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Biographical History: Eoin (John) MacNeill (1867-1945) was a Gaelic scholar and Nationalist politician born 15 May 1867 in Glenarm, Co. Antrim and died 15 October 1945 in Dublin. He was a key figure in the Gaelic revival, a co-founder of the Gaelic League along with Douglas Hyde to preserve Irish language and culture.
In 1913 he established the Irish Volunteers and served as their Chief-of-Staff. He held this position during the Easter Rising (1916) though had no role in it or the planning of it. MacNeill helped countermand the Easter Monday rising by placing a newspaper advertisement advising Volunteers not to take part, thus reducing the number of rebel combatants actively taking part. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1917.
He was later elected to the First Dáil as a member of Sinn Féin. His political career spanned 1918-27, serving as Minister for Education (1922-25). He failed to be re-elected in 1927 and he returned to academia, including roles such as the Chair of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, President of the Irish Historical Society, the RSAI and the RIA. He retired in 1941.
MacNeill married Agnes Moore in 1898 and they had four sons and four daughters.
Information taken from the Eoin MacNeill entry of Dictionary of Irish Biography and Wikipedia
Content: The collection consists of 1 mss letter on headed notepaper of the Irish Volunteers.
Copyright: UCC Library
Excerpt from Eoin MacNeill letter