Codling, Arthur Dean (‘Art’) (1876–1950), civil servant, was born 30 November 1876 at Lytham, Lancashire, England, eldest son and second among four children of William Eggitt Codling, Wesleyan Methodist minister, and Isabella Codling (née Dean). He was educated at Mr Leathley's school, Lower Broughton, Lancashire; the Modern School, Leeds; and Rydal Mount School, Colwyn Bay, north Wales (1890–93); he registered as an external student at the University of London (1893) and took classes at the university tutorial college. He passed intermediate arts (1894) and took his BA (1895), but did not obtain the requisite results to secure entry into the Indian civil service. In May 1900 he was posted to the Irish Local Government Board in Dublin with the grade of clerk (class I) and a salary of £150 a year. In November 1906 he was promoted to the grade of deputy principal clerk, and in December 1908 he was appointed private secretary to the vice-president of the Local Government Board, Sir Henry Robinson (qv). In 1919 he became a head of section (principal clerk) and secretary of the housing committee, where he administered the legislation concerning labourers’ cottages.
According to León Ó Broin (qv), Codling, a Gladstonian liberal, felt obliged to do what he could to make amends for earlier British misrule. After 1922 he remained in Ireland and was transferred to the Department of Finance (26 February 1923) and put in charge of the supply division. In September he was promoted to principal officer, and in 1928 succeeded J. J. McElligott (qv) as assistant secretary of the finance and supply division. As acting secretary of the Department of Finance, during the 1932 Ottawa imperial economic conference, Codling was charged with the responsibility of selling the Irish government's £2,800,000 of British 5 per cent war loan stock. In 1937 he was involved in the establishment of Aer Rianta. He represented Finance on an economy committee (1940) chaired by Hugo Flinn (qv), TD. In June 1940 Codling retired under the terms of the superannuation act, but was immediately reemployed. He finally left the Irish civil service at the beginning of July 1944, aged 67.
T. K. Whittaker, León Ó Broin, and Conor Cruise O'Brien praised Codling for his penetrating mind and for his probity, industry, and kindliness. A teetotaller, he was reserved and diffident, though a first-rate trainer of men. A committed Christian, Codling had a strong social conscience and served (1914–49) as honorary secretary and acting chairman of the Stranger's Friend Society, an organisation for the relief of the poor of all denominations. Through this work he contracted typhoid fever but was undeterred in his efforts on behalf of the poor. A devout and active methodist, he was a member of the overseas mission committee of the methodist church in Ireland, and during the 1920s he was one of the Irish representatives on the central committee (London) of the Methodist Missionary Society.
He married (16 July 1903) at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Haslingden, Lancashire, his first cousin, Isabella (‘Isobel’) Dean Whitaker, daughter of Walter Allen Whitaker, commission agent of Waterfoot Mill, Haslingden. They had three daughters. The Codling family lived on St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, before moving (1918) to Rysgarth, Templeogue Road, Dublin. In 1944 they moved to Slieve Corragh Avenue, Newcastle, Co. Down. A year later Codling was diagnosed with cancer, and he died at home on 10 November 1950, less than three weeks before his seventy-fourth birthday.