Frederick Boland

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Frederick Boland
Frederick H. Boland portrait.png
Boland, who was Ireland's Ambassador to the United Nations, in 1958
Born Frederick Henry Boland
(1904-01-16)16 January 1904
Dublin, Ireland
Died 4 December 1985(1985-12-04) (aged 81)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Education Clongowes Wood College, St Olave's Grammar School, Trinity College, and King's Inns
Occupation President of the General Assembly, Ambassador for Ireland to Britain and the United Nations
Years active 1939—1982
Spouse(s) Frances Kelly
Children 5; including Eavan Boland

Frederick Henry Boland (16 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.

Early life and education

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. 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."[2]

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.[3] 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.[4]


  1. ^ "In Great Irish Lives: An Era in Obituaries". 15 March 2011. 
  2. ^ McCullagh, David The Reluctant Taoiseach Gill and Macmillan 2010 p.197
  3. ^ McCullagh p.228
  4. ^ "Former Chancellors". Dublin: Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 

External links

  • UN bio of Boland
  • Irish Mission to United Nations
  • On Irish UN stamp 2005
  • Transcript of election to Presidency of General Assembly 1960
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Víctor Andrés Belaúnde
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Mongi Slim
Academic offices
Preceded by
2nd Earl of Iveagh
Chancellor of the University of Dublin
Succeeded by
William Bedell Stanford
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