Frances Condell was born Frances Eades in 1916 in Limerick. She married Robert Condell in 1936, and by him had one child, Alan, born in 1937. Condell worked as a teacher in Villiers School from 1955 until 1959, when she was appointed welfare officer for the Shannon Free Airport Development Company. In 1964, she was appointed public relations officer for Guinness Ireland on a part-time basis. Condell entered local politics in 1960, when she was elected as a non-political and first ever female Councillor to Limerick City Council. She was nominated and elected mayor of Limerick in 1962, the first woman ever to be officially voted into this position in Ireland. She was re-elected as mayor in 1963, during which term she was to host several visiting dignitaries, most notably President John F. Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy, President Kaunda of Zambia, Cardinal Browne, and ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson, wife of president Lyndon B. Johnson. Condell withdrew from political life in 1967 owing to health problems. Throughout her life, Condell also worked as a journalist and was a regular contributor of articles and poetry to the Limerick Echo, The Church of Ireland Gazette, Woman’s Way and The Irish Independent. She died after a long illness in 1986 in Limerick.
Archival History ↴
Unknown, donated to the University of Limerick prior to 1999.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Condell, Frances (1916-1986). ↴
The material consists of correspondence, speeches, press cuttings, photographs and taped interviews relating to Condell’s political career (1960-1966); typescripts and drafts of poems, articles, short stories and stories for children (1941-1981); and genealogical material and photographs relating to the Eades family (1920-1966), audio tapes of interviews (1979-1980). Collection highlights include letters signed by President John F. Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy and Mrs Lyndon B. Johnson, and correspondence with the American poet Beverley Githens Dresbach.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
All records have been retained.
No accruals are expected.
The material is arranged into eight series reflecting either the form of the record (e.g. correspondence) or the activities to which they relate.
Conditions of Access & Use
Unrestricted access to all items.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Reproduction of the material is permitted, except for items dated after 1979 containing personal information.
1920-1995 [predominantly 1961-1974]
6 boxes (300 files)
Material Language Script
Characteristics Tech Req
Paper records and photographs in good condition. Items P297-300 require a tape recorder.
A digital copy of the descriptive catalogue is available online at http://www2.ul.ie/pdf/370246957.pdf. A hard copy of the descriptive catalogue is available at the University of Limerick Special Collections.
Archive Web Link →
Four photographs relating to Condell’s mayoral activities are available in the archives of Limerick City Council at
Minute books of Limerick City Council are available in a digital format at http://www.limerick.ie/DigitalArchives/LimerickCityCouncilandLocalGovernmentCollections/LimerickCityCouncilMinuteBooks1841-1972/.
A transcript of Condell’s interview relating to the John F. Kennedy Library Oral History Project (see P3/67) is available at http://www.jfklibrary.org/NR/rdonlyres/29C32C7A-E38A-4679-A254-88DB6E6FF1B6/48228/CondellFrances_oralhistory.pdf.
Other records relating to Condell’s working life are held at the Red Cross Society, Guinness Group Sales (Ireland), and General Electric Company. Items of more personal nature remain in private hands.
Mary Collery Ryan’s MA thesis, Frances Condell - A Citizen of Limerick
(University of Limerick, 1995), is based in part on Condell Papers (see P3/285).
Descriptive Control Area
Seán Liston. Revised by Anna-Maria Hajba.
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000.