Tim Pat Coogan

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Tim Pat Coogan
Tim Pat and Martin McGuinness (cropped).jpg
Coogan in 2015
Timothy Patrick Coogan

(1935-04-22) 22 April 1935 (age 88)
Occupation(s)Journalist, writer, broadcaster
Notable creditEditor of The Irish Press (1968–1987)
SpouseCherry Coogan (marriage dissolved)
Children6 (five daughters, one son)

Timothy Patrick "Tim Pat" Coogan (born 22 April 1935) is an Irish journalist, writer and broadcaster. 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 and On the Blanket, and biographies of Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. [1] [2]


Coogan's particular focus has been Ireland's nationalist/independence movement in the 20th century, a period of unprecedented political upheaval. [3] [4] He blames the Troubles in Northern Ireland on "Paisleyism". [3] [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.

A former student of the Irish Christian Brothers in Dún 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 have gone down with the churchyard collections?" [7]

In November 2012, for reasons that are uncertain, 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 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 T. King (R-NY), Coogan received his visa. [8]


Coogan has been criticised by the Irish historians Liam Kennedy and Diarmaid Ferriter, as well as Cormac Ó Gráda,[ citation needed ] for a supposed lack of thoroughness in his research and bias:


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  1. "Tim Pat Coogan | Authors | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Archived from the original on 26 September 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  2. Brennan, Eoin Lynch and Deirdre. "Video column: The Writer – the life and work of Tim Pat Coogan". TheJournal.ie. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  3. 1 2 20th-century contemporary history: Coogan profile Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine , historyireland.com; accessed 1 March 2015.
  4. "Writing himself into Irish history" Archived 20 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine , irishtimes.com; accessed 1 March 2015.
  5. Reference to Paisleyism by Coogan Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine , historyireland.com; accessed 20 July 2014.
  6. UK court rules against Tim Pat Coogan Archived 21 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine , independent.ie; 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. Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. 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". Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  9. "Was the Famine a Genocide?". Drb.ie. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  10. "1916: The Mornings After review: Tim Pat Coogan's arrogant travesty of Irish history". Irishtimes.com. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.