Michael McDowell (b. 1951)
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Michael McDowell (b. 1951)


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Track 1: The Antrim background of Eoin MacNeill, along with his Dublin education, are discussed in detail by Michael McDowell. Track 2: Eoin MacNeill’s reaction to the determination of the IRB leaders to go ahead with the Rising in 1916 is described. The 3: The reasons for the Countermanding Order issued by Eoin MacNeill and his actions during Easter Week are explained, as is the fact that he gave himself up to the authorities following the surrender of the leaders of the Rising. His grandson also discusses letters written by Eoin MacNeill while in prison in Dartmoor following the Rising. Track 4: The MacNeill home in Blackrock, Dublin, and its use as an arms dump during the War of Independence, is recalled. Also discussed is the fact that Eoin MacNeill’s three sons joined the IRA at this time. MacNeill’s response to the signing of the Treaty and the loss of one son to the Anti-Treaty side during the Civil War, is explained. Track 5: The Boundary Commission and Eoin MacNeill’s involvement therein from 1924, until his retirement in 1927, is described in detail. Michael McDowell’s realisation of his grandfather’s important role in Irish history during the 1966 Commemorations is recalled. Track 6: Eoin MacNeill’s career in academia following his retirement from public life in 1927 is described. Also discussed is Michael’s feelings about both sides of his family, their involvement in Irish history, and his anxiety that his grandfather’s legacy should be accurately portrayed. He gives his views on the manner in which the centenary of 1916 should be commemorated. Track 7: Michael McDowell’s education at Gonzaga College in Dublin, the teaching staff there, and his consciousness of the fact that some of his peers were descendants of revolutionary figures, are described. His own political career is also mentioned.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

4.52 MB, 5.12 MB, 5.00 MB, 5.75 MB, 5.48 MB, 8.87 MB, 10.03 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



MacNeill, Eoin (Interviewee’s grandfather)

Recorded by:

BBC Radio