MAHS: Talk in Oldcastle Library Thursday, July 21st at 7:30

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Meath Archaeological and Historical Society presents a talk by Frank Cogan and Tracey Holsgrove:

‘The 5th Meath Battalion and Cumann na mBan in North Meath’

in the Library, Oldcastle, on Thursday, 21 July 2022 at 7.30 pm


On the 102nd anniversary of the death in action of his uncle, Commdt Seamus Cogan, O/C of the 5th (Oldcastle/Stonefield) Battalion of the Old IRA, Frank Cogan, author of the just-published book Unsettled Territory – the 5th Battalion , Meath Brigade, 1917-21, will give a talk on the Battalion described as ‘the most active unit in the old Meath Brigade’ in the War of Independence. Because of the Covid lockdown, this talk, originally planned for the centenary in 2020 of the gun-battle in the Square in Oldcastle in which Seamus Cogan met his death in a fusilade of fire from soldiers of the Norfolk Regiment, had to be postponed until now. Frank Cogan will trace the origins of the Battalion and how it mounted several significant operations following the death of its commander, until the Truce in 1921; he will also describe how the Civil War split effected the independence movement and how violence returned to the centre of Oldcastle in a spectacular attack on the barracks in September 1922. He will also describe how his own recent research succeeded in finding a descendant of the British officer who probably fired the fatal shots which killed Seamus Cogan and how he established a friendly exchange of correspondence with him.


Tracey Holsgrove, a graduate in historical research from Liverpool University, is an active local historian in the Moylagh History Society and the Meath History Workshop; she lives in Oldcastle and is the author of an article entitled ‘A Generation of Brave Women who did ‘Some Useful Service – Women’s Activity in Meath in the Revolutionary Period, published in the journal of the MAHS, Riocht na Midhe, in 2019. She will talk about the women of Cumann na mBan, who, despite being very active in north Meath during the War of independence period, tend to be overlooked in memorials and historical writings and thus their role in the achievement of our independence is insufficiently recorded and often unacknowledged.


For further information contact: Frank Cogan at frank_cogan@hotmail,com or Tom French at tfrench@meathcoco.ie.

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