When Mr.Rochford told the 6th year history class that we would be receiving a talk by Tim Pat Coogan, the reaction was mixed. Some were amazed that he, being a Blackrock man, would actually come and speak to us, some were looking forward to an enjoyable talk, while others saw it as an opportunity to have half the questions on their history project answered by one of our more popular historians.
Admittedly there were one or two in the class who had never heard of the man, however a quick Google search soon revealed that Timothy Patrick Coogan is an Irish historical writer, broadcaster and newspaper columnist who served as editor of The Irish Press newspaper from 1968 to 1987. They also soon realised that they more than likely had his famous Michael Collins biography in their house. After this and having a quick glance over his many books in the library everyone was looking forward to his arrival on Tuesday, November 12th.
We weren’t really sure what exactly he was going to be talking to us about. Sixth years were hoping he could finally put our confusion over Parnell and the Land question to rest, while the fifth years present were hoping he might wonder onto European history and the political strengths of Otto Von Bismarck!
In the end he took a more general look at Ireland, its history and where we are now as a society and a nation. His talk was hugely enjoyable and a massive eye opener. Ranging from, the troubles to alcohol, to the Irish abroad and the future that we, as students, now face.
It was a huge privilege to hear the views and opinions of someone as well renowned as Tim Pat and I would like to thank all of those who were involved in organising the night in particular Mr.Rochford and the history department. It was a night thoroughly enjoyed by all and has hopefully left us with a broader understanding of Irish history and will help us a little in tackling our history exam come next June!
Peter Stapleton, School Captain