The Oxford Companion to Irish History

By S. J. Connolly | Go to book overview


Maamtrasna murders ( 8 Aug. 1882), the murder in Connemara of five members--husband, wife, and three children--of the Joyce family. The killings were apparently motivated by * Ribbon Society politics and bitter personal feuds over grazing rights. Three of the alleged perpetrators were hanged and five sentenced to penal servitude for life. These convictions became controversial following well-founded allegations of perjury by prosecution witnesses. The case subsequently formed part of the nationalist critique of Liberal rule in Ireland. JL

Macardle, Dorothy ( 1889-1958), historian, republican, novelist, and journalist, born into the Dundalk brewing family. An important republican publicist during the *Anglo-Irish War and *Civil War, she sat on the first executive of * Fianna Fáil, although this did not stop her protesting about the conditions of employment bill ( 1935) which limited women's working rights. She was also interested in refugees, and in 1951 was president of the Irish Association for Civil Liberties. Her bestknown work is The Irish Republic ( 1937). CC

McAuley, Catherine ( 1778-1841), founder of the Sisters of Mercy, one of the two largest and most widely distributed orders of *nuns in Ireland. Born in Dublin into a mixed Catholic/Protestant background, she inherited a considerable fortune. Initially concerned with the accommodation and protection of working girls in houses of mercy, run by a group of ladies living in community and praying together, her sisterhood was persuaded by local priests and the bishop to adopt a formal religious identity in 1828, and eventually took on a wider range of activities. CC

MacBride, John ( 1865-1916). A long-standing republican activist, MacBride fought with the pro- Boer Irish Brigade in the *Boer War, where he reached the rank of major. He married Maud *Gonne in Paris in 1903. Though not involved in the planning of the *rising of 1916, he joined the fighting and was subsequently executed. JA

MacBride, Sean ( 1904-88), son of Maud *Gonne and John * MacBride. He had a long and chequered career as a radical republican, a barrister, a politician, and a human rights and peace campaigner. He joined the *Irish Republican Army during the *Anglo-Irish War. Although remaining a prominent figure in the organization after the *Irish Civil War, he leaned towards the use of political means and was involved in several political projects in the inter-war period. He became IRA chief of staff in 1936 but left the movement after the enactment of the *constitution of 1937, which he felt satisfied republican demands. He then took up life as a barrister and soon won a national reputation for defending republicans. He founded *Clann na Poblachta in 1946 and was minister for external affairs in the first *interparty government 1948-51. He caused the fall of the second interparty government in 1957 over its handling of the IRA campaign in the north (see BORDER CAMPAIGN). He subsequently failed to be re-elected and left politics in 1961, after which he became deeply involved in human rights and peace organizations. He was secretary-general of the International Commission of jurists ( 1963-70), and chairman of Amnesty International ( 1961-74). He was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1974 and the Lenin peace prize in 1977. He formulated the MacBride principles, aimed at eliminating discrimination by employers against Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Although eulogized in later life as an international jurist and statesman, he was an ineffectual leader and often a controversial figure, both for republican hard men, who mistrusted his intellectual and political inclinations, and for more constitutional-minded sections of society, because of his radicalism. JA

McCabe, Edward ( 1816-85), Catholic archbishop of Dublin from 1879, having earlier ( 1877- 9) served as * Cullen's auxiliary, made a cardinal in


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The Oxford Companion to Irish History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Advisers ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Contributors xiii
  • Note to the Reader xvii
  • A 1
  • B 33
  • C 66
  • D 133
  • E 167
  • F 183
  • G 212
  • H 233
  • I 254
  • K 282
  • L 292
  • M 333
  • N 377
  • O 397
  • P 424
  • Q 469
  • R 471
  • S 495
  • T 532
  • U 557
  • V 577
  • W 582
  • Y 601
  • Z 603
  • Maps 605
  • Subject Index 613


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