Thekla Beere

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Thekla Beere (1902 – 19 February 1991) was an Irish civil servant who chaired the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 1970 and was secretary of Irish Department of Transport and Power.[1]

Thekla Beere was born at Streete, County Westmeath, where her father, the Rev. Francis Beere, was the Church of Ireland rector. She attended Alexandra College, Dublin and did a moderatorship in Legal and Political Sciences and an LL.B at Trinity College, Dublin.

She joined the Civil Service in 1924 and worked initially in the Statistics Branch. In 1925, she won a Rockefeller scholarship and traveled extensively in the USA before resuming her Civil Service career. From 1939, she worked in the Department of Industry and Commerce where during World War II she worked in the area of supply with the then Minister Seán Lemass. She became Assistant Secretary of that Department in 1953. She was the first woman to achieve the rank of Department Secretary at Transport and Power in 1959.

An honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on her by Trinity College in 1960. After her retirement in 1967 she was active in public life, serving as a governor of Alexandra College and as a director of The Irish Times. She was requested by the Government to chair the Commission on the Status of Women in 1970 and the Beere Report was presented to the Minister for Finance in December 1972.

Beere had a lifelong interest in the proceedings of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and was its president. She was a Governor of the Irish Times Trust and chairwoman of the International Labour Office in Geneva. She was a member of the organising committee, which on 7 May 1931 set up An Óige (The Irish Youth Hostelling organisation), of which she was President from 1968 to 1974. She also had an extensive interest in the arts in particular the paintings of Cecil King.


  1. ^ Brady, Conor (2005). Up with the Times. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. p. 114. ISBN 0-7171-3961-1. 


  • Beere, Wyndham (2004). A Slice of Magic: The Autobiography of Wyndham Beere, Co-founder of Abrakebabra Ltd. Dublin: Blackhall Publishing. ISBN 1-84218-085-1. 
  • Brady, Conor (2005). Up with the Times. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan. ISBN 0-7171-3961-1. 
  • Bryson, Anna (2009). No Coward Soul: A Biography of Thekla Beere. Dublin: IPA. ISBN 978-1-904541-79-0. 
  • Eager, Clare (Summer 2000). "Thekla Beere: An Appreciation". Equality News. Dublin: The Equality Authority. p. 21. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  • "Thelka Berre". Discovering Women in Irish History. Dublin: Department of Education and Science, An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta. c. 2004. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  • Trench, Terry (1981). Fifty Years Young: The Story of An Óige. Dublin: An Óige, Irish Youth Hostel Association. ISBN 0-9500292-9-7.