Ballyhoura Country celebrates local history throughout May with the Centenary of 'The Rescue' of Seán Hogan

  • Knocklong History Week

A series of events will run in Knocklong this month to mark the centenary of 'The Rescue' of Seán Hogan. During the month of May, families will also get the chance to explore their own heritage with Trace Your Family workshops organised by Ballyhoura Country.

This May marks the centenary of the 1919 rescue of Seán Hogan, a captured member of the Irish Republican Army. Hogan was one of the most wanted men in Ireland at the time of his rescue, due to his role in the Soloheadbeg ambush. The week long centenary commemorations will take place from 12 - 19 May. Activities will include music, drama, commemoration services, history seminar and 'The Rescue' train, recreating the journey of Seán Hogan to his rescue at the station in Knocklong. 

The Lampóg Theatre’s weeklong drama series The Big Four is an immersive theatre experience recounting the story of the rescue of Seán Hogan from the Station in Knocklong. For the first play, The Dancepartake in the dancing and watch the drama unfold on Sunday 12 May. The Plan is the second play in the drama series which will re-enact the planning of the rescue in and around The Square in Galbally on Tuesday 14 May. The Escape follows the actors as they trace the escape route taken after Seán Hogan’s rescue, a promenade drama through Glenbrohane and Glenlara on Thursday 16 May. The culmination of the festival, The Trialis the final play in Lampróg Theatre’s The Big Four and will be held in Knocklong Community Hall on Sunday 19 May.

On Monday 13 May at 7.30pm, there will be wreath laying at the Railway Plaque, a local commemoration on the date of the centenary of the original rescue, followed by the launch of John Connors’ new bookSeán Hogan – A Troubled Journey at 8pm. Join County Limerick Youth Theatre’s stage version of The Rescue in Knocklong Community Hall on Wednesday 15 May at 7pm. Come sing Songs from the Struggle in The Hill Bar, Knocklong on Thursday 16 May. 

Oliver Doyle presents a two-part lecture in the Community Hall in Knocklong, focusing on the importance of the railway, its impact on the locality and a look back at the rescue of Seán Hogan and the subsequent trial on Friday 17 May. On Saturday 18 May, there is a full programme of events with a history seminar, Knocklong from the Outside, with speakers Liz Gillis, Dr. John Borgonova, Seán Hogan and Padraic Og O’Ruairc. This will be followed by the National Centenary Commemoration of the rescue of Seán Hogan at 2pm. There will be a reception in Knocklong Community Hall with a presentation of pictures and stories from the rescue by Tim Ryan, followed by a talk from Chris Clair about his mother Mai Moloney. Later that evening The Army Band in concert will bring a lively night of classic numbers.

Also in May, as part of the nationwide Bealtaine Festival, is a Tracing your Family History Workshop, taking place in Kilmallock Library on 10 May.

For a full Knocklong History Week programme of events click here.

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