As we approach the centenary of one of the critical events of the War of Independence, the timing of the publication of John Connors biography on the life of Seán Hogan, the central character involved in the Knocklong rescue, is most opportune. While much has been written about the more prominent participants in the rescue at Knocklong railway station on 13 May 1919, little if anything is known about the young Hogan himself.
In his book, “SEÁN HOGAN – His Life, – A Troubled Journey”, Borrisoleigh historian John Connors rescues from obscurity the Tipperary youth that history left behind.
In telling this young man’s remarkable life story, Connors brings us the exciting story of Tipperary’s ‘Big Four’ in the Troubled Times. He deconstructs the ‘hero’ myths and shows the price Hogan’s generation paid for their youthful endeavours in their later lives.
Dealing with his life and republican activities, from before the first deadly shots were fired at Soloheadbeg on the 21 January 1919, this work goes on to document Hogan’s subsequent career as a leading gunman during the War of Independence (Connors work links sixteen deaths with Hogan during the War of Independence), his involvement in the subsequent Civil War and his life post-conflict.
While acknowledging the dedication and bravery of Seán Hogan and his contemporaries from that revolutionary generation, this work goes beyond the “hero myth” to examine the wider impacts those difficult times had on those involved and on their families.
Connors draws on a wide range of available records and archives, along with numerous interviews with people who knew Seán Hogan at various stages of his life. The author also had access to the available Hogan family papers, photographs and memorabilia and has created the only complete profile of Seán Hogan’s life.
An epilogue, giving the Hogan family perspective has been contributed by Treacy Hogan, grandson of the subject.
This book is generously illustrated with many photographs, including from the wonderful collection of Jack Sharkey of Clonmel, many that have not been seen previously in public.
The Biography is published under the auspices of Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution, a group of local historians who are committed to remembering and sharing the history of Tipperary’s revolutionary period in a non-partisan, inclusive fashion.
The book will be launched by Mr Mattie Ryan, Cathaoirleach, Tipperary County Council in conjunction with local historian Seán Hogan, (better known as National Director of Fire and Emergency Management when there is snow or storms!) and author of the highly acclaimed “The Black and Tans in North Tipperary”, who also edited this work.
Where: In the Excel Arts Centre, Tipperary Town,
When: On Thursday 11 April at 8.00 pm.