Beshoff, Ivan (1882?–1987), Russian immigrant and purveyor of fish and chips, was said in obituaries in the Irish Times and elsewhere to have been born in 1882 (or perhaps 1884) at Dacha Rurey, near Odessa in Ukraine, son of a magistrate, and, after briefly studying chemistry, to have run away to sea. A socialist, Beshoff was one of the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin that mutinied in the Black Sea (27 June 1905). When the ship docked at the Romanian port of Constantia he escaped and made his way to London; there he met Lenin, who in 1911 introduced him to James Larkin (qv), thus kindling an interest in Ireland that led to a visit to Dublin (1913) when he was on his way to Canada. On missing his ship, Beshoff decided to stay and to take on the Irish agency of the Russian oil company ROP, which he retained until the company ceased trading (1940). He was arrested on suspicion of being a Russian spy in 1922 and again, for reasons that are unclear, in 1932.
During or after the Emergency (1939–45) he opened a fish-and-chip shop in North Strand Road, Dublin, moving it later to Ussher's Quay and Sundrive Road. With his wife, Nora Dunne (d. 1975) of Ballyporeen, Co. Tipperary, a relative of Richard Mulcahy (qv), he had five sons, Frederick, Louis (d. 1980), Thomas, Ivan, and Anthony, as well as a daughter, Anastasia. The fish-and-chip business was continued by two grandsons, whose new premises in Westmoreland Street were opened in 1986 by Charles Haughey (1925–2006) with Ivan Beshoff in attendance. Known to his friends as ‘John’, Beshoff retained his attachment to Russian orthodoxy and had mixed feelings about the USSR (which he visited in 1927, 1937, and 1962). He died 25 October 1987, aged over one hundred and in full possession of his mental faculties.