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Lieutenant General Hugo MacNeill Hugo McNeill irish army uniform

Here we see the very dour Maj. General Hugo MacNeill of the Irish Army about 1923. Note the red staff pips on his collar and the Irish national harp insignia on his jacket buttons.

MacNeill was reportedly a bit of a scrapper and was the Irish Army’s cloak and dagger man.

As a teen he was a member of the Fianna Éireann, a sort of pre-IRA boy scouts before the IRA existed. This of course led to his service in the the Irish Volunteers (Óglaigh na hÉireann) which naturally morphed into the IRA proper after 1919. However, upon independence from the UK in 1922, he cast his lot with Michael Collins and the pro-Treaty National Army of the Irish Free State, becoming a Colonel in the regulars tasked with intelligence missions. He was then assistant Chief of Staff (as a Maj. Gen) after the Civil War, when this image was likely taken.

He remained at that grade through WWII, during which he commanded a division of the Irish Army during the island’s tense neutrality against all comers, founding an indigenous commando school and apparently was very chummy with both the Germans and the Brits during the conflict, as befitting a neutral.

He retired in the 1950s as a Lt. General and helped form the Irish equivalent of the American Legion for former servicemen.

More excellent photos of MacNeill here.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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