Eoghan McKenna

Eoghan McKennaOver the years, many of us would have seen or heard of one of ireland’s greatest actresses Siobhán Mc Kenna, but not many would know that her father Eoghan was born in Millstreet. This extract is from her papers which have been catalogued and archived by NUI Galway

Biographical History: McKenna, Siobhán (1922–86), actor and theatre director, was born 24 May 1922 at 28 St James’s Park, off the Falls Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, the second daughter of Margaret (Gretta) O’Reilly from Loch Gamhna, Co. Longford, and her husband, Eoghan McKenna (b. Millstreet, Co. Cork, 1892) lecturer in mathematical physics at the Municipal College of Technology, Belfast…


Born on December 13th 1891 at the Main Street, Millstreet … (please read the comment below which has a detailed biography of Eoghan)

His first teaching post was at the Municipal College, Belfast, and it was there that his daughters Nancy [1919] and Siobhán [1922] were born.
In 1928 the family moved to Shantalla, Galway, following his appointment to University College Galway, where Eoghan was a lecturer in Mathematical Physics (through Irish) until 1933, when he was made Professor of Mathematical Sciences – (from tcd.ie). He trained UCG to Singerson Cup glory in 1941, and was still heavily involved in their 1960 win.

Eóghan died on January 29th 1967: – “(10 Mar 1967). Also letter from Siobhán McKenna, Highfield road, Rathgar, Dublin 6, to Mark [Rudkin] saying that she has been told by “himself” to write to Mark. She apologises for not writing sooner as her father had died in Galway over the Christmas.” He is buried in Rahoon Cemetery in Galway with his wife Mairead and daughter Siobhán (see the headstone below)
“…and, as he wished, his coffin was carried to Rahoon on the shoulders of the great Galway footballers of the fifties and sixties, many of whom had known him as one of their greatest supporters in the Sigerson Cup and All-Ireland Championships’” – ainm.ie


Death Notices.

Mac Cionnáich – Eoghan, Ollamh Ollsgoile, a d’éag an 29adh la d’Eanair, 1967, ag a bhaile Cúilín, an Caisleán Nua, Gaillimh. Bhrís mhórdha mhnaoi, Caitlín; dá ingheanacha, Neans agus Siobhán, dá dhrifiúr an Mháthair Bhonabhentúra, Clochar na Trócaire, Corcaigh; dá muintuir, dá ghaolta, agus dá a cháirde go léir. Sochraid go dtí Reilig Ráith Ún inniu (Dia Mairt) thar eis Aifreann 12 a clog i Séipéal Naomh Sheosaimh, Gaillimh.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis Gaedhalach.
McKenna – January 29, 1967, at his home, Cúilin, Newcastle, Galway, Professor Owen McKenna, Dominican Tertiary. Deeply regretted by his wife, daughters, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. R.I.P. Solemn Requiem Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Galway, at 12 o’c today (Tuesday). Funeral immediately to Rahoon Cemetery.
Obituary. The Irish Times, Monday, 30 January 1967.


Eoghan MacCionnaith, M.A., A.R.C.Sc.I., who died in Galway yesterday, was a former professor of mathematical physics in U.C.G., and was the father of Siobhan McKenna, the actress.
Born in Kanturk, Co. Cork, he taught in Cork and Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, at The Pines, now Garbally Diocesan College, and in Belfast before being appointed in U.C.G., in 1928, as lecturer in mathematics through Irish.
In 1934, he was appointed professor of mathematical physics and supervisor of examinations, and he held both posts until he retired from the College in 1961.
Since 1928 he was president of the G.A.A. club of the college, and through his work in that capacity the resurgence of Gaelic football in Connaught was mainly due.
He is survived by his wife and, in addition to Siobhan (Mrs. Denis O’Dea), another daughter, Mrs. Patrick McMahon (Dublin); his brothers, John, in Cork, and Peadar, in Dun Laoghaire; and by four sisters, the Rev. Mother Bonaventure (Convent of Mercy, Cork), Mrs. Sean Shorten, Cork, Mrs. Sean McCurtin (Dublin), and Miss Henrietta McKenna (London).

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