Bhí an deartháir seo le hEoin Mac Néill ina rúnaí onórach ag Conradh na Gaeilge in 1898-9 ach ní thugann staraithe an Chonartha ná Dubhghlas de hÍde (in Mise agus an Connradh) aird air sa ról sin. I nGleann Arma, Co. Aontroma, a rugadh é 26 Aibreán 1862. Bhí sé ar scoil i gColáiste Belvedere roimh dhul go dtí an Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath, dó. Chuidigh sé ansiúd leis an Athair Éamonn Ó hÓgáin agus gabhann seisean buíochas leis in Onomasticon Goidelicum. I mí na Nollag 1880 fuair sé post mar státseirbhíseach in oifig Bhailitheoir Ghinearálta na gCánach. Cuireadh deireadh leis an oifig in 1893. As sin amach is ar a phinsean amháin a mhair sé agus thug sin saoirse dó diriú ar a rogha oibre. D’ullmhaigh sé cleandar an Black Book of Dublin, 1950 (Archbishop Alen’s Register) sna 1930idí. Foilsíodh a ‘Publications of Irish interest published by Irish authors on the Continent of Europe prior to the 18th century’ in Bibliographic Society of Ireland, Iml. iv, 1930. Réitigh sé eagráin de Liber Primus Kilkenniensis, 1931, de Registrum de Kilmainham, 1932, de The Tanner Letters, 1943 agus i gcomhpháirt le A.J. Otway-Ruthven chuir eagar ar Dowdall Deeds, 1960 ar son Choimisiún na Lámhscríbhinní. Foilsíodh a thuairisc ar Ls. Rawlinson, Ls. FitzWilliam agus Ls. Harris agus ar leabhar litreacha Sir John Perrot in Analecta Hibernica. Foilsíodh a chuid aistí agus léirmheasanna in Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Galway Archaeological Society Journal, Co. Louth Archaeological Society Journal agus in Studies. Bhronn Ollscoil na hÉireann céim D.Litt. honoris causa air i 1946. D’éag sé 25 Eanáir 1958. Tá cuntas ag Aubrey Gwynn air in Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1958; bhí sé ina rúnaí ar an gcumann sin ar feadh i bhfad.

Seo píosa dá chomhrá a rinne a neacht Eilís Tierney a thaifeadadh. I measc pháipéir Eoin Mhic Néill sa Leabharlann Náisiúnta atá sé. Micheál Briody, Ollscoil Helsinki, a chuir chugainn é. ‘Uncle Charlie told me today that he was 10 years [sic] secretary of the Gaelic League. He thought it his duty to stay, otherwise the Kerrymen would have taken over. He represented himself as “one poor Ulster Glensman” holding back the unbridled Kerrymen. He spoke again about Norma Borthwick and Miss O’Reilly [Mairéad Ó Raghallaigh—B5]. He said Norma disliked him because she had been paid secretary before he took over. He did not make it clear that he was honorary . . . . He spoke about P.J. Keawell, who was a post office official and a busybody and anxious to get in on things and who was a friend and counsellor of the two ladies. At one time Miss O’Reilly took offence at something Charlie did and sent her brother, who was a sorter in the P.O., to challenge him to single combat in the Phoenix Park. Uncle C. said he was a reasonable man and nothing came of the challenge. Norma B. used to say that Miss O’Reilly was frequently incapacitated (they lived together in Fairview). Uncle C. thought she probably had epilepsy. She died in a lunatic asylum. Uncle C. said she “was attracted by the family idea” and he got nervous. Fortunately she transferred her affections to Bergin. After she sent her brother to challenge him he met her at a meeting. When they were coming away she turned on the stairs and said, pointing her finger at him: “Consider yourself shot”. Then she said she supposed he thought she was mad. He said “No, but an interesting psychological experience”.’

Diarmuid Breathnach

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