Re-enactment of the Rescue of  Seán Hogan in Knocklong

A Scene From The Reenactment Of The Rescue Of Sean Hogan In Knocklong Photo John Mortell
Re-enactment of the Rescue of Sean Hogan 20-5

Often it is the simple words that are most poignant. As Seán Hogan and his rescuers made their escape across the fields, struggling with their wounds and fatigue and not knowing just what fate awaited them, a local farmer came to their aid. His first offer of help was “First we must find a priest and then some whiskey.” I’m not sure who replied but the response was “I’ve never had whiskey”. That hit me! They were young people; too young for whiskey. They were just boys, boys who had just undertaken an act of supreme courage to save a friend from certain death and who now were facing a hazardous journey to freedom. These were boys who, perhaps unbeknown to themselves at the time, had made a major statement to raise the morale and determination of a nation in the fight for self-determination.
The third of the four plays to commemorate the Rescue of Seán Hogan – The Escape – was played out in the lanes and fields of County Limerick. It started with the re-enactment of the Escape and followed the escapee’s route to Shanahan’s Cottage above Glenbrohane – about 8 kilometres – with a series of scenes en-route. I would say an audience of 200 or so followed the actors along their as they made their get-a-way. They would have been sympathetic to the physical hardship suffered by the boys as they walked, finished by a sharp climb up the slopes of Sliabh Riagh. They would have been warmed as they saw the scenes played out before them of the love and support afforded by the local people who, in spite of the huge risks they were taking, did everything to ensure that their heroes remained safe.
This was another excellent piece of theatre by the Lampróg Theatre who showed exceptional talent to both entertain and inform their audience. Unlike the heroes of 1919 who went off into a dark night not knowing what fate awaited them, the audience were safely bussed back to the comforts of their homes.