"The Blacksmith of Ballinalee"
General Seán Mac Eoin
McKeon 1911 Census (click image to load pdf)
Note the English spelling of the name "McKeon" versus the Irish version "Mac Eoin" which was later adopted by Seán and other family members. Seán is listed as John J. on line 3 and his occupation is given as "apprentice smith". Within 2 years Seáns father , Andrew McKeon, had died and Seán had to take responsibility for running the family forge as a fully fledged Blacksmith. Hence his nickname "Blacksmith of Ballinalee"
Clonfin Ambush Report from Irish Independent 4th February 1921
In this report the attacking party was estimated to be 50 or 60 strong such was the ferocity of the fight
Dublin Castle Statement - Irish Independent 14th March 1921
Statement from the then British authorities after their inquest into the Clonfin ambush.
Dáil Eireann 26th August 1921 - Seán MacEoin proposes Eamonn de Valera as President of the Irish Republic
Sean MacEoin's speech to Dáil Eireann where he proposed Eamonn de Valera as President of the Irish Republic. Seán claimed in his witness statement that he was directed to do so but would not divulge who it was that directed him citing the oath he took on joining the IRB. However, it is now assumed that it was Michael Collins who directed him. Collins was then President of the I.R.B. Supreme Council and MacEoin was a council member.
Click on photo for the text of the speech.
The Republic of Ireland Bill, 1948
The 1948 general election brought the first change of government since 1932, when the first inter-party (coalition) government came to power under the leadership of John A. Costello of Fine Gael. In 1948 this government broke the last links with Britain and declared Ireland to be a republic with effect from Easter Sunday 1949.
As a cabinet minister in this government, Seán Mac Eoin was one of the signatories of this bill as can be seen in the photo opposite.
Extract from witness Statement of Michael Noyk about McEoin's courtmartial
This extract is from Michael Noyk's (solicitor to Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith) statement to the Bureau of Military history, relates the events around Seán Mac Eoin's courtmartial from his perspective.
Election History for General Seán Mac Eoin
Witness Statement of Captain Seámus Mac Eoin brother of General Seán Mac Eoin
Captain Seámus Mac Eoin, younger brother of Seán joined the Volunteers along with his other brothers Michael and Andy. His witness statement gives vivid accounts of the activities of the Volunteers and the formation of the North Longford flying column lead by Seán. He recalls several engagements the Flying Column had with enemy forces under Seán's command and also after Seán's capture in Mullingar.
One such incident which is particularly poignant is his witnessing of his brother Michael on his knee's surrounded by Tan's with rifles pointed at him and his mother also on her knees praying for him.
An t-Óglác 30th June 1923
Seán Mac Eoin portrait by Frank Leah on the cover of An t-Óglác. This news sheet, the “Official Organ of the Irish Volunteers” priced at 2 pence, was the weekly organ of the IRA which all volunteers were encouraged to read. It was made widely available in Republican ranks in all counties of Ireland.
Click image to read article inside
Commandant Sean McKeon - Ballad
This copy of a ballad written about the deeds of Seán Mac Eoin during the War of Independance was given by Seán to his cousin Catherine McNally. The ballad was sung to the air of "Who Fears to Speak of '98". Any information on the author or date of the ballad would be appreciated.
Souvenir Menu Card from Westmeath Fine Gael Dinner in honour of Sean Mac Eoin 1968
This is a copy of a souvenir menu card for a dinner held in hounour of Lt. General Seán Mac Eoin on 3rd October 1968. The dinner was in appreciation of Seán's long and devoted service. The rear of the menu card was autographed by Seán and his wife Alice and Liam Cosgrove amongst others present on the night.
Thanks to County Councillor Tom Farrell whose father, Mr. Edward Farrell proposed a toast to Seán and Alice Mac Eoin on the night, for providing this wonderful souvenir.