Image of Tim Pat Coogan

Tim Pat Coogan is Ireland's best known historical writer. His first book, Ireland Since The Rising, published in 1966, was a pioneering work, the first history of the fifty years that followed the 1916 Rising. It gave a new generation an insight into the civil war, partition, the emergence and constitutional development of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the unconstitutional development of the IRA.

His subsequent book, The IRA, first published in 1970, became the definitive work on the subject and has been reissued in several editions and languages.

His biography of Michael Collins, published on Collin's centenary in 1990, created a remarkable rekindling of interest, on both sides of the Atlantic, in Collins and his times. As a result of Coogan's research another new generation became fascinated not only by the legendary hero and the challenges he faced, but in the relevance of his dealings with the Six Counties to today's events. There followed man acres of newsprint coverage, TV programmes, a film starring Liam Neeson and a popular brand of Irish Whiskey, called after the legendary hero.

More recently, his 2012 book The Famine Plot has offered fresh insights into the famine's causes, its unspeakable effects, the legacy of the "famine mentality" that followed immigrants across the Atlantic to the shores of the United States and the lasting effects on the population left behind.

Coogan's other works include On The Blanket, a study of the dirty protest which preceded the hunger strikes of 1981, a biography of Eamon De Valera, Long fellow, long shadow; the first major work on the Irish diaspora, Wherever Green is Worn (2000) and Ireland in the Twentieth Century (2003).

Coogan's career as an author and journalist (he was editor of the Irish Press between 1968 and 1987) has taken him around the world interviewing figures as diverse as Ronald Reagan and Mumar Ghadafi and made him a well known personality on both radio and TV.

His memoir was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in September 2008.