Biographies A-Z

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Mac Duinnsléibe, Ruaidrí

Mac Duinnsléibe, Ruaidrí (d. 1201), son of Cú-Ulad and overking of Ulaid, belonged to the dynasty of Dál bhFiatach. His family descended from Donn-Sléibe (d. 1091), in turn a grandson of the illustrious Niall (qv) (d. 1063) son of Eochaid.…

MacEgan (MacKegan, Egan, Hegaine, Ó hAogáin), Owen (Eoghan, Eugene)

MacEgan (MacKegan, Egan, Hegaine, Ó hAogáin), Owen (Eoghan, Eugene) (d. 1603), catholic vicar apostolic of Ross, was a very active figure in the Nine Years War in Munster. Details of his early career are obscure, although he was clearly well educated, being described in 1595 as…

MacEntee, Sean (John) Francis

MacEntee, Sean (John) Francis (1889–1984), revolutionary, politician, and engineer, was born 1 January 1889 at Mill St., Belfast, eldest among seven children of James MacEntee, publican, and Mary MacEntee (née Owens), who both came from Co. Monaghan. James MacEntee owned three…

Mac Eoin, Gary (Gearóid)

Mac Eoin, Gary (Gearóid) (1909–2003), journalist and catholic activist, was born Garrett Anthony Johnson on 12 June 1909 in Curry, Co. Sligo, where his father, William Johnson, was clerk of the local petty sessions court. Mac Eoin was sixth of nine children and third son.…

Mac Eoin, Seán

Mac Eoin, Seán (1893–1973), soldier and politician, was born John Joseph McKeon, 30 September 1893, at Ballinlough, Granard, Co. Longford, eldest of five sons and three daughters of Andrew McKeon, blacksmith and farmer, of Molly, Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford, and Katherine McKeon (…

MacEoin, Uinseann Ó Rathaille

MacEoin, Uinseann Ó Rathaille (1920–2007), architect, journalist, campaigner, republican, socialist, and mountain climber, was born Vincent O'Rahilly McGuone on 4 July 1920 in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, one of four children of Malachy McGuone, a wine and spirit merchant who owned the…

MacErlean, John Campbell (Mac Fhir Léinn, Eoin)

MacErlean, John Campbell (Mac Fhir Léinn, Eoin) (1870–1950), Irish-language scholar and church historian, was born 15 February 1870 in Belfast, son of Andrew MacErlean, legal clerk, and Eliza MacErlean (née Campbell). Having attended St Malachy's College, Belfast, he entered the…

MacEvilly, John

MacEvilly, John (1816–1902), catholic archbishop of Tuam, was born 24 April 1816 at Bunowen, in the parish of Louisburgh, Co. Mayo, one of the family of five sons and three daughters of William MacEvilly (1786?–1872) and his wife, Sarah (née Boland, 1787?–1886), both of whom…

MacFadden, James

MacFadden, James (1842–1917), priest and nationalist, was born in 1842 in Dunmore, Carrigart, Co. Donegal, fourth of five children of John McFadden, a prosperous farmer, and his wife (whose surname was McGettigan). Daniel McGettigan…

Mac Fáeláin, Fáelán

Mac Fáeláin, Fáelán (c.1125–1203), king of Uí Fáeláin, was the son of Cerball Mac Fáeláin (d. 1127), king of the Kildare kingdom of Uí Fáeláin, and Mór, daughter of Cú Aifne O'Connor Faly (Ó Conchobair Failge) of Offaly. Both Cearball and Fáelán's half-brother Domnall Mac…

Mac Fhionnlaoich, Peadar Toner (McGinley, Peter Toner; ‘‘Cú Uladh’)

Mac Fhionnlaoich, Peadar Toner (McGinley, Peter Toner; ‘‘Cú Uladh’) (1856–1942), president of the Gaelic League and writer, was born 5 October 1856 at Altinierin, Glenswilly, Co. Donegal, one of the ten children of Michael McGinley, farmer, and Susan McGinley (née Toner). He was…

Mac Firbhisigh, Dubhaltach Óg

Mac Firbhisigh, Dubhaltach Óg (c.1600–71), antiquary, was a native of Lackan, parish of Kilglass, Co. Sligo. His father, Giolla Íosa Mór Mac Firbhisigh, was a member of a family that had provided the O'Dowds, lords of Tír Fhiachrach (the barony of Tireragh, Co. Sligo),…

Mac Firbhisigh, Giolla Íosa Mór

Mac Firbhisigh, Giolla Íosa Mór (fl. c.1392–c.1417), historian and poet, was a hereditary ollamh or master of bardic learning in the west Sligo territory of Tír Fhiachrach, ruled throughout the middle ages by the O'Dowda (Ó Dubhda) chieftains. The head of…

Mac Flainn, Flann (Florence, Florentius)

Mac Flainn, Flann (Florence, Florentius) (d. 1256), archbishop of Tuam, belonged to a Connacht ecclesiastical lineage that was apparently associated with Clonfert. Other members of his family who held senior church office included a later archbishop of Tuam, Nicol Mac Flainn (d.…

MacGabhann, Liam

MacGabhann, Liam (1908–79), journalist and broadcaster, was born William Cyprian Smith on 16 September 1908 at Laharan, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, son of William Smith, gardener, and Mary Anne Smith (née Granville). He was educated locally before moving to St Patrick's College,…

Mac Gabhann, Micheál (‘Micí’) (MacGOWAN, Michael)

Mac Gabhann, Micheál (‘Micí’) (MacGOWAN, Michael) (1865–1948), Klondike miner, was born 22 November 1865 at Derryconor, Cloghaneely, Co. Donegal, one of the twelve children of Tomás Mac Gabhann, small farmer, and his wife, Bríd Ní Chanainn. Mac Gabhann attended the primary school at…

Mac Gearailt, Piaras (Fitzgerald, Pierce)

Mac Gearailt, Piaras (Fitzgerald, Pierce) (c.1709–c.1792), poet, was born in Ballykinealy, near Ballymacoda, Co. Cork, into a branch of the Fitzgeralds who were related to the knights of Kerry but had lost most of their property as a result of their involvement…

MacGeoghegan, Anthony (Niall)

MacGeoghegan, Anthony (Niall) (d. 1664), Roman catholic bishop of Clonmacnoise and Meath, was the grandson of Conla MacGeoghegan, lord of Moycashel. The MacGeoghegans were a powerful midlands Gaelic clan; Anthony's brother held over 4,000 acres in Co. Westmeath and his cousin…

MacGeoghegan, Arthur

MacGeoghegan, Arthur (c.1600–33), Dominican priest, was almost certainly a Westmeath kinsman of his fellow Dominican Ross MacGeoghegan (qv). His original name was most probably Art Mac Eochagáin. He…

MacGeoghegan, James

MacGeoghegan, James (1702–63), historian and priest, was probably born near Uisneach, Co. Westmeath, son of a prosperous catholic farmer. Educated from an early age in France, he studied at Rheims, where he obtained distinction in his theological studies, and on his ordination he…

MacGeoghegan, Ross (Rossa Mac Eochagáin)

MacGeoghegan, Ross (Rossa Mac Eochagáin) (c.1577–1644), catholic bishop of Kildare and sometime Dominican provincial, was the sixth son of Rossa Mac Eochagáin, lord of Moycashel, and Sheila O'Dempsey, sister of the 1st Lord Clanmalier; he was born c.1577 at his…

Mac Gilla Mo Cholmóc, Diarmait

Mac Gilla Mo Cholmóc, Diarmait (d. 1216), king of Uí Briúin Chualann, was the son of Domnall Mac Gilla Mo Cholmóc (qv) (d. c.1185) and his wife, Derbforgaill, and succeeded to the kingship on his father's death.…

Mac Gilla Mo Cholmóc, Domnall

Mac Gilla Mo Cholmóc, Domnall (d. 1185), king of Uí Briúin Chualann, is of obscure origins, except that the branch of the Mac Gilla Mo Cholmóc dynasty to which he belonged was closely allied to Diarmait Mac…

Mac Gilla Pátraic (MacGillapatrick), Domnall

Mac Gilla Pátraic (MacGillapatrick), Domnall (d. 1185), king of North Osraige (Ossory), was probably the eldest son of Donnchad Mac Gilla Pátraic (d. 1162), king of Osraige. When Donnchad died the kingdom was divided into northern and southern portions; North Osraige passed to…

Mac Gilla Pátraic (MacGillapatrick), Máel Sechlainn

Mac Gilla Pátraic (MacGillapatrick), Máel Sechlainn (d. 1193/4), king of North Ossory, son and heir of Domnall MacGillapatrick (qv) (d. 1185), was the last MacGillapatrick king to live on the rich lands of…