Tim Pat Coogan

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Tim Pat Coogan
Born Timothy Patrick Coogan
(1935-04-22) 22 April 1935 (age 78)
Monkstown, County Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Editor
Notable credit(s) Editor of The Irish Press
Children 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 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, On the Blanket, and biographies of Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera.

His biography of Éamon de Valera proved the most 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.


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 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, then a Fine Gael TD for the Kilkenny constituency. His mother was a Dublin socialite who was crowned Dublin's Civic Queen of Beauty in 1927. She also 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.[1]

He is a former student of the Christian Brothers in Dun Laoghaire, Belvedere College and spent most of his secondary studies in Blackrock College in Dublin. In his memoir, published in 2008, he describes himself as an atheist.

In 2000, 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.[2]

When Taoiseach Enda Kenny caused confusion following a speech at Béal na Bláth by crediting Michael Collins with bringing Vladimir 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?"[3]

In November 2012, the United States embassy in Dublin refused to grant Coogan a visa to visit the US. As a result a planned book tour for his latest book (The Famine Plot, England's role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy) was cancelled. The decision was described as a major shock and blot against United States Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney. After representations to Hillary Clinton, Senator Schumer, reckoned to be the second most powerful member of the US Senate and the chairman of the Congressional Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Peter King, he received his visa.[4]


  • Ireland Since the Rising, 1966.
  • The I.R.A. a History, 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. ^ Taken from "Tim Pat Coogan – a memoir".
  2. ^ UK court rules against Tim Pat Coogan
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 

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