Kevin Boland

Miscellaneous information

Life
1917-2001; b. Dublin, son of Gerald Boland, a veteran of the Easter Rising (1885-73); Fianna Fáil member, elected TD for S. Dublin, 1947-70; Minister of Defence, 1957-61; minister of Social Welfare,m 1961-66; Minister for Local Govt., 1966-70; implicated in Arms Crisis with Neil Blaney and Charles Haughey, and resigned when they were dismissed by Jack Lynch [Taoiseach]; expelled from Fianna Fáil; fnd. Aontacht Éireann to support ‘in every way possible the risen people of the Six Counties’; bitterly attacked bipartisanship on the North and challenged the constitutionality of Sunningdale in the Supreme Court, 1973; initial support melted in General Election,1973; issued autobiography as Up Dev (1977).

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Commentary
The Irish Times (29 Sept. 2001), obit. notice, quotes John Healy’s review contemporary of Up Dev (1977): ‘Only the Bolands, dead uncle, dead father and living son, keep the Faith. Kevin sees himself as the Northern constant star in a political world of chicanery and deceit and double-dealing. He is not priggish about it; there is an honest stupidity about it which forces you to say that politics is the last vocation that Kevin Boland should have considered. / And if he doesn’t understand the art of politics, how then can he understand Fianna Fáil - or the people who gave his former part 84 seats?’ (p.16.)

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Notes
In March 1970, Kevin Boland attacked the conservationists involved in the occupation of the ESB property on Fitzwilliam Square - being Georgian houses converted to office use and destined to be torn down and replaced by a purpose-built office block - with derisive comments about ‘belted earles and their ladies and left-wing intellectuals’. (Cited by Stephen Collins [column], in The Irish Times, 20 July 2013.) Note: The artistocratics alluded to were Desmond and Mariga Guinness.