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Frederick Boland


Frederick Boland

Frederick Henry Boland (16 January 1904 – 4 December 1985) was an Irish diplomat, who served as the first Irish Ambassador to Britain and to the United Nations.[1]

Boland was born in Dublin on 16 January 1904. 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 1926–28 as a Rockefeller Research Fellow. He received an Honorary LLD degree from the University of Dublin.

He was Assistant Secretary of the Department of External Affairs from 1939–1946, before becoming the Secretary, a post he held until 1950. In this 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 " 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 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 married to the painter the late Frances Kelly. Their daughter Eavan Boland is a leading Irish poet.

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.

Boland served as the twentieth Chancellor of the Trinity College, Dublin between 1963 and 1982.[4]


  1. ^ In Great Irish Lives: An Era in Obituaries. Retrieved from 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
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