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Tim Pat Coogan

Tim Pat Coogan
Born Timothy Patrick Coogan
(1935-04-22) 22 April 1935
Monkstown, County Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Editor, broadcaster, journalist, historian
Notable credit(s) Editor of The Irish Press (1968–87)
Spouse(s) Cherry Coogan (marriage dissolved)
Children 6 (five daughters, one son)

Timothy Patrick "Tim Pat" Coogan (born 22 April 1935) is an Irish historical writer, broadcaster and newspaper columnist. He served as editor of The Irish Press newspaper from 1968-87. He has been best-known for such books as The IRA, Ireland Since the Rising, On the Blanket, and biographies of Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. His biography of de Valera proved controversial, taking issue with the former Irish president's reputation and achievements, in favour of those of Collins, whom he regards as indispensable to the creation of the new State.

Coogan writes from a nationalist perspective. He is recognized as a leading author on modern Irish history. His particular focus has been the history of Ireland's nationalist/independence movement in the 20th century; a period of unprecedented political upheaval. [1][2] He has blamed the Troubles in Northern Ireland on "Paisleyism".[1][3] Sean O'Callaghan, a former IRA paramilitary, turned informant for the Garda Síochána's Special Branch, said that Coogan's material was required reading for jailed IRA prisoners.[4]


  • Biography 1
  • Comments by Coogan on the 90th Anniversary of Easter Rising 2
  • Publications 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Coogan was born in Monkstown, County Dublin in 1935, the first of three children born to Beatrice (née Toal) and Ned Coogan. Ned (sometimes referred to as "Eamonn Ó Cuagain"), a native of Kilkenny, was an Irish Republican Army volunteer during the War of Independence and later served as the first Deputy Commissioner of the newly established Garda Síochána, then a Fine Gael TD for the Kilkenny constituency. Beatrice Toal, the daughter of a policeman, was a Dublin socialite who was crowned Dublin's Civic Queen of Beauty in 1927. She wrote for the Evening Herald and took part in various productions in the Abbey Theatre and Radio Éireann. Coogan spent many summer holidays in the town of Castlecomer in County Kilkenny, his father's home town.[5]

A former student of the Irish Christian Brothers in Dun Laoghaire and Belvedere College in Dublin, he spent most of his secondary studies in Blackrock College in Dublin. In 2000, Irish writer and editor Ruth Dudley Edwards was awarded £25,000 damages and a public apology by the High Court in London against Coogan for factual errors in references to her in his book Wherever Green is Worn: the Story of the Irish Diaspora.[6]

When Taoiseach Enda Kenny caused confusion following a speech at Béal na Bláth by incorrectly claiming Michael Collins had brought Lenin to Ireland, Coogan commented: "Those were the days when bishops were bishops and Lenin was a communist. How would that [Collins bringing Lenin to Ireland] have gone down with the churchyard collections?"[7]

In November 2012, the United States embassy in Dublin refused to grant Coogan a visa to visit the U.S. As a result a planned book tour for his latest book (The Famine Plot, England's role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy) was cancelled. After representations to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by United States Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Coogan received his visa.[8]

Comments by Coogan on the 90th Anniversary of Easter Rising

Excerpt from the 4/12/2006-4/18/2006 edition of the New York-based Irish Voice (page 11) entitled The Lessons of 1916:

Questions like [sic] should 1916 be commemorated? Should there be a military parade? These questions are in reality irritating diversionary tactics utilized by those whose real mental posture is the colonial cringe and whose political philosophy is crypto unionism. ... The basic importance of 1916 is that it formed a substantive, motivating role in the securing of independence, one of the three great turning points of Ireland in the 20th century ... [w]ithout the foregoing the Republic today would be on the same handout level as the six counties, and to a lesser degree Scotland and Wales ([2]).


  • Ireland Since the Rising, 1966.
  • The IRA, 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), 1998.
  • Wherever Green is Worn: The Story of the Irish Diaspora, 2000.
  • 1916: The Easter Rising, 2001.
  • Ireland in the Twentieth Century, 2003; ISBN 1-4039-6842-X
  • Memoir, 2008.
  • The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy, 2012.


  1. ^ a b 20th-century contemporary history: Coogan profile,; accessed 1 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Writing himself into Irish history",; accessed 1 March 2015.
  3. ^ Reference to Paisleyism by Coogan,; accessed 20 July 2014.
  4. ^ O'Callaghan, Sean. The Informer. Corgi 1999; ISBN 0-552-14607-2, p. 328
  5. ^ Taken from Coogan's Memoir (2008).
  6. ^ UK court rules against Tim Pat Coogan,; accessed 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ Brennan, Michael (23 August 2012). "Enda Kenny red-faced over wrong claim that Lenin visited Ireland". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  8. ^ O'Dowd, Niall (21 November 2012). "Tim Pat Coogan book tour canceled after visa refusal; best-selling nationalist author is denied visa to the United States". Retrieved 21 November 2012. 

External links

  • Tim Pat Coogan official website
  • "The Green Book" — chapter from The IRA, Coogan's book on the Irish Republican Army
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