Having served Ireland as a diplomatic representative for over forty years in many places around the world and having seen the tricolour raised with dignity and respect, Frank Cogan returns to his roots in north Meath, to the summer of 1954. His memory of an Old IRA commemoration in Ballinlough cemetery, and the still-vivid shock of the discharge of weapons over a rural grave, lead him to explore his family connections with the struggle for statehood a hundred years ago.
His exploration moves from the founding of the 5th battalion in north Meath in 1917, the decisive 1918 General Election, to the tragic deaths of Séamus Cogan and Patrick McDonnell, the Sylvan Park and Drumbaragh ambushes, and to reorganisation of the battalion, Truce and Civil War.
In approaching this complex period in our history, Cogan’s work is in keeping with the principle of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 of remembering appropriately, proportionately, respectfully and with sensitivity. His search leads him to make contact with a grand-nephew of 2nd Lieut. Albert Henry Ball who commanded the cyclist platoon of the Norfolk Regiment in Oldcastle on the fateful night Séamus Cogan was killed and who, quite probaby, pulled the trigger.