27 Sept 2022

Tipperary history group pleased with universal approach to Crown Forces leaving centenary

Tipperary history group pleased with universal approach to Crown Forces leaving centenary

Seán Hogan: Pleased with universal support for event

Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution was delighted to be able to stage events marking centenaries again after the impact of necessary Covid restrictions for the past two years, according to event MC Seán Hogan.

“The strong attendance on a wintry day underlines the interest in our local history, he said.”

The most pleasing aspect of the event in Nenagh for him, he said, was the universal support of the crowd attending when he asked for respect for differing perspectives on the history they were remembering.

There was spontaneous applause from the crowd in Nenagh’s Banba Square when, holding aloft a copy of the 50-page centenary booklet which describes the Crown Forces and their departure from Tipperary, Mr Hogan asked the audience to remember that the person standing next to them might have a very different perspective on the historical events set out in the booklet.

“They were not asking anybody to change their perspective, just to respect that there would be people with differences at their events,” he said.

Asked about this aspect after the event, he said: “This is going to be especially important as we head into the centenary of Civil War events which resulted in tragic death and destruction.”

Mr Hogan said that their job as historians was to seek to describe the events that happened in those years from the available sources.

“We want to try understand why they happened the way they did at the time. We do not want to adopt positions which glorify or condemn the different sides in the conflict or individuals or their actions,” he said. P

Mr Hogan said that people can read the historical account and will have their own views. Being able to have respect for that other view - the different perspective - was what was important and it was great to see that displayed so well at Sunday’s event.

Standing in Banba Square in front of the courthouse, which was also home for many years to the offices of North Tipperary County Council, Mr Hogan pointed out that it was not just the British army and the police which left in 1922.

“The administrative systems which ran the courts, policing, the public health services, the social protection system of the time and all the other public services had to be replaced and funded. The Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution approach will also be focused on the efforts of state-building at that time,” he said.

Mr Hogan said that this critical aspect, which shaped our country for much of the 100 years since the State was founded, was often overlooked.

As an example, he pointed to the forgotten figure of Seamus Burke from Roscrea, the only Tipperary TD of the time who supported the Treaty and who was appointed Minister for Local Government and Public Health in W T Cosgrave’s 1923 -27 Government.

Burke began the process of dismantling the much-hated Workhouse system of Poor Law relief in his time as Minister, as well as having to deal with the crisis because the rates system which provided funding for local authorities had collapsed.

Referring to the attendance of Dr Martin Manseragh and Cllr Michael O’Meara, cathaoirleach of Nenagh Municipal District at the Nenagh event, Mr Hogan said Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution Group was following the advice given by the Government’s Expert Advisory Group in their approach to remembering and staging events.

They were very pleased with the support they had got over the past two years from Tipperary County Council and Department of Heritage, he said.

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