"The Blacksmith of Ballinalee"
General Seán Mac Eoin
Lieutenant General Seán Mac Eoin
Born: 30th September 1893, Ballinlough, Ballinalee, Co. Longford, Ireland
Died: 7th July 1973, St. Bricin's Hospital, Dublin. (Buried at St. Emer's cemetry, Ballinalee Co. Longford)
Key Career Milestones
1898 - Ballinalee Primary School.
1907 - Apprentice Blacksmith to his father Andrew McKeon.
1910 - Joined United Irish League. Delegate to the North Longford Executive.
1913 - Blacksmith at Kilshruley Forge, Ballinalee, Co. Longford.
1914 - Joined the National Irish Volunteers. Appointed as Section Commander and later 2nd Lieutenant.
1914 - Joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), Granard Circle.
1917 - Clonbroney circle of IRB formed.
1918 - Elected County Centre of County Longford IRB.
1918 - Elected Company Captain of Volunteers
1918 - Vice O/C of 2nd (Granard) Battalion of the Longford Brigade.
1918 - Co-opted onto Longford County Council.
1918/19 - Elected onto the Provincial Circle of the IRB representing the Longford Brigade.
1918 - Represented Clonbroney and Ballinalee at the Sinn Fein Convention.
1919 - O/C of Ballinalee Battalion of the Longford Brigade.
Amunition raid at Heraty's Ballinalee
Arms raid at Miss Sheridan's Kilnaleck
Arrest under the Defence of the Realm Act for putting up Dáil loan posters at Ballinalee Church
Imprisonment in Sligo jail for refusing to be bound not to wage war against the British forces in Ireland.
1920 - Appointed Vice Brigadier and Director of Operations for Longford
(also portions of Cavan and Leitrim)
1920 - Vice O/C of the Longford Brigade.
Attack on Drumlish RIC Barracks (5th January)
Burning of Ballinalee RIC Barracks
Attack on Edgeworthstown RIC Barracks (aborted due to enemy movement)
Attack and burning of Ballinamuck RIC Barracks (9th June)
Arms raid on Longford Military Barracks (18th August)
Attack and arms raid on Ballymahon RIC Barracks (19th August)
Attack, arms raid and burning of Arva RIC Barracks
Execution of RIC District Inspector Kelleher (31st October)
Defence of Granard from Reprisals (2nd November)
Battle of Ballinalee (3rd - 9th November)
Visit to Collins in Dublin and near capture at Oldcastle on return (end Nov)
Tierlicken Ambush (around Christmas 1920)
Near Capture at Martins cottage & death of District Inspector McGrath (7th January)
Clonfin Ambush (2nd February)
Meeting with Cathal Brugha (Minister of Defence) and order to lead a mission to execute the British cabinet. (March 1921)
Capture and arrest in Mullingar (March 1921)
Imprisonment in Mountjoy and Collin's rescue attempts (April-August)
1921 Elected to 2nd Dáil as T.D. for Longford/Westmeath (24th May) for the Sinn Féin Party
Trial for murder and death sentence. (14th June 1921)
Truce and release. (August 1921)
1921 (August) - Proposed Eamon DeValera as President of the Irish Republic.
1922 Appointed Comandant General in the new Free State Army.
1922 Take over of Athlone Barracks from the British Army (28th February)
1922 Elected to the 3rd Dáil as T.D. for Longford Westmeath (16th June) For the Pro Treaty Sinn Féin Party
1922 Sean marries Alice Cooney in St. Mel's Cathedral Longford (21st June)
The wedding is attended by Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and Eoin O'Duffy who was Sean's best man.
1925 Appointed GOC Curragh (General Officer Commanding),(18 February).
1927 Quartermaster General (19th March).
1929 Appointed Lieutanant General and Chief of Staff of the Irish Army (20th February).
1929 Elected to the 6th Dáil as T.D. for Sligo Leitrim (7th June by-election) For the Cumann na nGaedheal Party.
1932 & 1933 Elected to the 7th and 8th Dáil as T.D. for Longford Westmeath for the Cumann na nGaedheal Party
1937, 1938, 1943, 1944 Elected to the 9th-12th Dáil's as T.D. for the Athlone Longford constituency for the Fine Gael party.
1945 Contested the Presidential Election unsuccessfully for the Fine Gael Party. Obtained 453,425 votes. Seán T.Ó'Ceallaigh became Prersident.
1948 Elected to the 13th Dáil as T.D. and appointed Minister for Justice (Longford Westmeath - Fine Gael).
1951 Elected to the 14th Dáil as T.D. for Longford Westmeath (Fine Gael).
1954 Elected to the 15th Dáil as T.D. and appointed Minister for Defence (Longford Westmeath - Fine Gael).
1957 & 1961 Elected to the 16th & 17th Dáil's as T.D. for Longford Westmeath (Fine Gael).
1959 Contested the Presidential Election unsuccessfully for the Fine Gael Party. Obtained 417,536 votes. Eamon DeValera became President.
1965 Seán lost his Dáil seat thus ending his political career.
General Seán Mac Eoin died in St. Bricin's hospital on 7th July 1973.
2010 - present
2010 - present