Todd Andrews

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This article is about the Irish political activist. For the actor, see Tod Andrews.

Christopher Stephen "Todd" Andrews (6 October 1901 – 11 October 1985) was an Irish political activist and public servant. He participated in the Irish War of Independence and Civil War as a political and military activist in the Irish Republican movement. Todd Andrews never ran for election and was never a government minister. He was a supporter, though not a member, of Fianna Fáil.

Early life and education[edit]

Andrews was born in Summerhill, Dublin in 1901. He acquired the nickname "Todd" because of his perceived resemblance to an English comic strip hero Alonzo Todd, who appeared in The Magnet.[1] Andrews briefly attended St. Enda's School and completed his secondary education at Synge Street CBS.[2][1] Andrews went on to study Commerce at University College Dublin, and although his studies were interrupted by his participation in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, he returned to the university and was awarded a degree in Commerce.[1]

Nationalist revolutionary[edit]

He joined the Irish Volunteers at the age of fifteen and had an active role in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1920, however he was released after ten days on hunger strike. He was interned at the Curragh in 1921 but he escaped. Andrews took the Republican side during the Irish Civil War. He was interned by the government of the Irish Free State until 1924. He then continued with his studies and graduated with a Commerce degree.

Political career[edit]

He got a job with the Irish Tourist Association and later with Electricity Supply Board. When the Fianna Fáil government came to power in 1932 Andrews was put in charge of turf development. He advocated the setting up of a properly managed commercial enterprise. In 1946 Bord na Móna was set up with Andrews as managing director.

In 1958 he was appointed chairman of the Irish transport company, Córas Iompair Éireann. Aping the widescale closures in Britain (the Beeching Axe), he presided over closure of significant sections of the rail network which by 1962 included

In 1966 Todd Andrew was appointed chairman of the RTÉ Authority. Asked the difference between his new job as director of RTÉ and his old job as head of the national transport system, he is reputed to have declared, "RTÉ carries more passengers" (though this was a fairly common joke among Dubliners at that time).[3] He resigned in 1970 when his son, David Andrews was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach.

Later life and family[edit]

He was the recipient of several honorary doctorates and degrees from various universities. He published his autobiography in two volumes in 1979 and 1982, under the titles of Dublin Made Me and Man of No Property.

Andrews died in Dublin at the age of 84.

Two of his sons, Niall Andrews and David Andrews became TDs, with David Andrews becoming Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Todd's grandson, Ryan Tubridy, is a radio presenter and television chatshow host on RTÉ, while grandsons Barry Andrews and Chris Andrews were Fianna Fáil TDs. In May 2009, Ryan Tubridy was appointed by RTÉ to succeed Pat Kenny as host of the television station's long-running chat show The Late Late Show, whose first host (and producer) was Gay Byrne until Kenny took over in 1999. Byrne, in his 1989 memoirs The Time of My Life and subsequently in an RTÉ documentary in 2005, related how Andrews, then chairman of the RTÉ Authority, phoned the Director-General of RTÉ Tim McCourt and ordered him to fire "that fucker Byrne";[citation needed] however McCourt refused to dismiss Byrne.[4][5]

Bibliography[edit]

Autobiography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Founding Father Dr. C. S. "Todd" Andrews 1901–1985". Scéal na Móna 13 (41): 18-21. April 2002. 
  2. ^ McCarthy, John P. (2006). Ireland: A Reference Guide From The Renaissance To The Present. Facts on File, Inc. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0-8160-5378-2. 
  3. ^ The Pear is Ripe, A Memoir, John Montague
  4. ^ "Gaybo feared sack – just what chairman ordered". Irish Independent. 12 September 2005. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lorraine's Xposé will do her no harm – Gay". 28 August 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2012.