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2020 Centenary: ‘Most Irish families have a connection to the Civil War’

Barry Andrews’ grandfather Todd was proud of his republicanism

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Todd Andrews (extreme right) conversing with fellow anti-Treaty IRA men Seán MacBride, Andy Cooney and Ernie O’Malley inside the Four Courts in 1922

Todd Andrews (extreme right) conversing with fellow anti-Treaty IRA men Seán MacBride, Andy Cooney and Ernie O’Malley inside the Four Courts in 1922

Todd Andrews (extreme right) conversing with fellow anti-Treaty IRA men Seán MacBride, Andy Cooney and Ernie O’Malley inside the Four Courts in 1922

When Barry Andrews looks at the photograph of his grandfather Todd Andrews, he finds it difficult to imagine that the man in the picture is only 20, five years older than his eldest son is today.

The picture was taken inside the Four Courts in 1922, the headquarters of the anti-Treaty forces, and Andrews is conversing with fellow anti-Treaty IRA men Ernie O’Malley, Seán MacBride and Andy Cooney. All are young men. MacBride, who was assistant to O’Malley, the director of organisation at the Four Courts, was still a teenager.

While Barry Andrews, a scion of the Andrews political dynasty in Dublin, is immensely proud of his grandfather, he wears the historical weight of his heritage lightly. It has, however, been hugely influential in his own life: he studied history and politics at University College Dublin and worked as a history teacher before following his father David Andrews, the former foreign minister, into politics.


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