Identity Statement for John de Courcy Ireland

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P29
  • Title: Papers of John de Courcy Ireland (1911–2006)
  • Dates: 1942–81
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 15 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use
  • Allied Material

Biographical History‌

‌John de Courcy was born in Lucknow, India on 19 October 1911 where his father was serving with the British army. His father was killed in fighting in World War One. The de Courcy Ireland family was formerly of Robertstown, Co. Kildare. 

John de Courcy Ireland was educated at Marlborough School, the University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin where he was awarded a PhD in 1951 for his research on Irish maritime history. De Courcy Ireland taught in St Patrick's Cathedral School, Dublin, Drogheda Grammer School, Bandon Grammer School in Cork and Kingston Grammer School, Dún Laoghaire. In 1972 the Kingston and Avoca School, Blackrock amalgamated becoming the Newpark Comprehensive. De Courcy Ireland continued teaching there and left teaching in 1986 at the age of 75.   

De Courcy Ireland had a distinguished and lifelong commitment to Irish and international maritime history and affairs, to radical politics and to humanism. He ran as a Democratic Socialist for the European Parliament in 1984, and was decorated by many foreign governments for his work in the area of maritime history. He was a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in Ireland.  

John de Courcy Ireland died on 4th April 2006. 

Archival History

This collection was deposited in the UCD Archives.


Scope and Content

Secretary, Central Branch of the Labour Party: material concerning meetings, policies and membership of the executive council (1942–3), party administration and annual conferences (1943–76); the Dublin regional council (1953–9) and the Dun Laoghaire, Rathdown and Dalkey constituency councils and branches (1957–76); memoranda relating to maritime policy and local government (1955–75); election material (1970).

Vocational Education Committee: material relating to his membership of the committee (1949–74) and to his teaching career in schools in Dublin, Drogheda, County Louth and Bandon, County Cork (1942–76) including correspondence concerning a plan to emigrate and teach in Argentina (1949–50).

Documents relating to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (1953–76), the Maritime Institute of Ireland (1952–76) the Maritime Museum (1951–76), the Inland Waterways’ Association of Ireland (1954–62) and the Asgard Awards (1971–3). Correspondence with seafarers (1951–76).

Correspondence and other papers relating to the many associations, societies and pressure groups with which de Courcy Ireland was involved including the Campaign for European Civic Education (1965), Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (1963–76), Association for Curriculum Development (1972), Irish Voice in Vietnam (1967), Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (1964–74), Wolfe Tone Society, Sinn Fein and other republican and socialist groups (1967–76), Anti-Imperialist Festival (1974–6), Irish Humanist Association (1972), Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation (1971–2), Teachers for Peace Committee (1951–62), Irish Arab Society (1971–6), Anti-European Economic Community Campaign (1972), Common Market Defence Campaign (1970–2), Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (1960–3), Resources Protection Campaign (1973–6), and civic groups in Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey, county Dublin (1954–76).

Correspondence and related papers concerning an appeal for a cessation of violence in Northern Ireland including letters to the British Ambassador and the Provisional IRA (1969–72).

Correspondence, drafts and copies of articles and reviews on political, cultural, Arab, maritime, educational, literary and historical matters. Correspondence with editors of magazines and newspapers and with Radio Telefís Éireann relating to his journalism (1942–74). Personal correspondence (1943–76).

Workers’ Union of Ireland Port and Docks Branch registers (1937–40).

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in microform.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue
  1. P29 John de Courcy Ireland Papers
  2. P29a John de Courcy Ireland Additional Papers

John de Courcy Ireland wrote for many maritime journals and many of his papers have been deposited in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland archive.