(c) 2016 Mount Merrion Historical Society
Lieutenant General Sean Mac Eoin (Mount Merrion Resident)
By DES SMYTH / Posted: January 13, 2020
Sean Mac Eoin was born in 1910 in the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth. He joined the Army as an Army Cadet in June 1930 and progressed through the ranks, in the 1940s he was Commanding Officer of the 12th Infantry Battalion and subsequent to that he filled many roles in the Military College. In 1957 he was appointed Commandant of the Irish Military School.
Three years later in January 1960 Sean Mac Eoin was promoted the post of Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces.
The following year The UN appointed him Commander of UN Operations in The Congo. His role was to command a 20,000 strong force of troops from Ireland, Sweden, India, Ethiopia and Ghana. U Thant the Secretary General of the UN complimented him by saying “He carried out his duties with eminence”. Conor Cruise O’Brien said of him “He was the kind of Soldier that Tolstoy liked; modest, tough and realistic”. He was awarded the ‘Distinguished Service Medal’ for his work in the difficult arena of The Congo.
On his return to Ireland he resumed the role of Chief of Staff of the Irish Defences Forces.
Sean Mac Eoin retired from the Army in 1971 and lived his final years on North Avenue Mount Merrion. He died on July 30th 1998.