The story of Jack Lohan

Dear Editor,

I note an interesting piece by Tom Kenny in last week’s Galway Advertiser (October 10 2019 ) entitled “The turf market at Raven Terrace”. Tom mentions in his article “a sweet shop owned by two sisters, Hanna and Sheila Gannon” which was located on Raven’s Terrace next to the Claddagh Bar (now McGuire’s shop ). Hannah and Sheila Gannon were sisters of Annie Lohan (née Gannon ) who went on to become the Principal of Claddagh National School.

Annie had married another national school teacher, Michael Lohan from Athenry, on August 5 1899 in Galway and for the first few years of their marriage they lived in the Gannon house alongside Annie’s parent’s William and Hannah, as well as her two sisters and three brothers. Annie and Michael had a son named John “Jack” Lohan, born in the Gannon shop at Raven Terrace on 19th March 1902.

The family later moved in to a house at Woodquay where Annie, Michael and their six children lived. Jack went on to become involved in the Galway Brigade of the IRA as a teenager during the Black and Tan war, later taking the Republican side in the Civil War while he was enrolled as an Engineering student at University in Galway.

On September 24 1922, Jack Lohan was shot dead by Free State troops at McHugh’s Public House on the Tuam Road outside Galway, less than two months after his 20th birthday. A letter from Duggan appeared in the Connacht Tribune the week following Lohan’s death, correcting some of the factual errors in the reporting of circumstances around Lohan’s death. He finished his letter as follows, “the late Lieut. Lohan was an old member of the Irish Republican Army, and did admirable and able work in the Social Secret Service Department for No. 1 Galway Brigade in the days of British Black-and-Tan terror. In the present campaign he did much serviceable work for the Republic, and while the Republic lives, the name of Jack Lohan will never die. Thomas Duggan, Col. Comdt. OC, Galway area.”

Is mise le meas,

Mairéad Farrell,

Mervue,

Galway City

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