Coghlan (Coughlan), Terence (d. 1653), politician and founder of the Coghlan family of Kilcolgan, Co. Offaly, was the third son of James Oge MacCoghlan, who received crown pardons in 1583 and 1602, and a crown grant of the castle, town, and lands of Kincorr in 1623. Terence Coghlan's cousin, John, MP for King's County, 1640–41, was the grandson of Sir John MacCoghlan of Delvin, and the son of Onora, sister of Ulick Burke (qv), 1st marquess of Clanricard, with whom Terence enjoyed a close personal relationship. Terence received a crown grant in 1623, including the lands and castle of Kilcolgan, but Kedagh MacCoghlan claimed that the lands were rightfully his by inheritance and criticised him for obtaining them. The Four Masters dedicated their Genealogie regum et sanctorum Hiberniae to Coghlan, highlighting his patronage of Gaelic culture in the region. They praised him as the only nobleman in the area who had provided the finances to complete their work.
In 1632 Coghlan married Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Dillon (qv), later 2nd earl of Roscommon. He and John Dillon of Ballintrohan, Co. Westmeath, mortgaged lands, including Kilcolgan, to Nicholas Preston (qv), Viscount Gormanstown, and Robert Preston for £200 in November that year.
Coghlan was MP for King's County in the 1634–5 parliament, and later sat on the Leinster provincial council of the Catholic Confederate Association during the 1640s. Although he was a member of the 1644 general assembly and a generous benefactor to the association – he gave £200 to the confederate commissioners of revenue in December 1644 – his role during the decade is perhaps best summed up by the papal nuncio, GianBattista Rinuccini (qv), who said: ‘his voluntary abstention from public affairs made him a favourite with all parties’ (Aiazzi, 534). He acted as intermediary between the Dublin authorities and Clanricard in September 1642, and also provided the earl with information on developments at Kilkenny. Owen Roe O'Neill (qv) commended him in August 1646 after he and John Kelly appealed to the general to exert his influence on Rinuccini and restore unity among Irish catholics. Coghlan's nephew Anthony MacGeoghegan (qv) was appointed bishop of Clonmacnoise on 11 March 1647. Coghlan had earlier obtained church property there through the favour of Dr Anthony Martin, Church of Ireland bishop of Meath. However, he now restored those lands to his nephew, earning praise from the nuncio who honoured him with a papal brief in 1648. Coghlan gave refuge to Rinuccini, who held a synod at Kilcolgan in June 1648, and also helped the nuncio to avoid capture by Thomas Preston (qv), allowing his safe passage to Galway.
Coghlan continued in his role as emissary for Clanricard, approaching O'Neill again in July 1648 on the marquess's behalf, in an attempt to persuade Rinuccini to abandon his proposed clerical synod. Coghlan was appointed commissary for the king's army early in 1649, under the command of James Butler (qv), marquess of Ormond, to whom he wrote in March 1649, advising on the management of magazine forts and requesting financial assistance. The Cromwellians captured Kilcolgan castle in September 1650, and Henry Ireton (qv) made his headquarters there. However, Coghlan held out at his castle at Rachra, Shannon Bridge, until the fall of Athlone in June 1651. He subsequently left for Flanders, where he fought alongside the Spanish forces until his death at the end of 1653. His son, Francis Coghlan, accompanied Terence to Flanders and remained on the continent until 1655. Upon his return to Ireland he was transplanted to Connacht with his mother. He subsequently returned to Spanish service until 1663, when his company was disbanded. Under the Act of Explanation, 1665, Kilcolgan castle was restored to him. He served in the army of James II (qv) and obtained the benefit of the articles of Limerick on 6 June 1692 and again on 26 August 1699. He was still alive in 1715, evidenced by his recorded involvement in a land transaction that year; he died intestate sometime before Hilary term 1719, when his son and heir, Anthony Coughlan, was sued to an outlawry, in consequence of which the lands and estates, including Kilcolgan, were vested in the crown.