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Sean MacEoin’s Forge

Sean MacEoin’s Forge is situated in the townland of Cloncoose, near Ballinalee village, is the restored forge of Seán MacEoin (1893-1973), a soldier and statesman who was known as ‘The Blacksmith of Ballinalee’.

MacEoin was the son of a blacksmith and worked at the trade himself. He played a leading role in the War of Independence (1919-21) and led the North Longford Flying Column, which successfully ambushed British forces at Clonfin on 2 February 1921.

MacEoin was also a member of Dáil Éireann in the period 1922-23. He was pro-Treaty and commanded the Western Command during the Civil War, 1922-23. After his military career ended in 1929, he went into politics full-time as a member of Cumann na nGeadheal and later Fine Gael.

MacEoin served as Minister for Justice in the period 1948-51 and Minister for Defence in 1951 and again 1954-57. He stood for election to the presidency in 1945 and 1959, but was unsuccessful on both occasions.

Beside the forge you will see the outline of the MacEoin family home. Both were burned by the Black and Tans (British forces) in late 1920, during the War of Independence.

General MacEoin’s forge is beside the Ballinalee to Granard Road, R198, and the site is accessible via a gateway. The interior of the forge is not ordinarily accessible.

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