COLLUSION WITH JUSTICE:
Ireland, 1916 to 2016
Collusion with Injustice details with lyricism and moving honesty the story of one family’s experience with the Northern Ireland civil war of the 1970s.
The story first began when Grandfather Owen Coogan joined the British Army in 1877 at Crinkle, Kings County. After serving twenty years overseas, Grandfather returned home in 1895. He married Bridget McCormack in 1897 at Birr, Kings County.
Soon after Bridget’s first child was born, Grandfather purchased a farm near Sharavogue, Kings County, now known as County Offaly. In 1921, Grandfather, Bridget, and nine of their eleven children were held at gunpoint by the IRA and their homestead was set on fire.
Grandfather’s family then migrated to Northern Ireland and settled in Cooneen County Fermanagh, a place made famous by the Cooneen poltergeist.
Philip Coogan’s life changed overnight in December 1971, when a bomb destroyed his thriving garage business in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland. His troubles intensified and Philip survived repeated assassination attempts. Feeling defrauded and conspired against, Philip was not allowed to rebuild his garage by planning authorities.
“I received no compensation for my injuries or large building site. My health deteriorated and I suffered severe post-traumatic shock disorder and other illnesses.”
In January 1973, the family fled over the border to safety and Philip was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He emerged a broken man, just waiting to see what would happen next.
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Review by Charles AsherA Powerful and Personal HistoryThe Irish Civil War was a grim and bloody time of terrorism and political struggle that rocked an entire nation. In most other countries, the Troubles are known only through iconic images or sweeping historical dramas. Collusion with Injustice, however, gives audiences the human side of the conflict, allowing non-Irish readers to more deeply empathize and understand the lives of those who suffered in this brutal epoch.Writing autobiographically, author Philip Coogan tracks his own family’s harrowing journey of survival through war-torn Ireland— beginning with his grandfather and moving all the way to the present day. This approach gives us access to the scope of the events that have rattled Ireland for more than a century, while also demonstrating the personal suffering endured by those caught in the middle. The writing is evocative and intimate, and Mr. Coogan is a master storyteller, utilizing pacing and dramatic action to hook readers and, once drawn into the narrative, keep them emotionally invested in the horror and the tragedies that he himself has experienced. A devastating and yet beautiful read— I highly recommend Collusion with Injustice.
Review by Peter Pickail
While his story was one of harrowing danger and great sadness, he triumphs in the end
While I knew of the troubles in Ireland during this time period, I really had no idea the depth of it, until I read Philip’s book. While his story was one of harrowing danger and great sadness, he triumphs in the end, and overcomes many obstacles, including acceptance of the grave injustices done to him.
I applaud him his bravery and his honesty in telling his story. Reading this book, was as if being given a history lesson, told first hand, by one who has lived thru it. This book has a real human touch, and is easy to read, despite some of the bad events that befell Philip, his family and others.
It shows the perseverance of the human spirit, even under great distress.
I truly wish Philip and his family, many blessings.