P. S. O’Hegarty (1879-1955)


Life
[Patrick Sarsfield O’Hegarty]; b. Carrignavar, Co. Cork. ed. ed. North Monastery CBS; law clerk, 1895; postal service, Cork, 1897; served in London, 1902-1913; Cobh postmaster, 1913; Shrewsbury and Welshpool (Wales), 1914; resigned from PO over oath of allegiance, 1918; resigned from Sinn Féin with Hobson and others in disagreement with Griffith, 1910; ed. Nationalist newspapers incl. Irish Freedom (1911-14); An tÉireannach (1913), for Gaelic League;
 
informed by MacDiarmada that the rebellion would take place in Sept. 1915; ed. The Irish World (1918-19), and The Separatist (Feb.-Sept. 1922), with IRB support; accepted the Treaty while on the Supreme Council of IRB; est. ‘Irish Bookshop,’ Dawson St., Dublin, with subscriptions; Secretary of Irish Dept. of Post and Telegraphs, 1922-45; John Mitchel: An Appreciation (1917); The Indestructible Nation (1918); Sinn Féin: An Illumination (1919); Ulster: A Brief Statement of Fact (1919); A Short Memoir of Terence MacSwiney (1922);
 
with Bulmer Hobson, Eimar O’Duffy and Colm O’Lochlainn, published seven-issue series of Irish Review (1922-1923); issued The Victory of Sinn Fein: How it Was Won and How It Was Used (1924); A History of Ireland Under the Union 1801-1922 (1952; contributed frequently to Irish Book Lover; from 1930 onwards he compiled almost annual bibliographies of Irish authors, usually printed in the Dublin Magazine and as offprints afterwards; d. Dec. 1955;
 
his son was the publisher Seán Sairséal Ó hEigeartaigh (1917-1967) of Sairséal agus Dill; P. S. O’Hegarty’s papers were acquired by the Kenneth Spencer Research Library of Kansas University; a catalogue of his library his held in the National Library of Ireland; a younger br. Seán O’Hegarty, was officer commanding the First Cork Brigade of the IRA; O’Hegarty lived in the former home of Edward Dowden on Highfield House in Rathgar, and the reception following the wedding of his dg. Gráinne to Michael Yeats was conducted there in May 1949. DIW DIB DIH FDA OCIL

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Works
Monographs, The Victory of Sinn Féin: How it Won It, and How It Used It [Modern Ireland in the Making Ser.] (Dublin: Talbot Press; London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent 1924), viii, 218pp.[19 cm]; Do [rep. as] The Victory of Sinn Féin [1924; rep. intro. Tom Garvin [Classic Irish History Ser.] (Dublin: UCD Press 1998), 192pp.; A History of Ireland Under the Union 1801-1922 (London: Methuen 1952) [ded. to ‘Bulmer Hobson and Robert Lynd in memory of forty-and-odd years when the world was our oyster and Ireland was the world’].

Miscellaneous, intro. to Thomas Clarke, Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Diary (1922); A Bibliography of Standish O’Grady (Dublin: Thom 1930); ‘A Bibliography of Joseph Campbell - Seosamh Mac Cathmaoil’, in Dublin Magazine, New Ser., 15, No. 4 (1940), pp.58-61; ‘Kickham’s Novels’, Irish Book Lover, XXVI (1938), pp.41-43; ‘W. B. Yeats and the Revolutionary Ireland of His Time’, in Dublin Magazine, XIV, No. 3 (July-Sept. 1939), cp.22.

Bibliographies in the Dublin Magazine incl. Standish J. O’Grady (1930), Patrick Pearse (1931), Joseph Mary Plunkett (1931), Thomas MacDonagh (1934), Seamus O’Kelly (1934), The O’Rahilly (1936), Thomas J. Clarke (1936), Michael O’Hanrahan (1936), Countess Markievicz (1936), Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, Kevin O’Higgins (1937) [infra], Darrell Figgis (1938), Douglas Hyde (1939), Joseph Campbell (1940), James Clarence Mangan (1941), William Allingham (1945), James Joyce (1946), Robert Erskine Childers (1948) and Roger Casement (1949).

A Bibliography of the Books of Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Kevin 0’Higgins / by P.S. O’Hegarty (Dublin: Printed for the author by Alex. Thom 1937), 9pp. [25cm.; 30 copies rep. from Dublin Magazine].

Contributions to The Irish Book Lover: (The Shamrock ) XXV: 31; (Bibliography of Standish James O’Grady) XVIII: 94; (Eimar O’Duffy’s Plays) XXVI: 60; (An Unrecorded Private Press) XXVII: 259; (Some Association Books of Irish Interest) XXX: 74-78; (Irish in Co. Galway in the 1870s) XXX: 78-79; (A. Stopford Brooke on Ireland) XXX: 109-10; (T. W. Rolleston on Ireland in 1884) XXX: 112; (Dublin Street Ballads about the Invincibles) XXXI: 2; (An Electioneering Bill of Former Days), XXXI: 8; (Books of Irish Interest) XXXI: 50; (Petrus Borel’s Madame Putiphar), XXXI: 74; (An Irish Sensational Novel of Limerick) XXXI: 104; (A ’Ninety-Eight Novel) XXXI: 105. Also (sundry), III: 27. IV: 93, VI: 117, VIII: 44, IX: 126, XIV: 78, 117, XXX: 2, 41, 43, 44, 61, 67, 74-79, 108-10, 112, 113; XXXII: 4, 15, 19, 26, 75, 78; (Obituary) 97; XXXII, 100.

See also comments on Sean O’Casey in ‘A Dramatist of New Born Ireland’, in Northern American Review, ccxxiv, 1927, p.32 [infra].

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Criticism
Frances Flanagan, [on P. S. O’Hegarty and Sinn Féin], in From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland (Dublin: IAP 2010), q.pp.; Bryan Fanning & Tom Garvin, ‘P. S. O’Hegarty, The Victory of Sinn Féin: How it Won It and How it Used It (1924)’, in Books That Define Ireland (Sallins: Merrion 2014), Chap. 13.

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Commentary
Sean O’Faolain (‘The Gaelic Cult’, in The Bell, Dec. 1944): ‘the general idea of the ‘Gaelic nation’ is implicit in the very title of Mr P. S. O’Hegarty’s interesting book, The Indestructible Nation which, note, was originally given as a series of lectures to the London Gaelic League in (... the author’s own words) the first and best decade of Sinn Féin, in 1911-1913’. (Rep. in in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, gen. ed. Seamus Deane Derry: Field Day 1991, Vol. 3, p.572.)

J. C. Beckett (The Making of Mod. Irel., Bibl., 465), ‘Ireland under the Union (Lon. 1952), described by the author as ‘the story of a people coming out of bondage,’ is a highly subjective commentary on political events; but it contains a mass of factual information, and it is studded with apposite quotations from contemporary sources.’ Atherton, Books at the Wake (p. 92), ‘Chp. XIII of The Victory of Sinn Féin, which is about ‘Mr de Valera’s gunmen,’ is ‘Devil Era’ ... PS O’Hegarty was the first to compare the state of modern Ireland to that of Humpty Dumpty after his fall.’

J. H. Whyte, Interpreting Northern Ireland (OUP 1991), ‘O’Hegarty saw a spirit hovering over Ireland which made its own of every race that came there. It affected even the Irish unionists who, if they did not want home rule, did not want partition either, ‘partition was primarily an English Conservative Policy [117] designed and propagated to dish the liberals.’ [Whyte, 1991, 118]

Wayne K. Chapman & James Helyar, ‘P. S. O’Hegarty and the Yeats Collection at the Univ. of Kansas’, in Warwick Gould, ed., Yeats Annual, No. 10 (1994), states that this collection is ‘almost entirely due to O’Hegarty’s talents as a discoverer and collector of books’; in a note written in 1954, ‘he had everything except Mosada and the 1903 Hour Glass; plates show O’Hegarty at International Postal Congress, Stockholm, and a caricature of him with the GPO in dublin drawn for him on retirement by Charles E Kelly in 1944.

Maurice Headlam, Irish Reminiscences (London: Robert Hale 1947), notes the comment that in O’Hegarty’s Victory of Sinn Féin that there would have been no revulsion of feeling if the English had tired the promoters of the rebellion before a magistrate, ridiculed the whole thing and laughed at it. Futher quotes O’Hegarty: ‘We devised certain “bloody instructions” to use against the British. We adopted poliical assassination as a principle; we devised the ambush; we encouraged women to forget their sex and play at gunmen, ... we placed gunmen, mostly half-educated and totally inexperienced, as dictators over large areas. ... the robbed banks. They robbed post-offices. They robbed private houses. They irregulars ... were insolent, brutal, unpatriotic, bloody and barbarous’; ‘It was the irregulars again [who] demonstrated to us that our deep-rooted belief that there was someething in us finer than, more spiritual than, anything in other people, was sheer illusion, and that we were really an uncivilised people, with savage instincnts. ... We have shed our illusions about “the Isle of Saints”.’ (Victory of Sinn Féin; Headlam, p.222.)

Roy Foster (‘We are All Revisionists Now’, in Irish Review, 1986), writes: ‘historians like David Fitzpatrick and Theo Hoppen have made it impossible to interpret Irish history in the rousing terms of P. S. O’Hegarty, ‘the story ... captivity’ (p.583.)

D. George Boyce (Nationalism in Ireland, London 1982; 1991 Edn.), contains comments and citations from A History of Ireland Under the Union 1801-1922 (1952), in which O’Hegarty disparages the use of the term ‘Anglo-Irish’ to single out the Protestant Anglican inhabitants of Ireland and condemns the Protestant garrison for usurping ‘the name of the People of Ireland’. He further deplored land reform as a ‘sectional interest’ that pitted one Irishman against another. (pp.94, 177, 195, &c.; and see “Quotations”, [infra])

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Quotations
Risen people ‘The story of a people coming out of captivity, out of underground, finding every artery of national life occupied by her enemy, recovering them one by one, and coming out at last in the full blaze of the sun.’ (Dedicatory Preface, A History of Ireland Under the Union 1810 to 1922, Methuen 1952, p.vii; quoted in T. W. Moody, ‘Irish History and Irish Mythology’ in Hermethena, CXXIV, Summer 1978, p.578; also in Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch, John Lane, 1993, p.18.)

Potent mould: ‘Is it not the fact that those Irishmen who have written English literature have written stuff which is distinct, with qualities which English literature as a whole has not got? While Englishmen who have lived here have imbibed something which changed and strengthened them. ... There is an Irish Soil, and Irish climate, and an Irish atmosphere, which are a potent moulder, not alone of men’s bodies, but of their minds.’ (Dublin Magazine, VII No. 1 (Jan.-March 1932), pp.54-5; see Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, Vol 1, 1980, xx.)

Ireland in the coming times: ‘I think that Ireland in the coming times will understand that the great poet who worked for a national culture was during his life one of the most revolutionary influences in Ireland. He worked for a liberation of the spirit, and it is the spirit that moves the body.’ (W. B. Yeats [obit.], Dublin Magazine, July-Sept. 1939, pp.22.24.)

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Review of Ulysses: ‘Here is a big book, perhaps the biggest book that has ever been done in English in the form of fiction, in which the language is used as it never was used, and used triumphantly. It is not a story merely but an epoch, and an Irish one. Ireland is all through him, and in him and of him; and Dublin, its streets and its buildings and its people, he loves with the wholehearted affection of the artist. He may live out of Dublin but he will never get away from it. Ireland at present will probably not love Mr. Joyce, but he had done her fonour and stands with Wilde, Moore and Synge in representing the Irish spirit.’ (In The Separatist; quoted in Donagh MacDonagh, ‘The Reputation of James Joyce: From Notoriety to Fame’, in University Review, 3, 2, Summer 1963, p.17; note that MacDonagh pairs O’Hegarty with Con Leventhal as Dubliners who reviewed Ulysses favourably - but also points to the conspicuous absence of Yeats name in the above.)

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The Belfast boycott [i.e., the boycott of Unionist businesses by Irish Catholics, 1920-22]: ‘It raised up in the south what had never been there, a hatred of the North ... it was merely a blind and suicidal contribution to the general hate.’ (Cited in Tony Hepburn, ‘A short history of boycotts’, in Fortnight Review (Oct. 1996, p.25.)

The Belfast boycott - cont.: ‘[It] denied the whole principle upon which separatists of every generation had claimed for the country - independence [...] but it was an utter failure inasmuch as it did not secure the reinstatement of a single expelled Nationalist. It was a blind and suicidal contribution to the general hate There is not a word to be said in favour of the Ulster Boycott. It is an utterly shameful episode in the history of Sinn Féin.’ (Quoted in D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland, London: Routledge 1982, p.326 [citing] Victory of Sinn Féin, p.54; also quoted [earlier] in St. John Ervine, Craigavon, 1949, p.437. )

Check mate?: ‘When the outlook was at its blackest [for Irish Republicans], England surrendered.’ (Cited in Maurice Headlam, Irish Reminiscences, 1947, p.11; ftn.)

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References
Léon Ó Broin, Protestant Nationalists in Revolutionary Ireland, The Stopford Connection (Gill & Macmillan 1985); began writing for Hobson’s The Republic and started a Dungannon Club drawing into membership Robert Lynd, Herbert Hughes, and George Cavan Duffy [35]; O’Hegarty made manager of Irish Book Shop started at Dawson St. by Mrs Green and some eleven others. [155]; regarding Yeats’s Cathleen Ni Houlihan, O’Hegarty though it ‘a sort of sacrament’ [41].

Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978) lists ‘About Irish Novelists,’ Bell, 4 (1942), pp.128-97 [jottings on Lynn Doyle, Shan F. Bullock, Carleton, Patrick MacGill, Seamus MacManus, Peadar O’Donnell]; A Bibliography of James Clarence Mangan (Dublin 1941) 8pp., rep from Dublin Magazine 16 (1941); A Bibliography of William Allingham (Dublin 1945) 12p. [See Rafroidi, under Allingham, supra].

University of Kansas Spencer Research Library Special Collections, holding the Irish and O’Hegarty Collections, has a website at spencer.lib.ku.edu/sc/Irish.htm [online].

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Belfast Public Library holds History of Ireland under the Union 1801-1922 (1952); Indestructible Nation (1918); John Mitchel (1917); A Short Memoir of Terence Bellow Mac Swiney (1922); Sinn Féin, An Illumination (1919); Victory of Sinn Féin (1924).

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Notes
Lollie Yeats: O’Hegarty was a correspondent of E. C. (‘Lollie’) Yeats, who wrote at the time of Yeats’s memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (7 Feb. 1939) when Catholic friends of the poet were constrained to remain outside the cathedral: ‘they should work now to get that obsolete law of the Church done away with. Not that they are “on top” & also in the majority it seems to me so foolish’ (Letter of 11 Feb. 1939; held as Kansas MS Ea 52; cited in Roy Foster, ‘When the Newspaper have forgotten me ...’, in Yeats Annual 12, ed. Warwick Gould and Edna Longley, 1996.)

W. B. Yeats: P. S. O’Hegarty wrote obituary notice on Yeats in the Dublin Magazine (July-Sept. Vol. 14, No. 3, 1939, pp.22-24), reflecting on his patriotism in connection with the 1798 Commemorations, when he first encountered him; calls Kathleen Ni Houlihan ‘“a play of captivity” whose impact was impossible to capture in the independent Ireland of 1939’ (Quoted in R. F. Foster, Paddy and Mr Punch, John Lane, 1993, p.167.)

John Mitchel: O'Hegarty apparently owned the original published version of John Mitchel's Jail Journal since Griffith acknowledges his indebtedness to ‘Mr. P. S. O hEigeartaigh and Mr. S. O hEigeartaigh for the file of Mitchel’s Citizen used in preparing this edition - viz., Jail Journal (Dublin: Gill 1913). .

Seán O’Hegarty (1881-1963), brother of P. S. O’Hegarty, is the subject of Seán O’Hegarty: Officer Commanding First Cork Brigade, IRA (Aubane Hist. Soc. 2007). He succeeded MacCurtain and MacSwiney in his command and, unusually, remained neutral in the Civil War, working for peace between the parties.

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