Gógan, Liam Seosamh (1891–1979), Irish-language poet, was born 24 October 1891 at 391 North Circular Road, Dublin, son of William J. Gogan, sweet merchant and IRB member, and Ellen Gogan (née Hendrick). He was educated in O'Connell's CBS, Richmond St., and UCD, graduating (1913) with first-class honours in Celtic studies. He concentrated on Old Irish and was only the second student in the college's history to read it as a main subject. He received his MA (1925) for work done on architectural terminology. His thesis was published in sections in Misneach, the Waterford News and An Glór under the title ‘Foclóir Ardsaoirse’.
He was elected to the provisional committee of the Irish Volunteers in 1913, and appointed assistant secretary for pay; he resigned this position (summer 1915) after taking part in a failed attempt to secure arms in the USA. In 1914 he was employed as assistant keeper of antiquities in the National Museum. He was interned for three months in Frongoch, Wales, after the 1916 rising and was suspended from his post on release because of his refusal to take the oath of allegiance. He then worked as a teacher in Tipperary for two years and as a sweet merchant in one of his father's shops in Dublin. He also studied medicine for a year in UCD before finally returning to his job in the museum (1922). He became keeper of the art and industrial division in 1936, and stayed in this post until his retirement (1956). He was competent in French, German, Italian and Spanish and spent time travelling to various museums throughout Europe. A keen lexicographer, he gave vital assistance to Patrick Dinneen (qv) in revising his Irish–English dictionary during 1923–7. In 1953 he was requested by the Irish Texts Society to prepare a supplement to the dictionary. He duly collected 50,000 entries but the work was never published due to financial constraints. He was strongly against allowing foreign loan words into the Irish language, believing instead that Old Irish should be used as a source.
He was best known for his poems ‘Na Coisithe’ and ‘Liobharn stáit’, which became classics through their inclusion on school courses. His poetry first appeared in the shortlived Irish Nation, which he co-founded in 1916. His published works included Nua-dhánta (1919), Dánta agus duanóga (1929) (which won the Aonach Tailtean gold medal), Dánta an lae indiu (1936), Dánta eile (1946), Dánta agus duanta (1952), and Duanaire a sé (1966). He was also author of several publications on antiquarian and literary topics, including The Ardagh chalice (1932) and an unpublished study of European poets. His interest in Irish language drama was reflected in his involvement in the committee of An Comhar Drámaíochta on its foundation in 1923. He wrote a play for the organisation, ‘An Saoghal Eile’, which was staged on 16 February 1925. He also translated a drama by Maurice Maeterlinck under the title ‘Dallán’. Gógan died in Dublin on 4 December 1979 and was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery.
He married first (1919) Máire Nic Fhirbhisigh (d. 1940) of Cork; they had six children. In 1955 he married Nóra Marie Ní Aodha, daughter of Dr Michael O'Hea of St Vincent's Hospital.