Eoin Macneill

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Macneill, Eoin


Born May 15, 1867, in Glenarm, County Antrim; died Oct. 15, 1945, in Dublin. Irish political figure and historian. One of the founders of the Gaelic League (1893). Professor at the University of Dublin (from 1904). Member of the Royal Irish Academy. One of the founders of the University of Ireland (1909).

MacNeill belonged to the right wing of Sinn Fein. As commander in chief of the Irish volunteers, he issued an order on the eve of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 calling off the muster of volunteers, which disorganized the insurgent forces. Nonetheless, he was sentenced to life at hard labor by the English authorities. In a year, however, he was amnestied. A deputy to the Sinn Fein parliament of 1919, he was a supporter of the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921, which led to the partition of Ireland. He was minister of education from 1922 to 1925.

MacNeill wrote books about the early and medieval history of Ireland. In his works he idealized the ancient system of Ireland, working from the nationalist concept of the completely distinctive nature of Celtic civilization. An opponent of the communal theory, he sought to prove that private property existed from time immemorial among the ancient Celts.


Phases of Irish history. Dublin, 1920.
Celtic Ireland. Dublin, 1921.


References in periodicals archive ?
They planned to travel to Dublin to take part in the Rising but were ordered to stay away from the capital by Eoin MacNeill.
A century ago, northern nationalist Eoin MacNeill, better known as a modern Irish political figure than for fathering the modern discipline of early Irish history, rebuked southern unionist Goddard Orpen (like MacNeill a great historian): "Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth in history.
He provides background on the formation of the Irish Volunteers and the people involved, including what occurred during the changeover from Irish Volunteers under Eoin MacNeill to National Volunteers under John Redmond and the Irish Parliamentary Party, how the split affected the companies, and how many followed each man.
He quickly formed the Irish Volunteers with Eoin MacNeill and, in July 1914, travelled to New York in a bid to raise money to help arm them.
Eoin MacNeill, a gentle and utterly unmilitary professor of ancient Irish laws, founded the IRA -- then named the Irish Volunteers -- in 1913.
Cosgrave, Richard Mulcahy and Ernest Blythe) to life on the page, while he also sheds light on the patty work of those, such as Patrick Hogan and Eoin MacNeill, whose careers in the 1920s have understandably been depicted in relation to issues surrounding land settlement, education, and the Boundary Commission.
They were seen by the British as traitors to the Empire but they were traitors to their own cause because Eoin MacNeill, the commander-in-chief, had cancelled the Rising and yet they ignored that.
The documents closely track the Volunteers in 1913 and 1914, including the rise of Carsonism in July of 1913, the decisions made at the provisional meeting at the rotunda in November of 1913, gun running, the committee of Eoin MacNeill and Padraig Pearse, arming the O'Rahilly, the national army foundation and manifesto, the first lists, instructions for the forming of units, flags, hassles, volunteers' declaration of their policy, and the fateful decision to join the British and fight the Great War.
Is the current Mc Dowell line perhaps a throwback to his maternal grandfather, Ulsterman Eoin MacNeill, who, as an Irish Volunteer leader, was involved in the 1916 Easter Rising, later going on to become a prominent Free State cabinet minister?
Eoin MacNeill was one of the founding fathers of the Irish Free State.
As the book explains, the need for an agency to search out and publish printed copies of manuscript material from Ireland's past was effectively articulated by that indefatigable figure in Irish political, cultural, and intellectual life, Eoin MacNeill.