Todd Andrews

Last updated

Todd Andrews
Birth nameChristopher Stephen Andrews
Born(1901-10-06)6 October 1901
Summerhill, Dublin, Ireland
Died11 October 1985(1985-10-11) (aged 84)
Phibsborough, Dublin, Ireland
Allegiance Ireland
Service/branch Irish Republican Army
Years of service1919–1923
Mary Coyle
(m. 1928;died 1967)
Joyce Duffy
(m. 1968)
Children4, including David and Niall
Other work Public servant

Christopher Stephen "Todd" Andrews (6 October 1901 – 11 October 1985) was an Irish republican 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 never held public office.


Early life and education

Andrews was born at 42 Summerhill in Dublin in 1901. He acquired the nickname "Todd" because of his perceived resemblance to 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. [1] [2] He 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 where he obtained a degree in Commerce. [1]

Nationalist revolutionary

Andrews was politicised by the 1916 Rising. He joined the 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, fighting with the Rathfarnham company of the 4th Dublin Brigade. [3] He was arrested and imprisoned in 1920 but released after ten days on hunger strike. He was interned at the Curragh in 1921 but tunnelled his way to freedom with two comrades. [4] Andrews took the republican side during the Irish Civil War and was wounded in the fighting in O'Connell Street, Dublin. Andrews was appointed the IRA's General Headquarters and travelled the country supervising the training of volunteers. [5] Andrews was interned by the government of the Irish Free State until early 1924.

Public servant

After graduation, Andrews found employment as an accountant with the then-fledgling Irish Tourist Association where he structured their accounts office, as well as editing several of their publications. In the summer of 1930 he was offered a position as an accountant with the Electricity Supply Board at a time when they were expanding the National Grid and constructing significant Hydro-Electric projects such as Ardnacrusha.

In 1933, Andrews was appointed to the Department of Industry and Commerce, where he dealt with the industrialisation of Irish turf development. Andrews initially set up a network of co-ops that locally harvested and sold turf but quickly saw that this arrangement was insufficient to successfully modernise turf production in Ireland on a commercial scale; it also drew the ire of coal merchants who worried about the effect of a State-led competition to their markets. However such worries were overcome by Andrews through shrewd and active man management, culminating with the establishment of the Turf Development Board in 1934. The new semi-state company helped overcome future issues in managing peat harvesting on a grand scale and schemes set up to help fuel Ireland during The Emergency, and ultimately led to the formation of Bord Na Mona in 1946, a body that he ultimately became Chief Executive of.


In 1958 Andrew was offered and accepted the chairmanship of the Irish transport company Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), which was in a perilous fiscal state. Following on from the findings of the Beddy Report, [6] he drew from his business experience and oversaw a large restructuring of the Irish rail system. This included the purchase of diesel electric engines from General Motors, the introduction of modern coaching stock, the phased closure of uneconomic services and elimination of slow stopping services, the introduction of new braked good wagons as well as a revamp of ticketing arrangements. He also oversaw the closures of several lines that were perennially uneconomic and loss-making. This included:

Andrews also oversaw the resurgence and modernisation of CIE road transport, provincial and city bus services in Ireland. Steam traction was eliminated under his chairmanship, a cost benefit that undoubtedly saved CIE from certain collapse, while modern van and lorries took on delivery of freights in place of horse and carriage. In spite of such economies, CIE still struggled under a state expectation that it run without subvention; an impossible ask given the sparse traffic and passenger numbers in a land cropped by emigration. Issues of Partition often affected the operation of the company; CIE was forced to introduce additional bus services in border areas upon the withdrawal of the Ulster Transport Authority from cross border services, notably with the GNRB in 1958 and the County Donegal Railway Joint Committee in 1959. In spite of all this, many people believe CIE was in a far improved condition that Andrews took up in 1958. Others take the opposite view.


He retired from CIE upon his 65th birthday but before he stood down he became chairman of the RTÉ Authority at the request of Seán Lemass. [7] During his time as chairman he oversaw significant changes as the broadcaster expanded RTÉ Radio and Television, as well as the introduction of FM radio and colour television, the opening of a Belfast news desk, the beginning of the move from the GPO to a new complex at Montrose, Donnybrook. Andrews frequently rebutted Government interference in the organisation, even rebutting advances from then Minister Erskine Childers to suppress some employees who were suspected of being subversives. [8] Todd resigned from RTÉ in 1970 after his son David Andrews was appointed Chief Whip to the Taoiseach. [9]

Later life and family

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; David Andrews became Minister for Foreign Affairs.

His brother, Paddy Andrews was a football player, most notably with Bohemians who was also capped by the Irish Free State. Todd Andrews' grandson Ryan Tubridy was a radio presenter and television chatshow host on RTÉ, while grandsons Barry Andrews and Chris Andrews were also TDs. Another grandson is comedian David McSavage.

Gay Byrne, one of Tubridy's predecessors on The Late Late Show, in his 1989 memoir The Time of My Life and subsequently in an RTÉ documentary in 2005, related how Andrews, when chairman of the RTÉ Authority, phoned the Director General of RTÉ Tim McCourt and ordered him to fire "that fucker Byrne"; McCourt refused to dismiss Byrne. [10] [11]



Related Research Articles

Most of the transport system in Ireland is in public hands, either side of the Irish border. The Irish road network has evolved separately in the two jurisdictions into which Ireland is divided, while the Irish rail network was mostly created prior to the partition of Ireland.

<i>The Late Late Show</i> (Irish talk show) Irish chat show

The Late Late Show, with its title often shortened to The Late Late, is an Irish chat show. It is the world's second longest-running late-night talk show, after the American The Tonight Show, and is the longest-running live talk show. Perceived as the official flagship television programme of RTÉ, it is regarded as an Irish television institution, and is broadcast live across normally two hours in front of a studio audience on Friday nights at 9:30pm between September and May. Certain segments are sometimes pre-recorded and aired within the live parts of the show.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gay Byrne</span> Irish television and radio presenter (1934–2019)

Gabriel Mary Byrne was an Irish presenter and host of radio and television. His most notable role was as the first host of The Late Late Show over a 37-year period spanning 1962 until 1999. The Late Late Show is the world's second longest-running chat show. He was affectionately known as "Uncle Gay", "Gaybo" or "Uncle Gaybo". His time working in Britain with Granada Television saw him become the first person to introduce The Beatles on-screen, and Byrne was later the first to introduce Boyzone on screen in 1993.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryan Tubridy</span> Irish TV and radio presenter (born 1973)

Ryan Tubridy is an Irish broadcaster. His broadcasting career with RTÉ spanned over two decades, where he presented many shows on radio and television, most notably The Late Late Show on RTÉ One from 2009 to 2023. Other shows he presented include RTÉ 2fm's The Full Irish (2004–2009) and Tubridy (2010–2015), RTÉ One's Tubridy Tonight (2004–2009), RTÉ Radio One's The Tubridy Show (2005–2010) and The Ryan Tubridy Show (2015–2023). He also hosted the Rose of Tralee contest on two occasions and worked for BBC Radio.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dublin Area Rapid Transit</span> Commuter rail network in Dublin, Ireland

The Dublin Area Rapid Transit system is an electrified commuter rail railway network serving the coastline and city of Dublin, Ireland. The service makes up the core of Dublin's suburban railway network, stretching from Greystones, County Wicklow, in the south to Howth and Malahide in north County Dublin. The DART serves 31 stations and consists of 53 route kilometres of electrified railway, and carries in the region of 20 million passengers per year. In a similar manner to the Berlin S-Bahn, the DART blends elements of a commuter rail service and a rapid transit system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rail transport in Ireland</span>

Rail transport in Ireland is provided by Iarnród Éireann in the Republic of Ireland and by Northern Ireland Railways in Northern Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Duffy</span> Irish radio and TV presenter (born 1956)

Joseph Duffy is an Irish radio and TV presenter employed by RTÉ. One of the public service broadcaster's highest-earning stars, he is the current presenter of Liveline, an interview and phone-in chat show broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Mondays to Fridays between 13:45 and 15:00.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Connolly station</span> Railway station in Dublin, Ireland

Connolly station or Dublin Connolly is one of the busiest railway stations in Dublin and Ireland, and is a focal point in the Irish route network. On the North side of the River Liffey, it provides InterCity, Enterprise and commuter services to the north, north-west, south-east and south-west. The north–south Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Luas red line light rail services also pass through the station. The station offices are the headquarters of Irish Rail, Iarnród Éireann. Opened in 1844 as Dublin Station, the ornate facade has a distinctive Italianate tower at its centre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Railway Procurement Agency</span> Defunct state agency in Ireland

The Railway Procurement Agency was a state agency of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Ireland, charged with the development of light railway and the future metro infrastructure.

Although prototype diesel locomotives ran in Britain before World War II, the railways of both the Republic and Northern Ireland changed over much more rapidly from steam to diesel traction than those in Britain, due to the island's limited coal reserves and an ageing steam locomotive fleet.

Niall Dermot Andrews was an Irish politician. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Fianna Fáil party.

David Andrews, known professionally as David McSavage, is an Irish stand-up comedian, comedy writer and street performer, known for his television show "The Savage Eye".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Great Northern Railway (Ireland)</span>

The Great Northern Railway (Ireland) (GNR(I) or GNRI) was an Irish gauge (1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)) railway company in Ireland. It was formed in 1876 by a merger of the Irish North Western Railway (INW), Northern Railway of Ireland, and Ulster Railway. The governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland jointly nationalised the company in 1953, and the company was liquidated in 1958: assets were split on national lines between the Ulster Transport Authority and Córas Iompair Éireann.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chris Andrews (politician)</span> Irish Sinn Féin politician (b. 1964)

Chris Andrews is an Irish Sinn Féin politician who has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Bay South constituency since the 2020 general election, and previously from 2007 to 2011 as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Dublin South-East constituency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harcourt Street railway line</span> Railway line in Ireland

The Harcourt Street Railway Line was a railway line that ran from Harcourt Street in Dublin through the southern suburbs to Bray. It was one of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway's two northern main lines, the other being the Coastal Line to Westland Row.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">InterCity (Iarnród Éireann)</span> Rail services in the Republic of Ireland

InterCity is the brand name given to rail services operated by Iarnród Éireann that run between Dublin and other major cities in Ireland. InterCity branding is also used in other European countries by unaffiliated organizations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dublin tramways</span> Transport system in Dublin, 1871–1959

Dublin tramways was a system of trams in Dublin, Ireland, which commenced line-laying in 1871, and began service in 1872, following trials in the mid-1860s. Established by a number of companies, the majority of the system was eventually operated by forms of the Dublin United Tramways Company (DUTC), dominated for many years by William Martin Murphy. Most of the services ran within the city centre and near suburbs, with the majority of major suburbs served. Additionally, there were two longer-range services, one reaching the "excursion" destination of Poulaphouca Falls, and two services concerning Howth.

Seán Tubridy was an Irish politician and medical practitioner. Tubridy had two terms as a Fianna Fáil TD for Galway, from 1927 to 1932 and 1937 to 1939. His parents had originally moved to Carraroe in Connemara to teach at the local Irish-language school. Tubridy was also involved in Gaeltacht affairs and in the mid-1930s was a co-founder of Muintir na Gaeltachta, along with Peadar Duignan and Máirtín Ó Cadhain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mallow–Tralee railway line</span> Railway line in Ireland

The Mallow–Tralee line runs from Mallow to Tralee Casement. Intermediate stations include Banteer, Millstreet, Rathmore, Killarney and Farranfore.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Claire Byrne</span> Irish radio and TV presenter

Claire Byrne is an Irish radio and television presenter.


  1. 1 2 3 "Founding Father Dr. C. S. "Todd" Andrews 1901–1985". Scéal na Móna. 13 (41): 18–21. April 2002. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018.
  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. Garvin, Tom (July 2013). "Andrews, Christopher Stephen ('Todd')". Dictionary OF Irish Biography. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  4. Garvin, p. 1
  5. MacEoin, Uinseann (1997), The IRA in the Twilight Years 1923-1948, Argenta Publications, Dublin, p. 137, ISBN 0951117246
  6. Irish Railway Record Society (2020). "CIE Fact Sheet" (PDF).
  7. The Pear is Ripe, A Memoir, John Montague
  8. Corcoran, Farrel. "Government, Public Broadcasting and the Urge to Censor" (PDF). Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  9. "David Andrews".
  10. "Gaybo feared sack – just what chairman ordered". Irish Independent . 12 September 2005. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  11. "Lorraine's Xposé will do her no harm – Gay". 28 August 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2012.