Gerald Boland was born in Manchester on 25 May 1885. He was born to two Irish parents who moved to Ireland straight after his birth. His father was killed in a fight between Parnellites and Healyites. With the money from a collection held by the GAA(Gaelic Athletic Association), Boland's mother opened a shop. Boland was educated in Dublin and became a fitter for the Midland and Great Western Railway company.
Boland joined the Irish Volunteers and fought in the Easter Rising in 1916. He was captured at the Jacob's factory and interned. In the aftermath of the Treaty Boland took the Republican side. His brother, Harry Boland was killed during the Irish Civil War. In 1923 Boland was elected as a TD for Roscommon. In 1926 he became a founder-member of Fianna Fáil. In 1933 he was appointed Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. He served as Minister for Lands in 1936. In 1939 Boland was made Minister for Justice. He introduced strong measures against the IRA including internment and military courts. Boland lost his Dáil seat in 1961 but becxame a member of the Seanad Éireann until 1969.