Hogan, John Joseph (Seán) (1900–68), revolutionary, was born 12 May 1900 in Donohill, Co. Tipperary, son of Matthew Hogan, farmer, of Donohill, and Margaret Hogan (maiden name unknown). He was educated locally at Garryshane primary school before starting work on the family farm at Donohill. He joined the Volunteers after the 1916 rising, and in mid 1918 went to work in the explosives factory set up by Seán Treacy (qv) and Dan Breen (qv) at Solohead. From this point onwards he was engaged full-time in Volunteer activity, and with Breen, Treacy, and Seamus Robinson (qv) formed the nucleus of the South Tipperary Brigade. They became known as the ‘Big Four’ in Tipperary volunteer circles, but Hogan, at only 18, was very much the junior partner. Under the influence of Treacy, the brigade began to adopt a more aggressive policy in the struggle for independence, and on 19 January 1919 Hogan took part in the attack on an RIC patrol protecting a delivery of gelignite at Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary, in which two RIC constables were killed. The attack, which shocked public opinion and led to south Tipperary being proclaimed a special military area, is now generally acknowledged as the first action of the war of independence. Hogan, who drove the captured gelignite to a nearby arms dump, was forced to go on the run but, with Treacy, Breen, and Robinson, refused to leave the country despite the urgings of Volunteer headquarters in Dublin.
After several months as a fugitive he was captured on 12 May 1919 at Annefield, Co. Tipperary, after attending a dance at nearby Ballagh. During Hogan's interrogation at Thurles RIC barracks, Treacy, Breen, and Robinson planned a rescue attempt, and on 13 May 1919 they ambushed the RIC patrol accompanying Hogan on the Thurles–Cork train at Knocklong station. The rescue was successful but two RIC officers were shot dead during the struggle, while Breen and Treacy were both seriously injured. On 7 June 1921 two Galbally men, Edward Foley and Patrick Maher, were executed at Kilmainham gaol for their part in the rescue, although Maher did not actually take part. The deaths of the RIC men led to Sinn Féin's proscription in Tipperary, but the success of the rescue was a boost to the IRA's morale and was commemorated in a popular ballad, ‘The station at Knocklong’. After his escape Hogan remained on the run and became active in the IRA campaign in Dublin, most notably participating in the attempted assassination of the lord lieutenant, Lord French (qv), on 19 December 1919.
Hogan returned to Tipperary in 1920 and took part in several actions, including the raid on Drangan RIC barracks on 3 June 1920. In late 1920 he pressed to be made commandant of Third Tipperary Brigade's second flying column, and was given the post despite Robinson's concerns over his relative immaturity. Hogan was an ineffective guerrilla leader and his column, numbering about forty men at its peak, failed to execute a single successful ambush. In early 1921 he allowed his column to be surrounded twice, losing two men on the second occasion. The column was disbanded before the truce came into effect in July 1921 as Hogan no longer enjoyed the confidence of his men, who thought him brave but lacking in common sense.
In early 1922 Hogan opposed Dan Breen's plan to overturn the treaty by renewing attacks on British forces, but they remained friends and Hogan later joined Breen in London. They went on to tour the US, visiting Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York but returned to Ireland at the request of Liam Lynch (qv). Although nominally on the anti-treaty side in the civil war, Hogan took no real part in the fighting and in December 1922 urged Liam Deasy (qv) to end the struggle. After the civil war he returned to his farm at Donohill, Co. Tipperary. He later sold this farm and moved to Dublin, where he was an official for the land commission. Seán Hogan died 24 December 1968 and was buried with full military honours at St Michael's graveyard, Tipperary town.
He married (24 February 1925) Christina Butler; they had three sons, Seán, Matthew, and Thomas.