MacNeill clarifies position in letter to paper
In the wake of the scenes of uproar at the meeting to launch a corps of the Irish Volunteers in Cork, Professor Eoin MacNeill, one of the founders of the movement, has sought to clarify his position.
In a letter to The Irish Times, MacNeill said that a disctinction should be drawn between his call for cheers for Sir Edward Carson’s Ulster Volunteers and his views on volunteering in general. MacNeill admits in his letter that he may have contributed to a confusion around his motives and that many of those attending the meeting had reacted angrily to a perceived attempt to commit them to acceptance or endorsement of Edward Carson’s position.
Prof MacNeill also sought to clarify some of the reports about the unruly scenes at the Cork meeting: ‘It was not true that any chair or missile was flung at me’. He also stateed that his own politics had, up to now, been a private matter but since the Irish Times editorial sought to align him with the Sinn Féin party, he felt compelled to publicly state that he was, and had long been, a supporter of Mr John Redmond.