Todd Andrews

Christopher Stephen Andrews (6 October 1901 – 11 October 1985) was born in Dublin, but soon acquired the nickname "Todd", because of his perceived resemblance to an English comic strip hero. He was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers, and at University College Dublin.

Todd Andrews 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.

Todd Andrews went to mass, played football, read a book. Apart from suffering a slight concussion at his match, and attending a meeting about the next day’s killing, it was like any other given Saturday for the nineteen-year-old. He slept well, he had been to confession, he was in a state of grace like so very many more that night, all supposedly made ready for their own deaths mixed with some sort of guarantee of forgiveness in advance. It was only in the morning that Andrews began to feel unease. He was, as he said, ‘unattuned to assassination ’. He was ‘very excited by the assignment but the prospect of killing a man in cold blood was alien to our ideas of how a war should be conducted’.

Todd Andrews found a woman in Captain Noble's bed in a flat in Ranelagh, half-naked and alone. He could not decide whether he felt ‘glad or sorry ’ that Noble had not been there.

Todd Andrews was certainly outraged with the behaviour of the men from the squad that day. ‘There were only women and children in the rest of he house but that did not prevent the pair from the squad behaving like Black and Tans.’

As Todd Andrews admitted, ‘ killing a man in cold blood was alien to our ideas of how a war should be conducted’ Nothing prepared these men for what they were about to do. In many of the statements there is a sense of knowing that it was wrong, that there was something in it that was just not fair. War was about ambushes, a fair fight; it was not supposed to be about killing a man in his bed. But to admit this, to admit that mistakes were made, that the wrong men were shot, could not be countenanced by some at all.

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). He resigned in 1970 when his son, David Andrews was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach.



Ira Men on the death squads