Tim Pat Coogan
Timothy Patrick Coogan is an Irish
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 historical writer, broadcaster and newspaper columnist. He served as editor of the Irish Press newspaper from 1968 to 1987. Today, he is best known for his popular and sometimes controversial books on aspects of modern Irish history, including The IRA, Ireland Since the Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

, On the Blanket
Blanket protest
The blanket protest was part of a five year protest during the Troubles by Provisional Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners held in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland. The republican prisoners' status as political prisoners, known as Special Category Status, had...

, and biographies of Michael Collins
Michael Collins (Irish leader)
Michael "Mick" Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and Teachta Dála for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Subsequently, he was both Chairman of the...

 and Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth century Ireland, serving as head of government of the Irish Free State and head of government and head of state of Ireland...


His biography of Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth century Ireland, serving as head of government of the Irish Free State and head of government and head of state of Ireland...

 proved the most controversial, taking issue with the former Irish president
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

's reputation and achievements, in favour of those of Collins, whom he regards as indispensable to the creation of the new State.


Tim Pat Coogan was born in Monkstown, County Dublin in 1935. He was the first of three children (Brian was born two years later, and Aisling was born four years later) born to Ned Coogan
Eamonn Coogan
Eamonn Coogan was an Irish Fine Gael politician, barrister and Deputy Commissioner of the Garda Síochána. He was born in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Teachta Dála for the Kilkenny constituency at the 1944 general election. He died during the 1948 general...

 and his wife Beatrice. His father Ned (or Eamonn Ó Cuagain as he sometimes preferred to be known) was active in the Volunteers during the War of Independence and later went on to be the first Deputy Commissioner of the newly-established Garda Síochána
Garda Síochána
, more commonly referred to as the Gardaí , is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.- Terminology :...

. His mother was a Dublin socialite who was crowned Dublin's Civic Queen of Beauty in 1927. She also wrote for the Evening Herald
Evening Herald
The Evening Herald is a mid-market tabloid evening newspaper published in Dublin, Ireland by Independent News & Media. It is published Monday-Saturday, and has three editions — City Edition, City Final Edition and National Edition...

and took part in various productions in the Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland , is a theatre located in Dublin, Ireland. The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, it has remained active to the present day...

 and Radio Éireann. Coogan spent many summer holidays in the town of Castlecomer
Castlecomer is a town in the barony of Fassadinin, County Kilkenny in Ireland.The Irish name for the town translates to "The castle at the confluence of the rivers"; the "rivers" refers to the rivers Deen, Brocagh and Clohogue while the "castle" refers to the castle built by the Normans in 1171...

 in County Kilkenny
County Kilkenny
County Kilkenny is a county in Ireland. It is part of the South-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Kilkenny. The territory of the county was the core part of the ancient Irish Kingdom of Osraige which in turn was the core of the Diocese of...

, his father's home town.

He is a former student of the Christian Brothers
Congregation of Christian Brothers
The Congregation of Christian Brothers is a worldwide religious community within the Catholic Church, founded by Blessed Edmund Rice. The Christian Brothers, as they are commonly known, chiefly work for the evangelisation and education of youth, but are involved in many ministries, especially with...

 in Dun Laoghaire
Dún Laoghaire
Dún Laoghaire or Dún Laoire , sometimes anglicised as "Dunleary" , is a suburban seaside town in County Dublin, Ireland, about twelve kilometres south of Dublin city centre. It is the county town of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County and a major port of entry from Great Britain...

, Belvedere College
Belvedere College
Belvedere College SJ is a private secondary school for boys located on Great Denmark Street, Dublin, Ireland. It is also known as St. Francis Xavier's College....

 and spent most of his secondary studies in Blackrock College
Blackrock College
Blackrock College is a Catholic voluntary secondary school for boys aged 14–18, located in Williamstown, Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland. The College was founded by French missionaries in 1860, to act as a school and civil service training centre. Set in of grounds, it has an illustrious...

 (he had two spells here) in Dublin. In his memoir, published in 2008, he describes himself as an atheist
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...



  • Ireland Since the Rising, 1966.
  • The I.R.A. a History
    The I.R.A. (Tim Pat Coogan Book)
    The I.R.A. is a non-fiction book on the history of the IRA written by the journalist Tim Pat Coogan. It was first published in 1970. There have been nine editions printed since then....

    , 1970. ISBN 0-00-653155-5
  • The Irish : a personal view, 1975.
  • On the Blanket : the H Block story, 1980.
  • Ireland and the Arts, 1986.
  • Disillusioned Decades : Ireland 1966-87, 1987.
  • Michael Collins : a biography, 1990. ISBN 0-09-968580-9.
  • De Valera : long fellow, long shadow, 1993.
  • The Troubles : Ireland's ordeal 1966-1995 and the Search for Peace, 1995. ISBN 0-09-946571-X.
  • The Irish Civil War (with George Morrison
    George Morrison (documentary maker)
    George Morrison is an Irish director of film documentaries. His works include Mise Éire and Saoirse?.Morrison was born in Tramore, Co. Waterford. His mother was an actress at Dublin's Gate Theatre, while his father worked as a neurological anaesthetist...

    ), 1998.
  • Wherever Green is Worn : the Story of the Irish Diaspora, 2000.
  • 1916: The Easter Rising, 2001.
  • Ireland in the Twentieth Century, 2004. ISBN 1-4039-6842-X
  • Memoir, 2008.

External links

  • Tim Pat Coogan's website
  • The Green Book — chapter from The IRA, Coogan's book on the Irish Republican Army
    Irish Republican Army
    The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

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