain and the United Nations
Years active1939—1982
Frances Kelly (m. 19351985)
Children5; including Eavan Boland

Early life and educationEdit

Frederick Boland was born on 11 January 1904 at 32 Edenvale Road, Ranelagh to Charlotte (née Nolan Taylor) and Henry Patrick Boland, and they married on 5 September 1900 in Rathgar.[2][3] His father was born in Clonmel, while his mother born in Dublin.[4][5] He was educated at Clongowes Wood College, St Olave's Grammar School, Trinity College and King's Inns, Dublin, where he received his B.A. and LL.B. degrees. Boland married painter Frances Kelly on 11 February 1935 in the Church of St. Michael, Dún Laoghaire.[6] He also did a degree in Classics at Trinity. He did graduate work at Harvard, University of Chicago and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1926 to 1928 as a Rockefeller Research Fellow. He received an Honorary LLD degree from the University of Dublin.


Boland was Assistant Secretary of the Department of External Affairs from 1939 to 1946 prior becoming the Secretary, which he held until 1950. In that role, he led negotiations in 1949, which changed Ireland's status from membership of the Commonwealth to that of a Republic. He was privately critical of the manner in which the Taoiseach, John A. Costello, handled the matter, saying that "he has as much notion of diplomacy as I have of astrology."[7]

He served as the first Irish Ambassador to the Court of St James's in London from 1950 to 1956, a move generally attributed to his inability to work harmoniously with Sean MacBride, Minister for External Affairs 1948–51.[8] In 1956, he became Ireland's Ambassador to the United Nations. Boland was the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 12 October 1960, when Nikita Khrushchev allegedly took off his shoe and pounded it on his desk.

Then, Boland served as the 21st Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin between 1963 and 1982.[9]


  1. ^ "In Great Irish Lives: An Era in Obituaries". 15 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Irish Genealogy" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  3. ^ "Irish Genealogy". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2019-01-01. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Retrieved 2019-01-01. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Irish Genealogy". Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  7. ^ McCullagh, David The Reluctant Taoiseach Gill and Macmillan 2010 p.197
  8. ^ McCullagh p.228
  9. ^ "Former Chancellors". Dublin: Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 30 April 2015.

External linksEdit