Posts categorized “Irish History”

Tim Pat pays tribute as new book remembers Brian O’Nolan

To mark the centenary of the birth of writer Brian O’Nolan his sole surviving sibling, Micheál Ó Nualláin, has published a collection of reminiscences, The Brother.

Speaking at the launch, Tim Pat Coogan said that O’Nolan’s long-running Irish Times column Cruiskeen Lawn was “the only regular fix of culture” that many people got in the “drab and dreary” 1950s.

» Read more in the Irish Times

Do we need a president at all? Can we afford one?

Tim Pat’s letter to the Irish Independent, published 24/8/11, probes a deeper question surrounding the race for the Aras…

As the proportion of the population throwing, or not throwing, its hat into the ring of the presidential contest begins to acquire the characteristics of a somewhat farcical mass movement, is it not time to ask the questions do we need a president at all? Can we afford one?

The president’s powers are not essential to the running of the nation even at the best of times. These are not the best of times and we cannot say that they are the worst because we know that there is worse to come in the forthcoming Budget and in charges on water, property, energy and — on what should be the bread of the future — a university education.

The only things going down are incomes and the pitiable benefits of the young and the elderly.

We had no president in our first Constitution after independence. There was a governor general, who was imposed upon us by the British, and who was got rid of by De Valera who introduced the presidency in his 1937 Constitution, and subsequently made the office a well-paid old folks home.

Now that Fianna Fail, which De Valera founded, has got rid of not merely the governor general but of the economic independence which the founders of the State fought for, is it not time to close down this rather ruritanian institution, with its aura of the Raj and the Viceregal Lodge, and spend the money on things like getting cancer sufferers off trolleys in busy hospital corridors or, alternatively, in prosecuting the people responsible for our economic situation?

Tim Pat Coogan
Dalkey, Co Dublin

Follow-on discussion:



Lecture – Michael Collins: The Man Outside

Tim Pat will be giving a lecture on Michael Collins on 25th of August in the Glasnevin Museum at 7.30pm. The lecture is free and part of Heritage Week.

Booking is essential to ensure a seat. For more information and bookings, please contact Glasnevin Museum on 01-8826550 or email

Glasnevin Museum is located inside the main gates of Glasnevin Cemetery.

“Ireland – Yes we can?”

The Derry Journal reports on Tim Pat Coogan’s speech at a Féile event in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Derry…

The author and historian said that community movements have driven changes in Derry and those changes have shaped modern Ireland.

“The word which will govern what we succeed in is a word which epitomises Derry – that word is community. It is the ability to hold what you have and try for what you want.”

“Even in the midst of everything that is happening today, that spirit can still be seen looking around Derry today,” he said.

» Read more

Sure we’re not right Michael, Sure we’re not! – Tim Pat at the Percy French Summer School

Tim Pat will be speaking at the 2011 Percy French Summer
, to be held at Castlecoote House, Co. Roscommon, from 11th–15th July

The Athlone Advertiser reports that the headline talk “… is one of many that aims to address current socio-economic issues… Some of Ireland’s leading academics will gather to celebrate the work of Percy French and debate issues such as ‘The Irish conscience’, ‘The Female education debate in 18th century’, ‘Trades, crafts and people of old Fuerty’, to name but a few…. Tim Pat’s talk is of course taken from Percy French’s well known song ‘The West Clare Railway’”

Question and Answer Session – Thursday 14th July, 12.15pm

Sure we’re not right Michael, Sure we’re not!

A reflection on the contemporary political and economic crises with apologies to ‘The West Clare Railway’ by Percy French

Tim Pat Coogan
Luke Ming Flanagan TD CHAIR

This is a significant moment for both of these islands

Tim Pat reflects on the Royal visit in The Herald:

We’re into welcome mode now. Whatever saucy doubts and fears we entertained in the last few weeks about the timing or wisdom of the visit, the queen landed today and it is not only fitting and right that the best foot is put forward but, to be quite blunt about it, there is an extraordinary commercial spin-off to all that is happening.

I have seen a fair few newsworthy events in my time, but I have never seen such a concentration of journalists descending on the country in such a short space of time.

I’m told that I will be one of some 1,200 media people in Dublin Castle today.

That is the kind of coverage of a country or an event that the Bord Failtes and the IDAs slaver over…

Read the full article

Special debate on former Cork mayors MacCurtain and MacSwiney

Tim Pat will take part in a commemorative debate in Cork this Friday on the subject of two of the city’s former lord mayors  - Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney – who both died in the turbulent events of 1920, MacCurtain shot by members of the RIC, MacSwiney on hunger strike in Brixton Prison.

The debate is organised by their alma mater, North Monastery secondary school, and will be held in the concert hall, City Hall, Cork, on Friday 11th March at 7.30pm. It is being chaired by Pat Cox and is free to the public.

» More in the Irish Times

Stepping back in time but issues not polls apart

Ken Sweeney, writing in today’s Irish Independent, invites Tim Pat to reflect briefly on the historic election of 1933.

“IT’s time for a change. ”

“It could have read as an election poster slogan for any of the main opposition parties. But it appears the theme was just as relevant back in 1933 as the forefathers of both today’s political parties battled for the hearts and minds of the population,” writes Sweeney.

» Read more

GAA Museum marks 90th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

On the 21st November 1920 events outside of the GAA brought politics into the heart of the Association when troops opened fire during a challenge football match between Dublin and Tipperary.

The GAA Museum will mark the 90th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday 1920 with a special commemorative lecture featuring Tim Pat Coogan and Dr. William Murphy, at 2pm on Saturday 20th November.

» Read more

Supplements to reflect on JFK’s 1963 visit to Ireland

Two supplements, including contributions by Tim Pat Coogan and Diarmaid Ferriter, will be published in the Irish Independent on Wednesday and Thursday to accompany the launch of a new book by Ryan Tubridy on John F Kennedy’s visit to Ireland in 1963. Extracts will reveal how a historic speech by the US President was censored by then Irish president Eamon de Valera.

» Read more