Robert Malcolm Gwynn (1877 - 1962):
Robert Malcolm Gwynn was born in Ramelton, County Donegal. He was educated at St Columba's College, Rathfarnham, and the University of Dublin. Between 1916 and 1952 he held a number of appointments at the University, including Professor of Biblical Greek, Professor of Hebrew, and Vice-Provost. He was one of the few Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin (the sole constitutuent college of Dublin University) to be ordained in holy orders, and was described as "as near to a saint as any Fellow has been". A man of strong social conscience, he founded and superintended societies dedicated to social service and dedicated himself to alleviating the poor of Dublin before the First World War. Though his contribution to learned work was less than considerable, he was highly esteemed by his colleagues, and his various achievements were realised despite his severe deafness. To aid his hearing, he carried lareg ear trumpets with him, and this, with his height and white hair, made him an impressive figure round Trinity College, clearly recalled well into the 21st century.
Always sympathetic to the Labour side of industrial relations, before the First World War he was the only Dublin University academic of any note to show any active engagement with the city's Labour movement, being active in a "peace committee" which had strong links to the Citizen Army of James Connolly.
In February 1950, he was appointed Senior Tutor, an office which was old but had been long obsolete, and in which he was eventually succeeded by TW Moody. A keen athelete, he appeared for Ireland against South Africa in 1901 and played rugby for Leinster.
|Born:||26 April 1877|
|Died:||2 June 1962|
Mr E Liddle
RB McDowell & DA Webb: Trinity College Dublin, An Academic History 1592-1952; private information
© 2020 Ulster History Circle