Robinson, David Lubbock (1882–1943), British soldier, republican, senator, and hockey player, was born 11 August 1882 in Dublin, the second of the three sons and one daughter of John Joseph Robinson, Church of Ireland clergyman, and his wife, Henrietta Harriet, youngest daughter of Sir John William Lubbock, 4th bt, and sister of John, first Lord Avebury. He was educated at St Columba's College, Rathfarnham, and TCD, graduating BA (1906). While at Trinity, and a member of the college hockey club, he won four caps for Ireland, against Scotland (1905–6), Wales (1906), and England (1906). His brothers, J. L. Robinson and F. L. Robinson, were also premier hockey players who represented Ireland.
Robinson served his solicitor's apprenticeship with Dublin solicitors A. & J. Robinson (his cousins). Once he had qualified as a solicitor (1906) he emigrated with his family to Canada and settled in Winnipeg, where his father served as warden of St John's College (1911–16). With the outbreak of war in 1914, Robinson enlisted as a private in the 19th Alberta Dragoons, was commissioned to the Royal Marines Artillery, and later was transferred to, and became a captain of, the newly founded tank corps. While serving at the western front he lost an eye and was badly wounded in both legs; he received the DSO and the croix de guerre (palms). Later he claimed that in 1916 his commanding officer in France sent him from the front to Dublin on a special pass to find out at first hand the significance of the Easter rising.
Considered a unionist in college, Robinson returned to Ireland from the war in 1918 and soon joined the Sinn Féin club in Laragh, Co. Wicklow; in January 1919 he became a member of the IRA company in Roundwood, Co. Wicklow. In 1921 he was appointed secretary of the Irish White Cross, established to relieve distress resulting from the Anglo–Irish war; he was also an early organiser of the Irish Red Cross. He opposed the Anglo–Irish treaty, and during the civil war his military knowledge and experience were called upon to train many men in the south and raise a cavalry corps at Buttevant, Co. Cork; accustomed to professional soldiering, he was critical of IRA discipline. A friend of Erskine Childers (qv), in October 1922 he sought to smuggle the latter from Cork to France in a fishing boat to avoid capture by Free State forces, but republican headquarters denied his request, desiring Childers to continue his propagandist work. Robinson was eventually entrusted with the task of spiriting Childers from west Cork back to Co. Wicklow, departing on 25 October and travelling by bicycle and by foot. They arrived at Glendalough House, near Annamoe, on 9 November and were both arrested and imprisoned by Free State forces the next day. Robinson was imprisoned for eighteen months between 1922 and 1924; during October–November 1923 he participated in a forty-one-day hunger strike of political prisoners which he helped ultimately to end. He was incarcerated in Mountjoy, Doirchead Nua, Arbour Hill, Kilmainham, and the Curragh.
Robinson was elected in 1931 to the seanad, of which he served as vice-chairman from March 1936 until its abolition in May that year. He sat in the new seanad from 1938 to 1943 on the taoiseach's nomination. As a senator he often represented the government at protestant functions, such as the consecration of the Church of Ireland primate of Armagh. He died, unmarried, on 21 August 1943.