The author of a new book on Peter DeLoughry, the former mayor of Kilkenny who engineered Éamon de Valera’s escape from Lincoln Jail in 1919, has had a pop at Environment Minister Phil Hogan for turning up at the book launch — after he was asked to stay away.
Declan Dunne, grandson of Peter DeLoughry and author of Peter’s Key, wrote a withering assessment of Mr Hogan’s decision to attend last weekend’s launch on the Peter DeLoughry TD Facebook page.
The launch, in Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, last Saturday attracted 400 people — and Mr Hogan.
"How delightful it was to see Phil Hogan, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government pop his head in the door of the function room where the launch was being held and hover about the area where the book was being sold, particularly when he was sent two letters by the author not to attend the launch," Mr Dunne wrote.
"Popping his head in the door proved that, on at least one occasion alone, Mr Hogan did not put his foot in it. Yes, Mr Hogan ignored my plan to keep the event non-political.
"Yes, Mr Hogan was told that the city and political shades of opinion would be represented solely by the mayor of Kilkenny at the launch.
"However, Mr Hogan shows us that he is a man with his own mind who will not be swayed by booing — even from his own electorate — to grace events with his presence.
"How comforting, too, was the report in the Kilkenny People announcing that Mr Hogan was welcomed by all and sundry at the launch and even applauded. This has had a wonderfully humbling effect on the author who thought all the applause was for him."
DeLoughry used his skills as a locksmith to help orchestrate the escape of Éamon de Valera, Seán McGarry, and Seán Milroy.