Todd Andrews


Life
1901-1985 [C. S. Andrews; Christopher Stephen Andrews; fam. “Todd”]; b. Summerhill, Dublin, 6 Oct.; called Alonzo Todd as nickname after a character in the comic Magnet; ed. St Enda’s, Synge St. CBS, and UCD; joined Dublin Brigade Irish Volunteers, 1917; ten days on hunger strike on arrest in 1920; Curragh internment in 1921, escaping by tunnelling; wounded on Republican side in O’Connell St., and later adjutant to Liam Lynch; interned till 1924; grad. UCD, BComm; Irish Tourist Assoc.;
 
served in ESB as Chief Accountant; appt. to turf development brief; formed delegation to Germany and USSR investigating modern methods; inaugurated he Bord na Móna, 1946, a spectacularly successful national company purveying machined turf and peat from Irish bogs, following a visit to USSR; chairman CIE, 1958; closed numerous uneconomic lines incl. Great Western rail out of Harcourt Station by executive decision, selling off part of the track;
 
baffled by recalcitrant transport unions; part-chairman of Radio Telefís Éireann Authority, June 1966; issued two volumes of autobiography, Dublin Made Me (1979), and Man of No Property (1982); d. 11 Oct at home in Dundrum; famously described himself as ‘slightly constitutional republican’. DIB MIL

[ top ]

Works
Dublin Made Me: An Autobiography [Vol. 1] (Dublin: Mercier 1979), 312pp.; Man of No Property: An Autobiography [Vol. 2] (Dublin: Mercier 1982), 327pp., [9] p. of plates: ill.

See also remarks on death of Michael Collins, under Collins, infra.

[ top ]

Criticism
Frank McDonald, ‘£73m Train Revival Plan Coming Down the Line’ , in The Irish Times (3 Aug. 1996), p.6 [infra]; John Montague, ‘Literary Gentleman’, in Cork Review, 'Sean O Faoláin Special Issue', ed. Sean Dunne (1996), [infra].

[ top ]

Commentary
Brian Inglis, Downstart (London: Chatto & Windus 1990), writes: ‘[...] Andrews [...] had been just too young to have been “out” with the rebels in 1916; he had joined the IRA soon afterwards and fought on under de Valera in the civil war that followed the 1921 Treaty. His success in building up Bord na Mona into a major industrial enterprise had won general respect, and even popularity, in a country starved of coal during the Emergency; but his next job, running the state transport corporation Coras lompir [sic for Iompair] Eireann, had left him with the kind of reputation that Richard Beeching was soon to acquire in Britain, as a ruthless butcher of the railway system. With the development of road transport, Todd had realised there was no alternative except bankruptcy; but his decision to close down the small suburban line running out from Harcourt Street in Dublin through the stockbroker belt of Foxrock and Carrickmines and on south to Bray, though it seemed justified at the time - stockbrokers had their cars - was to turn sour when suburban development restored the potential traffic the line had lacked. / Of all the older republican generation, I found Todd the most impressive and the most engaging. He was one of the best-read individuals I have ever encountered, in the literature of America, Europe and Britain as well as of Ireland; and he managed to keep abreast of current affairs the world over. J. K. Galbraith, whom he admired (and who was one of few acquaintances who could give him a centimeter or two in height: Todd stood over six foot three), once ruefully observed to Paddy Lynch [CEO Aer Lingus], who had introduced them, “Todd [183] makes me feel like a provincial”. Not that he flaunted his erudition [...] Yet Todd had remained a republican to the extent of continuing to maintain that Ireland must be reunited. He would have approved of the use of force in that that cause, if he had thought there was the remotest prospect of its succeeding. As things were, he despised most of his contemporaries in politics, de Valera always excepted. Yet, listening to him, in his home in Dundrum or his cottage in Connemara, it was impossible to think of him as having anything to do with physical violence of any kind - or even verbal violence, caustic though he could be about those he mistrusted, such as Sean MacBride. My admiration for him was to grow ([...; &c., p.183-84).

[ top ]

Frank McDonald, '£73m Train Revival Plan Coming Down the Line' , Irish Times (3 Aug. 1996), p.6; 'The fervour of Todd Andrews in flailing them [Ireland's railways] to virtually skeletons knew almost no bounds' [...]; ‘as a “slightly constitutional republican”, he regarded the railways as part of Britain's colonial legacy and appeared to enjoy closing them down.’ [Note that the old track of the Great Western Railway line might have provided a route for an East-West rapid transport system in Dublin afterward.

John Montague, 'Literary Gentleman', in Cork Review, ‘Sean O Faoláin Special Issue', ed. Sean Dunne, 1996: 'I met Sean [O’Faoláin] casually on may occasions in later years, more particularly at C. S. (Todd) Andrews's house, when the highly articulate commissar organised intellectual gatherings [...]' [q.p.]

[ top ]

Quotations
Christian Brothers: 'Without the groundwork of the Christian Brothers' schooling, probably there would have been no 1916 Rising, and certain that the subsequent fight for independence would not have been successfully carried through. The leadership of the IRA came largely from those who got their education from the Brothers, and got it free.' [Cited in Fintan O'Toole, “Blessed Among Brothers”, Irish Times, Weekend feature, 5 Oct. 1996.]

[ top ]