The ‘Tipperariana Book of the Year 2013’ was presented to Puckane author Seán Hogan at a function in the Abymill Theatre Fethard, on Friday night last, for his magnificent 492 page book ‘The Black and Tans in North Tipperary’.
The full title of the book includes the wording ‘Policing, Revolution and War 1913-22’ and John Cooney, speaking on behalf of the judging panel, emphasised the point that the book is in fact a detailed history of the national struggle in North Tipperary in the ten years leading up to and including the War of Independence.
The ‘Tipperariana Book of the Year’ award is presented annually – Seán Hogan being the twelfth recipient – by the organisers of the Tipperariana Book Fair which is held on the second Sunday in February for the past nineteen years in Fethard’s own ‘Ballroom of Romance’.
The background to the Book Fair and the Book of the Year Award was outlined at Friday night’s ceremony by Terry Cunningham of the Tipperariana Committee and he listed out the eleven previous winners going back to the inaugural winner, ‘Moyne-Templetuohy A Life of its Own’, which was a massive three-volume history of that parish published in 2002. A copy of all the previous winning books was on display which added greatly to the occasion.
A book amongst many Tipperary Books
The year 2013, like most other years, saw up to forty substantial books produced that are either by Tipperary authors or the subject matter concerns County Tipperary is some material way. The ‘Tipperariana Award’ is both an acknowledgement of the great work done by the winning author and also an encouragement to all those researching ‘Tipperary’ subjects, as it all goes to reinforce the tremendous ‘sense of place’ that people have right across the county.
Seán, who now lives and works in Dublin, was accompanied by his wife Valerie and many friends when presented with a specially commissioned ceramic plate - by Fethard artist and potter Dóirín Saurus - by Patricia Looby, Chairperson of the Fethard Historical Society at the award ceremony on Friday night. The trophy, appropriately enough, was coloured ‘black and tan’ and bore ‘The Tipperariana Book of the Year 2013’ inscription.