Northern Ireland

Eoin Mac Néill plaque unveiled at Belfast school

Eoin Mac Néill Image copyright National Library of Ireland
Image caption Eoin Mac Néill: The Easter Rising's forgotten man?

A blue plaque has been unveiled in north Belfast to commemorate Eoin Mac Néill, the founder of the Gaelic League and the Irish Volunteers.

Mac Néill famously attempted to call off the 1916 Easter Rising.

The plaque, marking the 150th anniversary of his birth, is at the politician's former school, St Malachy's College.

It was unveiled by his grandson and former tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister), Michael McDowell.

"As a co-founder of the Gaelic League, Eoin Mac Néill assured his place in his country's history, but he was also an eminent scholar, historian, and linguist," said Chris Spurr, chairman of the Ulster History Circle.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The blue plaque marks the 150th anniversary of Eoin Mac Néill's birth
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption His grandson, former tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Michael McDowell, made a speech during the ceremony

"The Ulster History Circle are delighted to commemorate Eoin Mac Néill with a blue plaque at the college he attended.

"The circle would like to thank St Malachy's College for their assistance, and we are also grateful to Foras na Gaelige for their financial support towards the plaque."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Michael McDowell unveiled the plaque on Friday
Image copyright Geograph
Image caption Eoin Mac Néill was a boarding school student at St Malachy's College in Belfast

Eoin Mac Néill was born John McNeill in 1867, in Glenarm on the County Antrim coast.

He boarded at St Malachy's from 1881 until 1887.

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