Saturday, May 18th, 2019 saw four events held in Knocklong to mark the events of the rescue of Séan Hogan in 1919.
1) History Seminar
Padraig Óg O’Ruaric, Liz Gillis, John Borgonovo and Seán Hogan spoke on different aspects of how the rescue and the wider War of Independence were viewed from outside of Knocklong. How the War inspired the British colonies in Africa and Asia to challenge British rule.
2) National Commemoration
The National Commemoration of the Rescue of Seán Hogan was designed to remember the events in Knocklong in a balanced and respectful way. This included a keynote speech from Minister Patrick O’Donovan and speeches from Cllr. Eddie Ryan Cathaoirleach Municipal District of Kilmallock and Cappamore and Martin Mansergh, former minister and keen historian. There was a wreath laying ceremony by representatives of the family of Seán Hogan, the Rescue party from Galbally, the 3rd Brigade of the old IRA Tipperary and the Knocklong Community. Music was provided by Dermot Carroll who sang The Station of Knocklong and a song of reconciliation North and South. Liam O’Neill played the Centenary March on the violin of IRA Volunteer Seán Treacy. The event was preceded by a parade of local groups to the site of the commemoration.
3) Meeting of the relatives
Many relatives of the rescue party and Seán Hogan traveled to Knocklong from as far away as Australia. They met to view slides provided by Tim Ryan and also information provided by Mai Moloney’s son Chris Clair. Mai Moloney was a key member of Cuman na mBan and actively assisted in the rescue.
4) Concert with the Band of the 1st Brigade
The day’s proceedings concluded with an open-air concert by the Army Band of the 1st Brigade under the baton of Capt. Brian Prendergast. This concert concluded with the play of the 1812 Overture accompanied by a spectacular firework display.
The last event for the week was the staging of the play ‘The Trial’ is the final play in the Big Four Series performed by Lampróg Theatre and written by Fiona Quinn. It highlights the injustice of the arrest and execution of Paddy Maher, an innocent man, hung by the British in retribution for the Rescue of Sean Hogan from Knocklong train station.
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