David Ireland was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).
In 2009, David's play, What The Animals Say, was produced by Òran Mór in Glasgow. In 2010, Everything Between Us, first produced by Solas Nua and Tinderbox Theatre Company, was performed in Belfast, Scotland, and Washington, D.C. It won the Stewart Parker Trust BBC Radio Drama Award and the Meyer-Whitworth Award for Best New Play.
In 2016, Cyprus Avenue premiered at the Royal Court Theatre. It was awarded the 2017 Irish Times Theatre Awards for Best New Play and the 2017 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Drama. The play then transferred to The Public Theater, New York,the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast. It will return to the Royal Court in 2019 for a five-week run.
In 2018, Ulster American was performed by Traverse Theatre as part of their Edinburgh Festival Fringe season and will tour internationally in 2019.
He is based in Glasgow.