Denis Gwynn (1893-1973)

Life
[Denis Rolleston Gwynn] son of Stephen Gwynn; ed. St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham; Clongowes Wood School; UCD (BA, MA); served in WWI, and wounded; later joined the British Ministry of Information - and revealed that a senior official, G. H. Mair, had photographed Casement diaries for propagandist use; wrote a condemnation of Action Française, with spec. ref. to Charles Maurois (1924); ed. The Dublin Review; appt. Research Prof. of Modern Irish History, UUC 1946-63; ed. Cork University Press; contrib. to Studies and Irish Ecclesiastical Record. DIW DIH

Denis Rolleston Gwynn 1893-1971, son of Protestant Irish nationalist writer, scholar and MP Stephen Lucius Gwynn, who campaigned for Irish Home Rule with John Redmond. Gwynn would later share his father’s constitutionalist nationalist outlook. He was educated at St. Enda’s School, Rathfarnham, established by  Patrick Pearse. Gwynn went on to study at Clongowes Wood College and University College Dublin where he completed a BA and MA before fighting in World War I. Like his father, he served in the British Army and was himself wounded in France . He later worked for the British Ministry of Information. After WWI and the defeat of the Redmondites, both Gwynn and his father worked as journalists and remained in academia. Denis Gwynn became editor of The Dublin Review, and research professor of Modern Irish History at University College Cork in the late 1940’s until 1962. He was editor of Cork University Press and wrote a column for the Cork Examiner newspaper. He died in 1973.

See Ask About Ireland - online.

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Works
  • The Catholic Reaction in France (1924);
  • ed. Walter MacDonald, Reminiscences of A Maynooth Professor (1925);
  • The Irish Free State 1922-27 (London 1928);
  • The Struggle for Catholic Emancipation 1750-1829 (London: Longmans 1928), xxiv, 290pp.;
  • A Hundred Years of Catholic Emancipation (London 1929), maps., ill.;
  • Charles Butler (1929);
  • Daniel O’Connell: The Irish Liberator (London: Hutchinson 1930), 288pp. [see details; also listed as Daniel O’Connell and Ellen Courtney, 1930)]
  • Edward Martyn and the Irish Revival (1930);
  • The Life and Death of Roger Casement (1930) [var. 1931 in Lyons, 1971];
  • Pius XI (1932);
  • The Life of John Redmond (London 1932; NY 1971);
  • [Eamon] De Valera (London: Jarrolds 1933);
  • The O’Gorman Mahon (1934);
  • John Keogh (1935) [var. 1930];
  • The Vatican and the War in Europe (1940);
  • Young Ireland and 1848 (Cork 1949);
  • Cardinal Wiseman (1929) xx, 300pp.; new edn. (1950), x, 197pp.;
  • The Catholic Revival (1950), 15pp.;
  • The History of Partition 1912-1925 (Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1950).
Note var., John Keogh (1930), in T. H. D. Mahoney, Edmund Burke and Ireland (Harvard 1960).]

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Bibliographical details
O’Connell, Davis and the Colleges Bill
, by Professor Denis Gwynn, Centenary Series No. 1 (Cork UP/Blackwell, Oxford 1938); previously printed as six articles on ‘this very complicated episode in the relations of Daniel O’Connell and the Young Irelanders’, in Irish Ecclesiastical Record, with slight corrections. Contents: i, Introduction, ii, Davis and Catholic ‘Bigotry’; iii, The Demand for Provincial Colleges; iv, The Godless Bill; v, The quarrel in Conciliation Hall; vi, The Bill Goes Through. Ends with a letter from O’Connell, cited as ‘sufficient answer to those who believe that [he] was ungenerous and unappreciative towards Young Ireland.’ [88]. Extensively quoted are Charles Gavan Duffy (Young Ireland and The Life of Davis), the O’Brien Papers, O’Connell’s Correspondence; also quoted are Michael Doheny’s The Felon’s Track, a Life of Archbishop MacHale, and a Life of [Charles] Lucas.

See also Irish Book Lover, Vols. 6, 14, 18, 24; Joseph Lee, Ireland 1912-1985 (1989) , bibl. p.705.

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Commentary
Brian Girvin, ‘Making Nations, O’Connell, Religion and The Creation of Political Identity’, in Daniel O’Connell: Political Pioneer, ed. Maurice R. O’Connell (Dublin: IPA 1991): ‘Gwynn admits that interference in ecclesiastical appointment was in practice common, “... in Pitt’s time there was good reason to believe that even a Protestant King of England could, in return for certain concessions and active assistance, expect to receive the same negative power of veto over the appointment of bishops which other non-Catholic sovereigns already enjoyed”.’ (The Struggle for Catholic Emancipation, London 1928, pp.143-44; in Girvin, op. cit. p.131, n.23.)

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References

British Library holds The O’Gorman Mahon (Jarrold 1934), 287pp.; Pius XI (Holmes Press 1932), 195pp.; St. Columba (CTS 1928), 28pp.; The Second Spring 1818-1852, a Study of the Catholic Revival in England (1942), ix, 249pp.; The Struggle for Catholic Emancipation 1750-1829 (Longmans 1928), xxiv, 290pp.; The Vatican and War in Europe (2nd imp. B&N [1940]), xxv, 217pp.; Polish trans. of same, 1946; Young Ireland in 1848 (Cork UP 1949), 325pp. Also, Tribute to Thomas Davis ... With an account of the Thomas Davis centenary meeting held in Dublin on November 20th, 1914, including Dr. Mahaffy’s prohibition of the “Man called Pearse” [by Denis Gwynn], and an unpublished protest by “A. E.” (Cork UP 1947), 22pp., 8o.

Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) holds Edward Martyn 1859-1924 (London 1930); The History of Partition 1912-1925 (Dublin 1950); The Irish Free State (London 1928) [Shane Leslie’s copy]; The Masters of English Literature (London 1938); The O’Gorman Mahon (London 1934); Life and Death of Roger Casement (London); The History of Partition (Dublin 1950).

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Notes
An Account of the Thomas Davis Centenary Meeting (20 Nov. 1914), includes Dr. Mahaffy’s prohibition of ‘the man called Pearse’ [see W. B. Yeats, Tribute to Thomas Davis &c (1947)].

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