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Thursday, 15 October 2015



15 October 1945: The death of Eoin MacNeill occurred in Dublin on this day. He was a scholar of the Irish language, a prominent nationalist, a revolutionary and a politician. He was also as the author of numerous studies of early Irish history. He was a co-founder of the Gaelic League, founded to preserve the Irish language and culture, he was Chief of Staff of the Irish Volunteers at the time of the Easter Rising but was kept out of it and indeed tried to stop it as he foresaw a bloody failure if it went ahead. He was interned in Frognoch with the other prisoners taken in the aftermath and remained under British suspicion on release.


He supported the Treaty in 1921 and held the Cabinet position of Minister of Education in the first Free State Government. He represented the State on the Anglo Irish Boundry Commission in 1925 but resigned when the findings were leaked to a British newspaper. He lost his seat in the 1927 General Election. In that same year he was the first man to come across Kevin O’Higgins as he lay fatally injured after being shot. He retired from politics completely and became Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. He published a number of books on Irish history incl Phases of Irish History. His work on early Irish History was groundbreaking esp. his study of Kingship and succession rights in Ireland before the Anglo Norman Invasion in 1169 AD.