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Sarah2 Help: Sean Hogan, 'old' IRA (11) RE: Help: Sean Hogan, 'old' IRA 01 Jun 01

Big Tim,

Not much help after 1932, but maybe a lead or two...

There's some discussion in thread .086, and I find him again in Robert Kee's Ourselves Alone, volume III of his The Green Flag trilogy, which reports (page 58 of the Penguin Books 1989 USA publication)

"...Constables McDonnell and O'Connell, who, escorting a cart carrying gelignite to a quarry at Soloheadbeg were set upon by masked Volunteers and shot dead with revolvers at point-blank range. The Volunteers stripped the bodies of their rifles and ammunition and made off with these and the gelignite. The names of the chief participants in the attack were Dan Breen, Seumas Robinson, Sean Treacy and Sean Hogan, and they had take the action entirely on their own initiative.*

"The two Irish constables, both Catholics, one a widower with four children, were very popular locally and had never had any connection with political prosecutions. Their deaths aroused widespread indignation and horror, and there was a poignant moment at the inquest when one of McDonnell's sons asked if they had been given any time to surrender the explosives or had had a dog's chance.** The coroner's jury extended its sympathy to the relatives in their bereavement and a Tipperary priest immediately proclaimed in church that no good cause would be served by such crimes which would bring on their country disgrace and on themselves the Curse of God.*** Another said that no one would deplore the crime more than the leader of the Sinn Fein movement.**** The action was condemned as a crime at masses throughout Tipperary the following Sunday and the Archbishop of Cashel in Thurles Cathedral proclaimed it an offence against the law of God. He added: 'We pray that we may be spared a recurrence of such a deed' In St. Michael's Church, Tipperary, another cleric, Monsignor Ryan, cried: 'God help poor Ireland if she follows this deed of blood!'*****

"Nevertheless, in spite of an offer of £1,000 reward, the killers were able to vanish without trace until an even more sensational appearance three months later."

Kee cites as sources for the above:
*Breen, My Fight for Irish Freedom, pp 34-40
**Irish Independent, 22 January 1919
***Irish Times, 27-8 January 1919
****Tipperary Star, 25 January 1919
*****O'Donoghue, No Other Law, pp. 44-5

On page 72 of the same, Kee writes,

"The slow rebellion that the extremist Republicans were developing under the name of Sinn Fen was indeed gradually getting under way. And yet for all the rally of national sentiment in face of British activities, when, on 13 May 1919, two more RIC constables were shot dead in a daring rescue of a Volunteer prisoner from a train at Knocklong station, County Tipperary, many moderates felt dismayed, and the strongest condemnation was forthcoming from the Church at once. The parish priest of a locality in which the two constables had served declared that murder was murder, however much people might attempt to cloak it in a political motive. And Dr Harty, the Archbishop of Cashel who had been confronted with British bayonets outside the mansion House in Dublin a few days before, denounced what he called 'the deplorable occurrence' at Knocklong as 'a crime against the law of God and a crime against Ireland.' He asked the young men of the country 'not to stain the fair name of their native land by deeds of bloodshed.' It was, he sid, no use to appeal to the fact that the British Government had been committing outrages in Ireland: two wrongs did not make a right.* The inquest jury conveyed an ambivalence suggestive of the resentment which British military measures were creating. While expressing sympathy for the relatives of the dead policemen it added a rider that 'the Government should cease arresting respectable persons, thereby causing bitter exasperation among the people.'**

"As far as the respectability of the arrested person in this instance was concerned, he was Sean Hogan, a Volunteer who had been present at the Soloheadbeg killings. He had been rescued by his former comrades in that venture, Dan Breen, Seumas Robinson and Sean Treacy with help from other local Volunteers. Breen later wrote that he had to fire at once on this occasion because otherwise the constables would have shot their prisoner as they had done in the Limerick hospital. Though Breen was himself severely wounded he again successfully disappeared with the others into the countryside, getting help from local people and being passed along the Volunteer network.*** He and his comrades had again carried out the exploit on their own initiative."

For this, Kee cites:
*Irish Independent, 16 May 1919
**ibid., 21 May 1919
***Breen, My Fight for Irish Freedom, pp. 83-105

So you might try some places in County Tipperary on the net -- libraries, newspapers. I did stumble upon this at

"Biographical Dictionary of Tipperary - Martin O' Dwyer PRICE: IRP£ 13.95 pbk PUBLISHER: Folk Village '99

This much-needed reference work on Co. Tipperary provides detailed biographies of the figures who shaped the county's history. From the kings of Cashel to scarcely-remembered soldiers in the old IRA, this comprehensive work provides a detailed cross-section of the men and women who shaped the county throughout the years. Includes over 2,000 entries."

There, more than you ever wanted...hope there's a clue in there somewhere.


P.S. I hope I made the correct slash (/) to stop the italics and bold face. Otherwise...Oh, well, I guess I can come back and correct. God knows it won't be the first/last time. -S

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