Michael Hogan memorial statue unveiled in Tipperary
By Cian O’Connell
A statue commemorating Michael Hogan has been unveiled on the 100 year anniversary weekend of Bloody Sunday.
That direct descendants of a number of Grangemockler-Ballyneale and Tipperary players from that era were involved in the committee adds to the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Unfortunately the Covid 19 pandemic disturbed the preparations and planned celebrations, but Joan Tobin explains how the project unfolded.
“The committee was really formed at this stage about two years ago,” she tells GAA.ie. “We are all of last year and this year at it. The committee really was the brainchild of the local GAA club from the point of view that they wanted the four families involved and who had representation on Bloody Sunday to form that committee.
“Louise Hogan is Michael Hogan's grand niece, PJ Lanigan is Dick Lanigan's grandson, Jerry Shelly is Gerry Shelley's grandson, Nuala Shelly and myself. My grandfather is the one who didn't travel, Michael Tobin, he was on that team, he was selected to travel.
“On the day that they were due to depart his father was dying. After getting ready to go he decided against it. His father did die two days later. He was never named on the Bloody Sunday team after because he wasn't there on the day.
“The committee is comprised of the grandchildren and Louise being a grandniece. Michael being so young he wasn't married and hadn't any family of his own.”
The tragic events of Bloody Sunday have always been discussed and part of life in Grangemockler. “It was really, in my case my grandfather actually lived with us so it was very much part of it,” Joan Tobin says.
“The friendships that were there, himself, Gerry Shelley, and Dick Lanigan, were very friendly their whole way through life. Also Bill Ryan up in Loughmore-Castleiney, so that link was there through the families forged as a result of everything that went on.
“The three that were on the 1920 Tipp team which won the All Ireland which was played in 1922. The irony is you hope we won't be delayed that length of time now before we do the full celebration.
“We had envisaged the GAA President would do the unveiling for us and we were aiming for juveniles to represent each of the clubs that had players on the Bloody Sunday team.
“We hoped they would come down through the village to do the unveiling with all of the families, the Uachtaran and all of the GAA people. Michael Foley was set up to talk too, all of that is on ice with Covid.”
Joan Tobin, though, is keen to stress the value and important role occupied by the Grangemockler-Ballyneale club in the local community.
“The strength of the club to actually push it on,” she adds. “We are a sub committee, but this was being pushed by the GAA club all along.
“They had the vision two years ago to get it up and running so we could get all of the fundraising done. It is great to have a fabulous monument in a really tiny place which Grangemockler is.
"It is a fitting tribute to have a monument to mark Michael Hogan.”