The front quad was a busy place on Friday morning when a large group of ‘old boys’, current and former staff, academics and politicians witnessed the unveiling of the blue plaque to Eoin MacNéill by his grandson, former Tánaiste Senator Michael McDowell. A speech from Principal Mr Paul McBride underlined the pride which the College takes in having educated such an influential Irish statesman and scholar. President of Ulster History Circle Mr Chris Spurr explained the work of the organisation and acknowledged the place of MacNéill in Ireland’s cultural history. Senator McDowell said that he was delighted to visit the College for such splendid and timely commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his grandfather’s birth.
This brief ceremony was followed by a lecture to visitors and 6th form students from St. Malachy’s and other local schools. Senator McDowell gave a detailed and balanced talk on the ‘Legacy of Eoin MacNéill’ to an appreciative audience. College archivist Gerry McNamee thanked him and all who had helped out in the memorable commemoration.